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Date:
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3/4/2003 3:54:32 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia--Calls Urgently Needed, House Education Committee Guts Homeschool Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 4, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The West Virginia House Education Committee has amended Senate Bill
181 (which was written to abolish the four-year rule) so that it
would totally repeal West Virginia's homeschool law and create a new
instrument of repression. As it currently stands, the bill would
give the State Board of Education power to write the rules governing
homeschooling. This would be disastrous for homeschool freedom.

Time is short. The legislative session is scheduled to end Saturday.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please call your delegate TODAY OR TOMORROW and ask him to vote
against SB 181. Your message may be as simple as, "Please vote
against SB 181. Our elected representatives, not bureaucrats, should
make the laws regarding home education."

2. You can go to our website at www.hslda.org/toolbox and enter your
zip code to find the name and contact information for your delegate.

3. Come to the state capitol as soon as possible and visit with your
delegate. Call your delegate and make an appointment and talk to him
face to face to help him understand the importance of this issue.

4. Pass this email on to every homeschool family and every person you
know who respects individual rights. Ask them to join in the fight
for homeschool freedom.

BACKGROUND

The State Board of Education is hostile to homeschooling and views it
as a threat to their near-monopoly of education. They resent
families who take their children out of the government education
system because each family's decision cuts thousands of dollars from
the pool of money they control.

It takes little imagination to anticipate what the board would do to
homeschooling if the legislature gives them power to make the rules
over us. They would suddenly have the power to enforce their "wish
list" of homeschool restrictions. They will use their power to
pressure homeschoolers to go back into the corrupt government
education system. The legislature must not allow those who are
hostile to us to govern us.

Members of the state board are appointed bureaucrats, not elected
representatives of the people. Because of this, they are not
accountable to the voters. If an elected representative does not do
the will of the people, he can be removed at the next election.
There is no way for voters to remove State Board of Education
members.

In states where bureaucrats have power to write regulations for
homeschoolers, we have found homeschoolers constantly on the
defensive. Regulators have the propensity to write more and more
regulations. We have found that regulators often push through
regulations despite overwhelming opposition.

The Maine Department of Education proposed a harmful rule about a
year ago. One hundred thirty homeschoolers attended the hearing to
oppose the rule, and many more wrote letters and sent emails. Not a
single person testified in favor of the rule. The department adopted
the rule anyway.

In Iowa, the state department of education violated a homeschool
regulation it had adopted. When this was brought to their attention
they said, "Well, maybe we just need to change the regulation."

Although there is a procedure that allows the West Virginia
legislature to overturn a state board regulation, as a practical
matter, it rarely happens.

For more information on this legislation visit our web page at:
http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/State/WV/2003/WVSB181/default.asp

Thank you for standing with us for freedom in this most urgent hour.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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