From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
Subject:

3/1/2002 5:42:52 PM
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Idaho--Potential Legislation Could Damage Home School Freedoms

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 1, 2002

Dear Idaho HSLDA Members and Friends,

Home School Legal Defense Association has become aware of a growing
threat to the Idaho home school law, one of the best laws in the
country. We need your help to stop this proposed anti home school
legislation from becoming a reality.

"Concerned citizen," Maxine Riggers, has formed an organization
called "Concerned Committee of Idaho Citizens" and embarked on a
personal crusade to get a restrictive home school bill introduced and
passed. Ms. Riggers has written several letters to the editor of
local newspapers about some research her group put together. She
claims it demonstrates why home schooling in Idaho should be under
stricter state regulation.

Ms. Riggers has made herself a vocal opponent of home education and
has gotten the attention of some members of the Senate Education
Committee. But opposition to home schooling is all they have heard
up to this point. Now these senators need to hear about the benefits
of home schooling and how the facts dispute Maxine Riggers' false
assertions. The public needs to hear the truth as well.

We, along with the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators, are asking you
to do two things in the next two weeks. Your efforts could turn the
tide of public opinion and help the senators understand that home
schooling does not need to be regulated.

REQUESTED ACTION

1. First, write a short letter to the editor and send it to both the
Lewiston Morning Tribune and to the Coeur d'Alene Press (contact
information below, these newspapers limit letters to 250 words). You
can send your letter via e mail or regular mail. Your message to the
newspaper should contain 1) Your family's successes in home schooling
and 2) Why you believe that home schooling in Idaho, a proven and
effective method of education, should continue to enjoy the freedom
of minimal state regulation.

Last week, Barry Peters of the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators
wrote an excellent defense of home schooling. He offers a thorough
critique of the logic, methodology, and data presented in Maxine
Riggers anti home school report. Read Mr. Peters' analysis for
additional ideas for your letter to the editor. Click here to read
Barry Peters, letter.

Also, you may want to review our research pointing to the success of
home schooling. Visit our web site at
http://www.hslda.org/docs/study/rudner1999/default.asp

Lewiston Tribune
e-mail: letters@lmtribune.com
mail: Letters to the editor
Post Office Box 957
Lewiston, ID 83501

Coeur d'Alene Press
e-mail: mpatrick@cdapress.com
mail: Mike Patrick
201 N. Second
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814


2. Second, send a copy of your letter to the editor with a cover
letter to the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and to your
own state Senator (if he or she is on this committee).

Include a message like the following in your own words:

"We are aware that you have received a complaint stating that home
schooling families should be more regulated by the state. We
respectfully disagree. Research has shown that children who are
taught at home by their parents typically score above average on
standardized achievement tests. As home schoolers, we can personally
attest to the effectiveness of this educational method. Home
schooling works and we have earned the right to be left alone."

Don't forget to proof read your letters for spelling and grammatical
errors.

IDAHO SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Senator Gary Schroeder, Chairman

Senator Kathy Sims, Vice Chair

Senator Laird Noh

Senator Jerry Thorne

Senator John Andreason

Senator Stan Williams

Senator John Goedde

Senator Brent Hill

[Insert senator's name]
Idaho State Legislature
State Capitol Building
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720 0081

If you do not know who your state senator is, you can use HSLDA's
legislative toolbox to look it up (http://www.hslda.org/toolbox).

BACKGROUND

Maxine Riggers has been complaining about home schooling for quite
awhile. This year, she has become more aggressive and has recruited
school officials who are philosophically opposed to home education.
She only needs to persuade one senator to sponsor restrictive home
school legislation. In recent letters to the editor in several Idaho
newspapers, she claims:

"I know of children throughout Idaho as old as 12 who cannot read or
do simple math. These children happen to come from home schools. This
is a grave concern of mine.

"A draft of a bill requiring home school accountability has been
presented to the Idaho Senate Education Committee. Please contact the
members of this committee to encourage them to approve a bill that
will make home schools accountable and to give every child in Idaho
the opportunity to be educated. Also, contact your district
legislative members to encourage them to vote for such a bill. These
children need your help."

Maxine Riggers' letter to the editor appeared in the Lewiston Morning
Tribune and the Coeur d'Alene Press in early February. Click here to
read Ms. Riggers' entire letter.

Thank you for taking action to defeat Ms. Riggers dangerous proposal.
God bless your diligent efforts on behalf of home school freedoms.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka

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