From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


8/14/2002 3:04:10 PM
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Illinois--Commission Recommends School Code Changes Affecting Home Schoolers

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Governor George Ryan announced on August 2nd that his "Governor's
Commission on Revising the Illinois School Code" had completed its
recommendations. Two recommended changes, if implemented, would
directly affect home schoolers. The first creates a "de facto" home
school registration by requiring ALL students submit proof of
immunization and a physical examination to their local public school
district. The second would lower the compulsory attendance age from
seven to six.


Home School Legal Defense Association urges home schoolers to testify
at the six different public hearings to be held throughout the state
from August 15 to September 19.

The hearings will be held in Godfrey, Carterville, Decatur, Chicago,
and Elgin.

Home schoolers MUST voice their opposition to the lowering of the
compulsory attendance age and the immunization registration
requirement. The record must show the opposition of Illinois
citizens to these particular changes. Home schoolers need not
identify themselves as such but simply as concerned citizens. There
is a possibility that no one else will speak in opposition. If this
happens it will give a "green light" for the recommendations to be
introduced as legislation in the next session.

Below is information on the six locations of the public hearings and
background on the Governor's report. HSLDA urges home schoolers to
take the opportunity to attend and testify at any of these hearings
if they are in your locality.

Hearing Locations:

August 15
Lewis & Clark Community College, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL
Trimpe Advanced Technology Center, Room 141
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Parking: Hathaway Lot, Next to Building

August 22
John A. Logan College, 700 Logan College Road, Carterville, IL
Ray Hancock Conference Center, Rooms F 118 & 119
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Parking: Main West Lot, (West Entrance)

August 29
Richland Community College, 1 College Park, Decatur, IL
Shilling Center, Salon 1 & 2, 1st Floor
5:00 pm 1 9:00 pm
Parking: Lot in front of College

September 5
Carl Sandburg College, 2400 T.L. Wilson Blvd., Galesburg, IL
F Building - Theater, 1st Floor
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Parking: Lots E & F

September 12
Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett, Chicago, IL
The Theater, Enter Main Building
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Parking: Street Parking

September 19
Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Road, Elgin, IL
Visual & Performing Arts Building, Blizzard Theatre
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Parking: Follow posted signs


The recommended school code amendments are 1,283 pages long. These
proposals include two major concerns for home schoolers. First, the
commission recommends the compulsory school attendance age to be
lowered from age seven to age six. Home schoolers are opposed to
this proposal since it would expand the jurisdiction of the state's
authority over their children and potentially limit parental choice.
Over the last two years, legislation to lower the compulsory
attendance age was almost single-handedly defeated by home schoolers.


Second, the Governor's recommendation would require that parents of
private and home schooled students must "submit proof of immunization
and physical examination with their local public school district or
regional office of education." A footnote to this change states that
the Commission is concerned about the "safety of all children." Such
a provision would create a de facto registration of all home
schoolers. Presently home schoolers are not required to register by
law with their local school district or regional office. If this
proposal is enacted by the legislature, home schoolers would have to
notify the public schools concerning their immunizations (or their
religious objection to them) and as a result, the public schools will
obtain the names of the children and families who home school.

HSLDA recommends that this language be changed to simply require the
immunization information be submitted to the school of attendance;
that would include the home or private school. In 1999, proposed
legislation to require home school families to submit their child's
immunization records with the local county health department was
soundly defeated by the pressure from home school parents.

It is also worth noting that due to what we were told was a
transcription mistake, the phrase "children being home schooled shall
register..." was included in the online version of the proposals of
the Governor's Commission. The phrase was stricken, however, giving
the mistaken impression that it is current law for home school
children to register. This, of course, is not true. Home schoolers
have never had to register with the local public schools. We are
disturbed that the Commission was even contemplating a change to the
present compulsory attendance law for home schoolers. Even though the
"mistake" has been corrected, this problem may indicate that the
Commission is not friendly toward home schooling families.

With you help, we can stop these dangerous changes to the school code
that would reduce the liberty of parents to make decisions for their
own children. Please stand with us for freedom by attending a public
hearing in your area.

Sincerely yours,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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