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

3/13/2002 3:53:00 PM
Dewitt T. Black III, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Connecticut Home Schoolers Still in Jeopardy

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 13, 2002

Dear Connecticut Members and Friends,

Home schooling freedoms in Connecticut are still in jeopardy. Despite
the amazing turnout of home school families at the March 4, 2002,
hearing of the Joint Committee on Education, Representative Cameron
C. Staples, co-chair of the committee, still intends to get some
version of Raised House Bill 5535 passed.

An estimated 1,000 home school parents and their children attended
the committee's hearing to express their opposition to Raised H.B.
5535. Of the approximately 40 people who testified before the
committee, only one person, a public school superintendent, spoke in
favor of the legislation. The committee will schedule any votes at a
later time.

Raised House Bill 5535 would change Connecticut from one of the least
restrictive states for home schooling to one of the most restrictive.
This dangerous measure would do away with the favorable statutory
guidelines under which home educators have operated since 1990 and
impose burdensome requirements on parents.

REQUESTED ACTION:
It is important for home educators to continue contacting their
legislators urging them to either withdraw the bill from further
consideration or vote against it.

1) Please call your state senator and representative with this
message:

"Please vote against Raised House Bill 5535, which imposes
unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on home educators. Home
schooling has proved to be a successful educational option in
Connecticut under current law."

You can find your state senator, representative, and their phone
numbers by using HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox.

2) Please call as many members of the Joint Committee on Education
(listed below) as possible and give them this message:

"Please vote against Raised House Bill 5535, which imposes
unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on home educators. Home
schooling has proved to be a successful educational option in
Connecticut under current law."

JOINT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION:
Sen. Thomas P. Gaffey, Co-Chair 800-842-1420
Rep. Cameron C. Staples, Co-Chair 800-842-8267
Sen. Mary Ann Handley, Vice Chair 800-842-1420
Rep. Nancy E. Kerensky, Vice Chair 800-842-8267
Sen. Thomas J. Herlihy, Ranking Member 800-842-1421
Rep. Robert W. Heagney, Ranking Member 800-842-1423
Sen. William A. Aniskovich 800-842-1421
Rep. Nancy Beals 800-842-8267
Rep. David H. Blackwell 860-240-8700
Rep. Antonietta Boucher 800-842-1423
Rep. Lawrence F. Cafero 800-842-1423
Rep. Michael J. Cardin 800-842-8267
Rep. Melody A. Currey 800-842-1902
Rep. Konstantinos Diamantis 800-842-8267
Rep. William R. Dyson 800-842-8267
Sen. Bill Finch 800-842-1420
Rep. Patrick J. Flaherty 800-842-1423
Sen. John W. Fonfara 800-842-1420
Rep. Mary G. Fritz 800-842-1902
Sen. Robert L. Genuario 800-842-1421
Rep. Demetrios S. Giannaros 800-842-8267
Rep. Kenneth P. Green 800-842-8267
Rep. Themis Klarides 800 842-1423
Rep. Denise W. Merrill 800-842-8267
Rep. Sandy Nafis 800-842-8267
Rep. Claudia M. Powers 800-842-1423
Rep. Felipe Reinoso 800-842-8267
Rep. Kevin Ryan 800-842-8267
Rep. Pamela Z. Sawyer 800-842-1423
Rep. Pat T. Shea 800-842-1423
Rep. Lewis J. Wallace 800-842-8267
Rep. Patricia M. Widlitz 800-842-8267
Rep. Roberta B. Willis 800-842-8267

BACKGROUND:
Home School Legal Defense Association does not know what prompted the
introduction of this legislation or the extent of support for its
passage. But it is crucial that this proposal is stopped before it
gains more momentum from the Joint Committee on Education.

Raised H.B. 5535 would create the following new restrictions on home
instruction programs in Connecticut:

- An annual notice of intent to home school must be filed with the
superintendent of schools within 10 days after the start of
instruction.

- The notice must include the name of the person providing
instruction and proof that the instructor has a high school diploma
or its equivalent, a description of the subjects taught and the
materials used, a schedule of instruction that consists of a minimum
900 hours per calendar year and the scheduling of an independent
method of assessment of the child's academic performance, as approved
by the commissioner of education.

- The superintendent must evaluate the notice for completeness and
maintain the notice as part of the school district's permanent
records.

- The superintendent must review the results of an independent method
of assessment of the child's academic performance or conduct a
portfolio session with the parent. A portfolio session must display
evidence of compliance with the instruction program described in the
notice of intent.

- The superintendent must send a letter by certified mail, return
receipt requested, to any parent filing an incomplete notice or to
any parent failing to file a required notice. Any child whose parent
fails to comply with the notice requirements or any other provisions
of the new law will be considered truant.

- Each school district would be required to annually report the
number of home schoolers to the Connecticut Department of Education.

To read the bill text, visit http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=354.

For more information on this and other Connecticut bills, visit our
website at http://www.hslda.org/legislation/state/CT/default.asp.

Without your calls to help defeat Raised H.B. 5535, all Connecticut
home educators will be subjected to oppressive state oversight.

Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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