From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


8/29/2002 2:38:24 PM
J. Michael Smith, Esq., President of HSLDA
California--CALL TO ACTION

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

August 29, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Home School Legal Defense Association is joining with Family
Protection Ministries in asking you to oppose and take action
regarding a letter sent to the California Legislature from the State
Superintendent of Public Instruction requesting legislation on
private home education. Below you will find a copy of Family
Protection Ministries' alert. We encourage you to use HSLDA's
Legislative Toolbox to get the phone number for the State Senator and
Assembly Member whom you are asked to call. You will find the
Legislative Toolbox on our website at:

Michael Smith
President of HSLDA


Superintendent of Public Instruction, Delaine Eastin, has sent a
letter to the Legislature asking for a law to control private "home

Issue: Letter to state legislators requesting home education
legislation Author: Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction Position: Strongly OPPOSE the drafting of any legislation
addressing home education

Information Included in This Email:
A. Action Steps
B. Word-for-word Telephone Alert Message
C. Background Information

A. Action Steps:


By: Saturday, August 31, 2002

Because of the unresolved battle over the budget, the legislators are
likely to be in session well after Saturday, August 31, when they
normally adjourn for the fall.

Action Items:

** You can find out who your Assembly Member and State Senator are,
as well as get their phone numbers, at the following website:

** You can call the Capital Switchboard at 916-322-9900 to get the
phone number for your State Senator or Assembly Member.

1. Call your own State Senator.
(NOT U.S. Senators Boxer and Feinstein)
First try to call the Capitol Office. A second choice would be to
call at the district office.

2. Call your own Assembly Member.
First try to call the Capitol Office. A second choice would be to
call at the district office.
In the following numbers, replace the "XX" with your two-digit
Assembly District Number.
Capitol Office Phone for any Assembly Member = (916) 319-20XX
Capitol Office Fax for any Assembly Member = (916) 319-21XX
(For example, If you live in Assembly District 4, represented by Rico
Oller, you can call Mr. Oller at (916) 319-2004)

3. You may follow up your phone call with a brief fax.
Fax your letter to your State Senator and Assembly Member by
August 31.

4. Emails are almost universally ignored. Most legislators have an
automated standard answer that will thank you for contacting their
office on "this important issue," but they do not take the time to
actually read your emails. Please make a phone call and send a fax


B. Word-for-word Telephone Alert Message

(If disseminating by telephone, dictate this message word-for-word)

"Ask your State Senator and Assembly Member to ignore Delaine
Eastin's request for home school legislation. Private home schoolers
have successfully and legally operated for years as private schools
under the current laws. Parents who privately home school are doing
an excellent job, are not asking for government funding, and do not
need more regulation."


C. Background Information

Delaine Eastin's Letter:

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Delaine Eastin, sent a letter
about private home education to state legislators on August 27, 2002.
In her letter, Eastin begins by stating,

"Over the last few weeks, the Department of Education has been
characterized in some circles as being engaged in a campaign to
harass home schoolers and to root out home schooling in California.
My staff and I have received dozens of angry telephone calls and
written communications that unfairly assume that the Department is
misapplying the state's compulsory education law in derogation of the
rights of parents, and a handful of conservative publications have
attacked our application of the law. None of these charges is true,
of course, but the amount of misinformation, and passion, in these
communications does make me believe that the situation cries out for
a legislative solution."

Eastin presents a distorted view of homeschoolers' establishing of
private schools by stating,

"In the more recent past, we believe that aggressive home school
advocates have counseled home schoolers to attempt to bring their
practice within the private school exemption by filing a Private
School Affidavit. Home school advocates apparently assume that, once
such a Private School Affidavit is filed, the home schooled children
are no longer truant under the compulsory education law."

During the 1980's, the CDE openly supported private "homeschooling."
It was not until the 90's that the CDE changed their position, in
spite of the fact that no law in California had changed.

Eastin erroneously tells the legislators that "if home schooled
children ... were exempted from compulsory education laws by the mere
filing of an affidavit ... then there would be potentially thousands
of children in California whose education would not be subject to any
supervision whatsoever." (Apparently parental supervision does not
count to Delaine

The letter concludes with a plea for "careful consideration by the
Legislature" of "the issue of homeschooling in our state."

Why We Don't Need Legislation:

Private home educators in California have successfully and legally
complied with the private school laws for more than two decades. No
law in California has changed. The laws relating to private schools
do not limit schools by size, location, relation of pupils to
teachers and administrators, teaching materials, nor state approval
of teachers via credential or license. The CDE has erroneously
claimed during the past ten years that private schools must be
"businesses, soliciting enrollment from the public at large;" that
they must offer "services for compensation;" and more. Local public
school Authorities have generally ignored such statements, and home
education has continued to grow and prosper. Also for at least the
past 20 years, the State Legislature has not only understood, but
supported the right of parents to establish and operate private
schools in their homes.

In fact, home education has been demonstrated to be so effective and
so popular that the CDE jumped on the bandwagon, first by encouraging
independent study programs through the public schools, and then by
soliciting enrollment in charter schools. Many homeschooling parents
have received letters inviting them to attend information meetings
about homeschool programs offered by the new charter schools which
have sprung up across the state. These "invitations" are typically
accompanied by a statement that private "home schooling" is illegal,
but "join us and you'll be fine." Homeschoolers who desire to
continue with private home education have simply ignored these

"Homeschooling" is well established both in California and in the
nation as a viable means of educating children. All that is new this
year is that the CDE has prepared and launched a new system for
private schools to file affidavits online. The new program, as should
have been expected, has raised questions among private schools. These
questions have been exacerbated over the summer by letters from CDE
which have tried to intimidate homeschoolers into joining the public
school programs for homeschoolers, including public ISPs and charter
schools. For the most part, these letters contain nothing new.

California has long been recognized as a leader among states,
including in areas of respect for individual freedom. Every other
state in the union allows for private home education. In twelve
states, including California, private "homeschools" operate legally
as private schools. In California, homeschoolers enjoy a great degree
of freedom under the private school laws, because those laws were
rightly enacted to restrict government jurisdiction over them.

In nearly every state where a specific "home school law" has been
passed, the new law has resulted in more regulation of home schoolers
than we have in California. Indeed, this is what Delaine Eastin
requests in her letter. She asks the Legislature to consider state
authorization, "conditions" to be placed upon the "quality of
education being offered in a home school," and delineating of
"qualifications or resources that a parent needs" to homeschool his
child. If the Legislature chooses to address Eastin's concerns, we
can be assured that there will be an attempt to put more restrictions
on homeschoolers. Eastin states these restrictions are needed in part
to "ensure some level of quality and innovation."


"Quality and innovation" are the hallmarks of home education.
Legislation means regulation, and it should be clear to all who love
home education that regulation is a sure barrier to innovation and
quality in education.

For more information on the legality of private home education in
California, and to monitor this situation and the new procedure for
filing affidavits, visit the following website:

Please pray for a proper outcome.

KEEP this Alert as a reference for future HELP Tree Alerts. Reprint
this for your friends, church, school, and group.

The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733

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