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9/18/2002 12:23:53 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Louisiana-Officials Want to "Tighten Up" on Homeschools

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 18, 2002


Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On August 13 2002, three Louisiana legislators met with several child
welfare and attendance officers and a Christian Home Educators
Fellowship (CHEF) of Louisiana representative. Beryl Amedee, wife of
CHEF of LA President John Amedee, represented CHEF at the meeting.
Mrs. Amedee attended the meeting expecting to offer constructive
suggestions for improving Louisiana's truancy laws. Instead, she was
told the meeting was dedicated to announcing the intent to "tighten
up" on homeschools in Louisiana.

After the meeting, these legislators wrote to Cecil Picard,
Superintendent of the Louisiana Department of Education. Their letter
states, "We are interested in filing bills for the 2003 Regular
Session to tighten up on the requirements for home study and home
schooling." The legislature will begin its session on March 31, 2003.
This gives us five months to get organized and block this
legislation. Visit the link below to read the letter.

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/LA/letter_to_picard.pdf

REQUESTED ACTION

PRAY. Homeschoolers across America have defeated many legislative
proposals over the last ten years, because God has been gracious to
us. We urge every believing family to pray that God will deliver us
once again.

ORGANIZE. Please pass this e-lert on to other families you know, and
urge them to join HSLDA and/or sign up for HSLDA's free e-lerts on
our website. http://www.hslda.org/elert/default.asp

CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES. Please find your state
representative and senator by typing in your zip code on HSLDA's
legislative toolbox. http://www.hslda.org/toolbox

Review the letter that has gone to the State Superintendent of
Education carefully, then call your representative and senator and
ask them to oppose any additional restrictions on homeschoolers. Be
sure to ask them whether they support homeschool freedom. Please e-
mail HSLDA with any information you receive concerning the position
of your legislators. We will compile a list of which legislators
support homeschooling and which ones are willing to regulate it.

BACKGROUND

CHEF's Beryl Amedee attended the meeting between the legislators and
truant officers, but was not able to persuade the other attendees to
drop the idea of regulating homeschoolers. She soon learned that
they did not want ideas on how to prevent dropouts, which was the
original purpose for the meeting. Rather the agenda was solely to
declare a plan to introduce legislation to further regulate
homeschoolers.

Some of the possibilities suggested were:

> Give the power to oversee homeschoolers to the local school
districts instead of the state DOE.

> Make yearly testing of all homeschoolers mandatory, and the passing
of tests a criteria for approval to continue homeschooling.

> Charge the homeschool family an annual registration fee of $35 or
$150 per year so that the state or local school districts would have
enough money to effectively regulate the homeschoolers.

> Require that parents who wish to homeschool must have a minimum of
a high school diploma or GED before they can begin.

> Require that if homeschoolers continue to apply for the home study
program using a "list of books used" as part of their proof, they
must use books off of a BESE approved book list.

Obviously any of these proposals are unacceptable.

CONCLUSION

HSLDA and CHEF of Louisiana are committed to protecting the right to
homeschool free of government regulation. We will fight these new
proposals, but we need your help too. Please spread the word and
prepare for action!

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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