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4/17/2003 3:00:12 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Homeschool Freedom Bill Passes Senate Committee, More Calls Needed

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 17, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Thank you for contacting your legislators about Senate Bill 2060 and
Assembly Bill 4598, the New York homeschool freedom bills. I am
pleased to report that the Senate Education Committee has approved
Senate Bill 2060 which now goes to the full Senate for a crucial
vote. It is expected to pass the Senate.

Assembly Bill 4598 will be considered by the Assembly Education
Committee shortly. This is the tougher battle.

Your calls and letters are needed to keep these bills moving. Only
with your involvement, can we be successful.

Senate Bill 2060 and Assembly Bill 4598 would eliminate 75% of the
burdensome restrictions of the current homeschool law.

REQUESTED ACTION

(1) We urge you to contact your state senator 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 the members of the Assembly Education Committee,
listed on our website at
(http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/State/ny/2003/NYAB4598/default.asp)
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."

(3) 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.

(4) Plan to attend the Homeschool Rally in Albany on Tuesday, April
29, 2003, to demonstrate your support for these bills. Tom Washburne,
Director of HSLDA's National Center for Home Education, will be
addressing the rally. You can obtain more information about the rally
at www.leah.org/rally.

Last year, over 1200 homeschoolers turned out for the rally and then
swarmed throughout the capitol. Many assemblymen and senators were
convinced to support the homeschool freedom bills. We need to build
on this investment again to make this year the bills pass!

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.

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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