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5/6/2003 11:23:05 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--House Education Committee Passes Homeschool Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 6, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

More good news! This past Friday the House Education Committee voted
5 to 2 in favor of Senate Bill 761. The Committee added some
amendments to address truancy concerns, none of which significantly
affects the original intent of the bill. S.B. 761 now goes to the
full House for a vote. If it passes the House it will return to the
Senate for concurrence with House amendments.

Thursday, May 8, 2003, is the day for the Homeschool "Apple Pie Day"
Rally in Salem! This is the best opportunity you will have during
this legislative session to demonstrate your support for needed
changes to the homeschool law. Lawmakers need to see hundreds of
freedom-loving homeschoolers on the grounds of the Capitol cheering
in favor of much needed legislative reform. Tom Washburne, Director
of HSLDA's National Center for Home Education, will be speaking in
support of Senate Bill 761.

The rally will take place at 12:15 p.m. on the front steps (on the
Court Street side) of the Capitol Building. For more information
about the "Apple Pie Day" rally, visit:
http://www.oceanetwork.org/alerts/home_education_week.cfm .

Your calls and letters to members of the Oregon House of
Representatives, and your presence at the rally, is crucial to
passage of this legislation. This legislation will not be enacted
without your active participation in lobbying legislators to vote for
it.

REQUESTED ACTION

(1) Attend the rally with your family on Thursday, May 8th. Make it a
field trip for your children to see democracy at work in the State
Capitol.

(2) Please contact your state representative and give him this
message:

"Please vote for Senate Bill 761 which will relieve homeschooling
parents from unnecessary state oversight. Home educators have earned
the right to more freedom after demonstrating their success under the
law for the past 18 years."

To get the name, mailing address, and telephone number of your state
representative, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox. If you do not have Internet access, you
may call the legislature to find out information about your state
representative at one of the numbers below:

If you do not live in the Salem area, the toll free telephone number
is 800-332-2313. In the Salem area, the number is 503-986-1187. For
further information about your state representative, call the
Legislative Liaison at 503-986-1000.

By far, the most influential method of communicating with legislators
is by personal letter. Please take time to write to your state
representative about this important legislation. 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 761 would make the following changes in the current law:

- expand the educational options for homeschoolers by providing that
a child may be educated by the parent or legal guardian or "at the
direction of" a parent or legal guardian, thereby permitting parents
or guardians to appoint someone else to conduct some or all of the
instruction;

- repeal the requirement that parents notify the public school
officials of their decision to homeschool;

- repeal the testing requirements of the homeschool law, except for
students participating in interscholastic activities at a public
school; and

- remove the requirement that the education service district or
school district determine that a child under 18 is being homeschooled
in order to get a driver's license.

BACKGROUND

Oregon first enacted a homeschool law in 1985, approximately 18 years
ago. Since that time, numerous efforts have been made to enact
amendments providing more freedom to parents. The most recent change
in the law occurred in 1999 when significant progress was made in
reducing state oversight of homeschooling. Senate Bill 761 represents
a continuation of legislative efforts to gain more freedom for
parents.

If Senate Bill 761 is enacted, Oregon will join a growing majority of
states requiring no standardized testing of homeschooled students.
Further, public school officials will have no record of children
being homeschooled, because parents will not be required to even
notify public school officials of their decision to conduct home
instruction. Oregon has the potential through this legislation to go
from a state with a good homeschool law to a state with a great
homeschool law. Let's work hard together to get this done this year.

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

Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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