From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
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1/31/2003 5:30:10 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Parent Taught Driver Education Needs Your Help!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 31, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

A bill that would give parents the right to teach the behind-the-
wheel portion of driver education to their own children passed out of
the House Transportation Committee late Tuesday. The full house is
scheduled to vote on the bill tomorrow, Saturday, February 1.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call your delegate and ask him or her to vote in favor or H.B.
2404. Your message can be as simple as, "Please vote in favor of
H.B. 2404. It will allow parents to teach behind-the-wheel driver
education to their own children using a program approved by the
Department of Education." Remember your delegate may not be familiar
with the bill.

You can find the name and contact information for your delegate in
our legislative toolbox at: www.hslda.org/toolbox.

BACKGROUND

Currently, students who want a driver's license must either take a
driver education course at a public school or an expensive course at
a commercial school. Most public schools do not let home school
students take their course. Some commercial schools charge as much
as $200 for the behind-the-wheel training. Sometimes there are long
waiting lists. Especially in rural areas, parents may need to drive
hours to get to a commercial school.

On January 28, the bill passed unanimously out of a subcommittee.
Late in the day it was presented to the full committee. Joe Guarino
of Home Educators Association of Virginia and I testified in support
of the bill. The Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of
Education testified that they had no objection to the bill.

Before the full committee, one delegate seemed to believe parents
were not qualified to do this. This is not a significant objection
since the student would still be required to pass the DMV's driver
test, and since the course itself would be approved by the Department
of Education.

During debate on the bill today, an amendment was added that would
make parent-taught behind the wheel driver education available to all
parents, not just homeschool parents.

REASONS TO SUPPORT H.B. 2404

1) After Colorado permitted homeschool parents to teach their own
children behind the wheel, traffic deaths dropped dramatically.

2) Commercial driver training is expensive.

3) Commercial driver training is not available in many communities.

4) Public schools often do not welcome homeschoolers to their
programs.

5) Homeschool parents are already allowed to teach the classroom
portion, and students would have more consistency in training if
parents are allowed to teach the behind the wheel portion.

6) The bill requires parents to have a good driving record (regarding
demerits, intoxication).

7) The Department of Education and the Department of Motor Vehicles
have no objection.

8) There is sometimes a long waiting list for other courses.

Thank you for standing with us to help increase parent's freedom in
teaching their children!

Very truly yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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