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Date:
From:
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3/12/2002 5:46:09 PM
Scott W. Somerville, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Kentucky--Two Bills Threaten Home School Freedoms

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 12, 2002

Dear Kentucky Members and Friends,

Thank you for your determined efforts to defeat House Bill 725, a
measure that would force every home schooler on welfare to take
annual standardized tests. As you may know, one of this bill's
sponsors, Howard Cornett, has now withdrawn his support. This is a
significant victory, but Kentucky home school freedoms are still
endangered by H.B. 725.

Several members of the House Education Committee have made it clear
they are not friends of home schooling. As most Kentucky home
schoolers will recall, committee member Barbara Colter filed House
Bill 54 earlier this year to regulate home schoolers. A group called
the Adair County Social Action Committee immediately began to lobby
in favor of Colter's legislation. This group falsely claimed it was
sponsored by the Catholic Charities of Kentucky, who promptly denied
any sponsorship of this effort.

Unfortunately, this Action Committee is still pushing for home school
regulation. In today's Lexington Herald Leader (3/12/2002), Dorothy
McMannon, executive director of the Action Committee, calls
Kentucky's home school freedom an "outrage." This group is pulling
out all the stops to "crack down" on home schooling and their
complaints may indicate to the House Education Committee Chairman,
Frank Rasche, he has enough support to move forward with one of these
two bills. Remember, the chairman controls which bills get a hearing
in his committee. Since Chairman Rasche is the author of H.B. 725,
it is a serious threat that home schoolers cannot ignore.

REQUESTED ACTION:

Please take these two quick and easy steps. Your calls may mean the
difference between success and failure!

(1) Please find your own state representative by using HSLDA's
legislative toolbox www.hslda.org/toolbox. Once you've located your
representative, check the list below to see if he or she serves on
the House Education Committee.

Representative (District)

Joe Barrows (56)
Larry Belcher (49)
"Buddy" Buckingham (5)
Mike Cherry (4)
Jack L. Coleman, Jr. (55)
Hubert Collins (97)
Barbara Ann Colter (90) (Sponsor)
Jon Draud (63)
Tim Feeley (59)
H. "Gippy" Graham (57)
Jodie Haydon (50)
Mary Lou Marzian (34)
Reginald K. Meeks (42)
Charles Miller (28)
Harry Moberly, Jr. (81)
Russ Mobley (51)
Rick Nelson (87)
Frank Rasche (3) (Chairman)
Tom Riner (41)
Charles L. Siler (82)
Arnold Simpson (65)
Dottie J. Sims (19)
John Will Stacy (71)
Kathy W. Stein (75)
Gary Tapp (58)
Jim Thompson (27)
Mark A. Treesh (14)
Charlie Walton (66)

(2) Call the Capitol's toll-free number 800-372-7181 and the
switchboard operator will type in the message to your representative.
The type of message you leave will depend on your representative. Use
your own words to communicate the following:

- If your representative is on the House Education Committee, tell
him you are a constituent and ask him to oppose H.B. 54 and H.B. 725.

- If your representative is a Democrat, urge him to call House
Education Committee Chairman Frank Rasche to tell him H.B. 725 is bad
because it discriminates against poor families.

- If your representative is a Republican, urge him to call House
Education Committee Chairman Frank Rasche to tell him not to push any
legislation that would further regulate home schoolers this session.

BACKGROUND:

You can read the full text of H.B. 725 online at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=353

H.B. 725 requires every home school family on welfare to take a
standardized test every year. Research indicates that home school
families who earn $15,000 or less in a year do as well as families
who make $100,000 or more. This is not true, however, for poor
families who put their children in public schools. Family income
seems to be one of the strongest predictors of success or failure in
the public schools, where the rich tend to succeed while the poor
often fall through the cracks.

Any bill that requires testing for home schoolers on welfare should
be amended to require testing for every welfare child. Anything else
creates a serious injustice, because it punishes poor families who
pull their children out of failing public schools. If a child scores
below average on a standardized test, it could be because the parents
aren't really teaching him... or it could be because he fell so far
behind in public school before the parents began their home school
program.

If every child on welfare had to take tests every year, it would be
easy to tell whether a home school program is an improvement over the
public school program. But if only home schoolers have to take tests,
the family of a student who fell way behind in public school may be
blamed for the public school's failure. The public school has the
power to drag these families into court in truancy battles, and poor
families are least able to fight against this system.

For more background information on this legislation visit:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/KY

Yours in the fight for freedom,

Scott W. Somerville, Esq.

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