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

5/8/2002 5:08:37 PM
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Missouri--URGENT: Final Hearing Tomorrow on Bill to Increase Compulsory Attendance Age

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 8, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The Missouri Senate just announced there will be a hearing tomorrow
morning at 8:30 AM on a bill that would take away a parent's right to
decide whether or not to continue a child's formal education after
reaching age sixteen years of age. The bill, House Bill 1460, has
already passed the House. Our last chance to defeat this bill is in
the Senate.

The bill would allow metropolitan school districts (i.e., St. Louis)
to raise the age of compulsory attendance from sixteen to seventeen
years of age.

In an apparent effort to influence home schoolers who might oppose
this bill, the sponsors included a provision that removes some of the
requirements when home schooling a sixteen-year-old. By eliminating
all standards for how a sixteen year old should be academically
instructed, enrolled in, and attend a home school, the bill
introduces such an ambiguity into the home school statute that it
could be struck down as unconstitutional.

Taxpayers in every county would help pay the bill for this additional
year of mandatory education in St. Louis.

ACTION REQUESTED

We have three requests.

1. Please call every member of the Senate education committee. Your
message may be as simple as, "Please vote against HB 1460. It takes
away a parent's freedom to decide what is best for their sixteen-year-
old. It undermines the home school law and will force disruptive
young adults back into a classroom where they do not want to be,
making it harder for students who truly want to learn." Their names
are listed below.

2. Whether or not your senator is on the education committee, please
call him or her immediately with the same message to oppose HB 1460.
All senators, including those not on the committee, need to be
educated about this bill. If it passes the committee, it could
rapidly advance to the Senate floor. There will be a rush to pass
bills since the session will end on May 17.

3. If possible, please come to the hearing tomorrow to show your
opposition to the bill. Lawmakers take note when people come to a
hearing. A large turnout could swing senators to vote against the
bill. It will be in Jefferson City in the capitol in the senate
lounge at 8:30.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Call the capital switchboard at 573-751-3824 and ask to be connected
to your senator. If you do not know who that is, use our legislative
toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox

Senate Education Committee
- Roseann Bentley, Chair, 30th 573-751-4145
- Bill Kenney, Vice-Chair, 8th 573-751-7050
- David Klindt, 12th 573-751-1415
- Sarah Steelman, 16th 573-751-4068
- Morris Westfall, 28th 573-751-3645
- Anita Yeckel, 1st 573-751-2887
- Harold Caskey, 31st 573-751-4116
- Ted House, 2nd 573-751-8437 or 800-526-8437
- Ken Jacob, 19th 573-751-2131
- Sidney Johnson, 34th 573-751-3750
- Steve Stoll, 22nd 573-751-1492

BACKGROUND

HB 1460 passed the House Education Committee in the House itself with
large margins. Only the Senate Education Committee and the Senate
itself can prevent this bill from going to the governor's desk.

This bill leaves unchanged the parts of the home school law that
require a student to enroll in and attend a home school and receive
academic instruction, but it removes all standards for determining
what instruction is acceptable--what subjects must be taught, the
number of hours of instruction that must be provided--and what
constitutes acceptable enrollment and attendance.

With no standards left, a judge would be free to create his own. This
could result in a child being found "in need of services" and the
judge taking jurisdiction over the child even though the parents
believed they were complying with the law. On the other hand, a judge
could strike down the home school statute as unconstitutional since
it has no standards for sixteen-year-olds. This could lead to a
wholesale legislative re-write of the home school statute.

Visit our website for additional information and reasons to oppose
this bill.

Thank you for standing with us to support the freedom of parents.

Sincerely yours,
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq

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