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Date:
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8/23/2002 4:56:45 PM
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
HSLDA Meets with Director of Department of Defense Schools

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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August 23, 2002

Dear HSLDA Military Members and Friends,

As part of Home School Legal Defense Association's ongoing efforts to
facilitate good relations between the United States military and home
schooling families involved with the military, HSLDA Senior Counsel
Chris Klicka and National Center for Home Education Director Tom
Washburne met with Dr. Tafoya, Director of the Department of Defense
Education Activities (DODEA), earlier this spring.

The April 8 meeting helped military officials better understand this
highly effective educational alternative and resulted in several
agreements that will enhance accurate implementation of a recent
federal home school measure--House Resolution 830.

At the end of 2001, Congress attached H.R. 830, drafted by HSLDA, as
an amendment to the Defense Reauthorization Act. This language
amended the Defense Dependent's Act of 1978 to allow home school
students who were eligible for enrollment in a school of the overseas
Defense Dependent's Education System to use auxiliary services of
such schools.

Up until this point, military home schoolers overseas were only
allowed to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities
if they actually enrolled their children in two or more classes in
the DOD school. Most home schoolers did not want to be enrolled in
the school, but simply wanted to participate in an occasional sport
or extracurricular activity. H.R. 830 directed the military to allow
home schoolers to participate in extracurricular activities without
DOD enrollment.

At the meeting, Chris Klicka gave a presentation describing the
legalities of civilian and military home schooling throughout the
U.S. and overseas. He also presented research demonstrating the
academic and social achievement of home school students.

Concerning the implementation of H.R. 830--the new "Equal Access
Amendment" for the military, several points of agreement were reached
at the meeting.

- First, Director Tafoya concurred that H.R. 830 only applies to U.S.
military and civilians working for the Department of Defense for at
least one year or more. Any others are not covered and may
participate only on a space-available basis and must pay for DODEA
services.

- Second, since there is a need for identification of eligible home
school children, HSLDA and the director concurred that the
identification of eligible home school children would be through
simply submitting a copy of the orders that the civilian working for
the military or the military member had received. To protect the
privacy of the family, the copies of the orders would be destroyed at
the end of the academic year and no permanent records would be kept.

- Third, for security reasons, Director Tafoya agreed the military
would be very careful to notify parents of home school children about
various activities sponsored by the DODEA. Various methods of
notification were discussed, such as notices on bulletin boards at
the DODEA schools and postings on the websites that would direct
contact to the military home school support group on the base.

- Fourth, it was agreed that HSLDA would have an opportunity to
review the DODEA's draft home schooling policy and also contribute to
a memo answering a series of frequently asked questions to ensure a
common understanding among all involved parties.

HSLDA believes that the more the military understands home schoolers
and respects their freedom, the better. We will continue to monitor
the situation closely and will provide updates as needed.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel


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