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Date:
From:
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2/27/2003 4:34:30 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Favorable Revisions to Homeschool Law

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 27, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

I am pleased to share with you that on February 19, 2003, legislation
was introduced in New York which would eliminate the most burdensome
restrictions of the law governing home instruction programs since
1988. If this legislation is enacted, parents would no longer be
subject to the regulatory provisions of Section 100.10 of the
Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

The Senate version of the bill is Senate Bill 2060 introduced by
Senator John Kuhl. Senator Kuhl was the primary sponsor of identical
legislation last year which passed the Senate Education Committee but
was not considered by the full Senate by the end of the legislative
session.

The Assembly version of the bill, Assembly Bill 4598, contains the
same language as Senate Bill 2060. It was introduced by Members of
Assembly Harvey Weisenberg, Nancy Calhoun, Gary Finch, Brian Kolb,
Daniel O'Connell, and Bob Oaks. It also has 12 other co-sponsors in
the Assembly.

REQUESTED ACTION

(1) We urge you to contact the members of the Senate Education
Committee, listed on our website at
( http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=712 ), with this message:

"Please vote for Senate Bill 2060 which will relieve public school
officials and homeschooling parents from burdensome administrative
tasks. Home educators have earned the right to regulatory relief
after demonstrating their success under the current law for the past
15 years."

(2) Please contact your state senator and give him the same message.

(3) Please contact the members of the Assembly Education Committee,
listed on our website at ( http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=713 ),
with this message:

"Please vote for Assembly Bill 4598 which will relieve public school
officials and homeschooling parents from burdensome administrative
tasks. Home educators have earned the right to regulatory relief
after demonstrating their success under the current law for the past
15 years."

(4) Please contact your own assemblyman and give him the same
message.

To get the name and telephone number of your senator and assemblyman,
use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox. If
you do not have Internet access, you can call the legislature.

- Assembly Public Information Department: 518-455-4218 (for your
assemblyman).
- Office of the Secretary of the Senate: 518-455-2051 (for your
senator).

By far, the most influential method of communicating with your state
legislators is by personal letter. Please take time to write to your
senator or assemblyman about this important regulation. If you are
unable to write, a telephone call is the next most effective means of
lobbying your legislators.

REASONS WE SUPPORT THIS LEGISLATION

Senate Bill 2060 and Assembly Bill 4598 would make the following
changes in the current law:

- eliminate the requirement of an Individualized Home Instruction
Plan (IHIP);

- eliminate the requirement of quarterly reports;

- eliminate required subjects at all grade levels;

- permit the alternative method of evaluation (instead of
standardized testing) every year;

- permit parents who wish to test their children to choose any
nationally-normed standardized achievement test, in addition to a
State Education Department test or another approved test;

- eliminate the requirement that the local superintendent consent to
the person who administers a standardized achievement test or who
conducts the alternative method of evaluation;

- lower the minimum standardized test score from above the 33rd
percentile to above the 23rd percentile; and

- eliminate the provision for home visits while a home instruction
program is on probation.

BACKGROUND

If this legislation is enacted into law, it will not only relieve
parents and public school officials of time-consuming administrative
tasks, it will significantly increase the freedom of home educators
in New York to direct the education of their children. New York has
the potential through this legislation to go from the state with the
most restrictive homeschool law in the nation to a state with one of
the most favorable laws for home educators.

As a lawyer who has spent the past 12 years at HSLDA assisting our
member families in New York, I can say from first-hand experience
that passage of Senate Bill 2060 and Assembly Bill 4598 will
virtually eliminate all of the legal problems for homeschooling
families in your state. While all of us would prefer a law completely
exempting students receiving home instruction from the compulsory
attendance requirements, it is not politically feasible at this time.
HSLDA's goal continues to be the repeal of all compulsory attendance
laws, but in the meantime we will support efforts to make laws
incrementally better for homeschoolers. We believe this legislation
would make great strides toward our ultimate goal, so we
wholeheartedly support these bills and ask that you do so as well.

To see more information on these and other bills HSLDA is monitoring
in New York, visit our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/NY/default.asp

Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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