From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
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6/6/2002 3:58:28 PM
Dewitt T. Black III, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Pennsylvania--Hearing Scheduled on House Bill 2560, June 13

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 6, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

As many of you already know, at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 13,
2002, the Pennsylvania House Education Committee will have a meeting
in Harrisburg to hear testimony on House Bill 2560. Chris Klicka,
Senior Counsel with HSLDA, will be one of the 10 speakers permitted
to address the committee and will urge the committee members to vote
for this legislation. Unfortunately, the support for this bill within
the home school community is not unanimous, so your presence at this
meeting is crucial to getting H.B. 2560 passed. Home educators in
favor of this bill are being requested to wear red to identify
themselves as supporters. Unless the committee sees overwhelming
support for H.B. 2560 by home educators, it is likely that this
positive legislation will die in the committee.

REQUESTED ACTION

(1) Please attend the meeting at the Forum Building next Thursday and
wear red to indicate your support of H.B. 2560. Although the meeting
does not start until 10:00 a.m., home school leaders are recommending
that supporters arrive by 9:00 a.m. in order to be seated in the
facility that holds 1,700 people. The Forum is at the corner of 4th
Street and Commonwealth Avenue, just east of the Capital building.

(2) We recommend that you take advantage of this time in Harrisburg
to visit the offices of the members of the House Education Committee
listed below and ask them to vote for H.B. 2560.

House Education Committee:

Majority
Rep. Jess Stairs, Chairman, 717-783-9311
Rep. Fred McIlhattan, Secretary, 717-772-9908
Rep. Edward Krebs, Subcommittee Chairman on Higher Education, 717-783-
1815
Rep. Jerry Nailor, Subcommittee Chairman on Basic Education, 717-783-
5282
Rep. Bob Bastian, 717-783-8756
Rep. Paul Clymer, 717-783-3154
Rep. Patrick Fleagle, 717-783-5218
Rep. Robert Flick, 717-787-8579
Rep. Lynn Herman, 717-787-8594
Rep. Beverly Mackereth, 717-783-2655
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, 717-783-1707
Rep. Ronald Miller, 717-783-8389
Rep. Samuel Rohrer, 717-787-8550
Rep. Jere Schuler, 717-783-6422
Rep. Thomas Stevenson, 717-787-2047

Minority
Rep. Nicholas Colafella, Chairman, 717-787-5475
Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, Secretary, 717-787-5881
Rep. William Robinson, Subcommittee Chairman on Higher Education, 717-
787-9460
Rep. James Roebuck, Jr., Subcommittee Chairman on Basic Education,
717-783-1000
Rep. Lawrence Curry, 717-783-1079
Rep. Richard Grucela, 717-705-1878
Rep. John Lawless, 717-787-5741
Rep. Phyllis Mundy, 717-783-1614
Rep. Sara Steelman, 717-772-2046
Rep. P. Michael Sturla, 717-787-3555
Rep. Thomas Yewcic, 717-783-0248

(3) We also ask you to visit the office of your own state
representative and ask him to support House Bill 2560.

To get the name and telephone number of your state representative,
use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at: http://www.hslda.org/toolbox , or
you can call of the office of the Chief Clerk of the House of
Representatives at 717-787-2372.

REASONS TO SUPPORT H.B. 2560

House Bill 2560 would do the following:

- Eliminate the requirement for filing a notarized affidavit
containing education objectives and personal health information for
each child;

- Eliminate the requirement of maintaining a portfolio of records and
materials for each child;

- Eliminate mandatory standardized testing;

- Eliminate mandatory year-end evaluations;

- Protect home education programs from any state oversight except
what is contained in the statutory law enacted by the General
Assembly in this bill;

- Require the parent to provide an annual written notification of the
home education program to the local public school superintendent
within in 30 days of commencing the program;

- Require that the annual notice include only the name, address, and
age of the child and the name of the parent supervising the program;

- Continue to require 180 days of instruction each year or 900 hours
at the elementary level or 990 hours at the secondary level;

- Establish course requirements similar to current law;

- Establish graduation requirements essentially the same as current
law but also entitling graduates of home education programs to
receive all of the rights, benefits, and privileges of other high
school graduates; and

- Permit the parent of a special needs child to conduct a home
education program without the approval of a state-certified special
education teacher or a clinical or school psychologist, a requirement
now exclusive to Pennsylvania.

BACKGROUND

H.B. 2560 presents an extraordinary opportunity for home educators in
Pennsylvania to remove the burdensome and unnecessary administrative
requirements of current law. These requirements not only take
parents' time away from the instruction of children but also expend
public school resources for which there is no allocation or
reimbursement by the state. By enacting this legislation,
Pennsylvania would join a growing majority of states that have
revised their home school laws to make them less restrictive. The
home educators of Pennsylvania have earned the right to less state
intrusion oversight after demonstrating their success under the
current law for the past 14 years.

As a lawyer who has spent over 11 years at HSLDA assisting our member
families in Pennsylvania, I can say from first-hand experience that
passage of H.B 2560 will eliminate many of the legal problems home
schooling families in your state face. HSLDA's long-term goal
continues to be the repeal of all compulsory attendance laws, but in
the meantime we will support efforts to make laws incrementally
better for home educators. We believe this bill would make great
strides toward our ultimate goal, so we wholeheartedly support this
legislation and ask that you do so as well.

To read my response to objections to H.B. 2560 raised by its
opponents, go to:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=416

To review a copy of the bill text, go to:
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/BT/2001/0/HB2560P3799.HTM

To view a complete list of bills HSLDA is monitoring in the state of
Pennsylvania, visit our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=417

If you have any questions or concerns about what this bill would do,
please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.

Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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