From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
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1/8/2003 4:28:51 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
North Dakota--Legislation Threatens Homeschool Freedoms

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 8, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On December 30, 2002, the House Education Committee of the North
Dakota Legislative Assembly introduced a bill at the request of the
Superintendent of Public Instruction which would effectively destroy
home education in North Dakota. This is not an exaggeration.
Designated as House Bill 1182, this legislation would require
homeschool students to meet the state content and achievement
standards on the state tests required of public school students.
Since the state standards are derived from the public school
curriculum, parents conducting home instruction will be forced to use
public school textbooks in order to teach the same content. Home
education in North Dakota would essentially become public school at
home.

The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires states to test
public school students on state content and achievement standards at
various grade levels. However, the federal law prohibits states from
including homeschool students in this testing. If North Dakota wants
to continue to receive federal funds for education, it must enact a
law to require additional testing of public school students, but the
Superintendent of Public Instruction is wrongly attempting to include
homeschool students.

This bill must be defeated before it gains any momentum. It is
crucial that you contact all members of the House Education Committee
as well as your own state representative to express your opposition
to this bill.

REQUESTED ACTION

(1) Please contact the members of the House Education Committee
listed below and your own state representative with this message:

"Please vote against House Bill 1182 which violates the right of
parents to choose the curriculum they consider best for their own
children. The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 specifically
prohibits states from mandating that homeschool students take state
assessments. Enactment of this bill will jeopardize all federal
funding for education in North Dakota."

A letter is the most effective means of influencing legislators. If
you choose not to write, please call and email the state
representatives. They need to hear from every homeschooling family in
North Dakota.



House Education Committee:

- Rep. RaeAnn G. Kelsch, Chairman
611 Craig Drive, Mandan, ND 58554-2353
701-255-1824
rkelsch@state.nd.us

- Rep. Dennis Johnson
122 North Burke Road, Devils Lake, ND 58301-8942
701-662-4998
djohnson@state.nd.us

- Rep. C. B. Haas
3519 94th Avenue SW, Taylor, ND 58656-9646
701-974-3535
chaas@state.nd.us

- Rep. Lyle Hanson
337 15th Avenue NE, Jamestown, ND 58401-3830
701-251-1654
lhanson@state.nd.us

- Rep. Kathy Hawken
503 Southwood Drive, Fargo, ND 58103-6033
701-293-5483
khawken@state.nd.us

- Rep. Gil Herbel
1439 LaVergne Avenue, Grafton, ND 58237
701-376-5377
gherbel@state.nd.us

- Rep. Bob Hunskor
P.O. Box 1, Newburg, ND 58762-000
701-272-6283
bhunskor@state.nd.us

- Rep. Lisa Meier
1713 South Third Street, Bismarck, ND 58504
701-255-4166
lmeier@state.nd.us

- Rep. Phillip Mueller
1632 101st Avenue SE, Wimbledon, ND 58492
701-435-2737
pmueller@state.nd.us

- Rep. Jon O. Nelson
4680 71st Street NE, Wolford, ND 58385-9536
701-477-8900
jonelson@state.nd.us

- Rep. Mike Norland
218 14th Street East, Williston, ND 58801
701-770-1657
mnorland@state.nd.us

- Rep. Margaret Sitte
808 Avenue C West, Bismarck, ND 58501
701-221-2104 ext. 321
msitte@state.nd.us

- Rep. Dorvan Solberg
11395 66th Street NW, Ray, ND 58849-9473
701-568-3614
dsolberg@state.nd.us

- Rep. Clark Williams
112 Third Avenue North, Wahpeton, ND 58075
701-642-4951
cdwilliams@state.nd.us

Note: The Legislative Assembly went into session on January 7, so you
may reach the state representatives by telephone at the State Capitol
at 1-888-635-3447.

(2) Please forward this E-lert to every homeschooling family you know
who is not a member of HSLDA and urge them to contact the Committee
members and their own state representative.

- To get the name of your state representative, use HSLDA's
Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox. If you do not
have Internet access, call the North Dakota legislative telephone
message center at 1-888-NDLEGIS (635-3447).

REASONS WE OPPOSE H.B. 1182

House Bill 1182 would make the following changes in the current law:

- eliminate standardized achievement testing of home education
students and instead require the same state tests given to public
school students;

- require home education students to achieve a test score meeting the
state's content standards in all subjects tested (currently reading
and mathematics, with science to be added by the 2007-08 school
year);

- prohibit parents from administering state tests to their own
children, even if the parent has all of the professional
qualifications required of test administrators;

- require state testing in grades 4, 8, and 12 under current law and
if the law for testing public school students is changed to comply
with federal law as expected, require testing every year in grades 3
through 8 and one year in grades 10 through 12 by the 2005-06 school
year.

BACKGROUND

On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left
Behind Act of 2001. Among other things, this federal law requires
states to test public school students in the areas of mathematics,
reading or language arts, and science at certain grade levels in
order to measure their achievement of state academic content and
achievement standards. North Dakota's plans to amend state law
regarding the testing of public school students are intended to
comply with the federal law. However, HSLDA added into this federal
law a provision which specifically excludes homeschools from the
testing requirement:

"Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect a home school,
whether or not a home school is treated as a home school or a private
school under State law, nor shall any student schooled at home be
required to participate in any assessment referenced in this
chapter."

The State Superintendent of Education's effort to include homeschool
students in the state assessments is a clear violation of federal law
and should result in the loss of all federal funding for education in
North Dakota.

To review a copy of the bill text, go to:
http://www.state.nd.us/lr/assembly/58-2003/bill_text/DQVV0100.pdf

To review a copy of the letter I sent to Dr. Wayne G. Sanstead, State
Superintendent of Public Instruction, about this legislation, go to:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/nd/200301070.asp

To review a copy of Chris Klicka's memorandum on the No Child Left
Behind Act of 2001, go to:
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200301080.asp


Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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