From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


2/20/2003 1:50:40 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Montana--Calls Needed to Support Bill Authorizing Parent-Taught Driver Education

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

February 20, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

You state Senators need to hear from you this morning.

Senate Bill 295 in Montana would authorize a parent to become a
certified instructor for teaching driver's education to his own
child. It appeared that this bill was dead after a very close 24-25
vote by the full Senate on Wednesday of this week. However, because
of special rules allowing the sponsor of a failed bill to request a
reconsideration of the previous day's vote, SB 295 is going to be
reconsidered by the full Senate again today. The session will begin
at 1:00 p.m. so it is vitally important that the Senators hear from
as many parents as possible by noon today. If the bill passes today,
there will be a final vote on it tomorrow.


Please call, fax, or e-mail as many state Senators as possible
expressing your support of Senate Bill 295. Thank those who voted in
favor of this bill previously and ask them to continue to support
this legislation. Ask those Senators who voted against the bill to
reconsider their position and vote in favor of this legislation. You
may use this suggested message:

"Please vote in favor of Senate Bill 295 which would authorize
parents to teach driver's education to their children. This
legislation will guarantee access to driver's education to all

Senators supporting SB 295:

Anderson, Bales, Barkus, Black, Butcher, Cromley, Curtiss, DePratu,
Esp, Gebhardt,
Glaser, Grimes, Johnson, Mahlum, McGee, McNutt, O'Neil, Perry,
Stapleton, Story, Tash,
Taylor, Thomas, Keenan (Senate President).

Senators opposing SB 295:

Bohlinger, Cobb, Cocchiarella, Cooney, Ellingson, Elliott, Hansen,
Kitzenberg, Laible, Mangan, McCarthy, Nelson, Roush, Ryan, Schmidt,
Shea, Sprague, Squires, Stonington, Tester, Toole, Tropila, Wheat,

To get the name of your state senator, use HSLDA's Legislative
Toolbox at If you do not have Internet
access, call the Montana Legislature at 406-444-4800.

Legislative voice messages: (406) 444-4800
Fax: (406) 444-4875
E-mail addresses for Senators can be found at:


- The student will receive 12 months of supervised driving. (Some
public schools offer the program in as little as a two-week period.)

- The student will drive a minimum of five hours each month for 12
months (Public schools only require six total hours of driving.)

- The new permit is 24 months in length, so if a parent believes his
child needs more than the required 12 months, he can continue the
training process up to two years. (The current student driver permits
are only for six months. The old permits will not change and will
remain available.)

- Parents have the flexibility to choose a driver's education
curriculum that best meets the needs of their family.

- Many families now are only receiving limited access to public
school driver's education programs.

- If public school access is unavailable, the students are denied a
driver's learning permit until age 16. SB 295 will allow students at
14 1/2 to receive a driver's permit. (Public schooled drivers
education students can receive a learner's permit at 14 1/2.)

- Public school driver's education programs vary in cost from just a
few dollars to around $400, becoming cost prohibitive to many

- Safety is a serious concern for many parents. In most public school
driver's education programs, the student is required to ride along
with another young, unlicensed, and inexperienced driver at the

- The public school driver's education programs should not have a
complete monopoly on the permits. Parents should not be restricted
from training their own children.

To view a copy of the bill text go to:


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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