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4/3/2003 4:34:41 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia--Governor Signs Bill Abolishing Four-year Rule

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 3, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Governor Bob Wise made history yesterday when he signed Senate Bill
206, abolishing West Virginia's archaic four-year rule, and putting
his stamp of approval on a bill supported by every West Virginia
legislator except Lidella Wilson Hrutkay (District 19, Logan County).

This is the culmination of many years of work. In 1999, HSLDA,
Christian Home Educators of West Virginia (CHEWV), and West Virginia
Home Educators Association (WVHEA) corresponded about the idea of
launching a campaign to abolish the four-year rule, understanding
very well that it could take years. The first attempt was Senate
Bill 189, filed in the 2000 legislative session. Although not
completely successful, the legislature acknowledged a change was
needed, and approved a one-year waiver of the four-year rule.

In the following legislative session, we filed House Bill 2595.
After a very tough fight, ultimate success once again evaded us, but
the legislature agreed to waive the four-year rule for two additional
years.

As the two-year waiver came due for expiration, we knocked on the
door once again, and on January 22, 2003, filed Senate Bill 181
(subsequently known as Senate Bill 206). As with the two previous
bills, we faced intense opposition from teacher's unions and others
as well as efforts to take away important freedoms. With literally
minutes remaining on the last day of the legislative session,
however, Senate Bill 206 flew through the legislature with only two
nay votes, one of which was the result of a lawmaker pushing the
wrong button.

As we rejoice over this victory for homeschool families, we can look
back and say we did not give up, nor did our hunger for freedom grow
dull.

A TIME TO GIVE THANKS

Please consider sending Governor Wise a brief letter of thanks, or
email, for his decision to sign the bill. After the bill was sent to
his office, he had fifteen days by law to decide what action to take.
The Governor could have done nothing, and the bill would still have
become law. His decision to sign the bill only six days after
receiving it and indicates a willingness to be part of this
homeschooling success.

John Carey, legislative coordinator for CHEWV, has sacrificed
hundreds of hours of his own time so that others could be blessed.
We all owe him a debt of gratitude both for his untiring labor and
for his unfailing humble, noble, Christ-like attitude in the most
difficult of situations.

CHEWV has been tremendously supportive of this entire campaign in
many ways, including encouraging their members to call and write
lawmakers and attend legislative sessions. Representatives of West
Virginia Home Educators Association have provided important support
for the campaign, some of which has not been obvious to the public
eye.

For those of you who prayed, worked, hoped, and waited, you know your
prayers were answered. Thank you, and well done!

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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