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5/19/2003 5:31:14 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Homeschool Freedom Bill Stalled in Committee

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 19, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Assembly Bill 4598, the Homeschool Freedom Bill, is stalled in the
New York Assembly Committee on Education. We must employ the most
effective means of lobbying legislators if this bill is even to be
scheduled for a vote, a personal letter from a constituent by regular
mail. That's why we are asking you to take time today to write two
brief but important letters.

The committee will take no action on this bill unless its Chairman,
Assemblyman Steven Sanders, schedules it for a vote. Then the bill
will be passed only if a majority of the Committee members believe it
is a good bill with overwhelming support in the homeschool community.
One of your letters should go to Assemblyman Stevens and the other to
another member of the Committee.

The Senate version of the legislation, Senate Bill 2060, passed the
Senate Education Committee on March 18, 2003. We have been informed
that the full Senate will pass this legislation. However, the full
Senate will not even vote on its bill until action is taken by the
Assembly Education Committee on Assembly Bill 4598. The Senate does
not want to take the time to vote on a bill that is likely to die in
the Assembly. Your letters to members of the Assembly Education
Committee can work to change that.

Your letters are crucial to passage for this legislation. A.B. 4598
will not be enacted without your active participation.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please write two letters, one to Assemblyman Steven Sanders, Chairman
of the Assembly Education Committee, and the other to another member
of the Committee whose last name starts with the same letter as yours
or some other member of your choice. The committee members and their
mailing addresses are listed on our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=860 . Respectfully ask for the
Assemblyman's support of Assembly Bill 4598. In your own words, tell
them:

"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."

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. If passed, Senate Bill
2060 and Assembly Bill 4598 would eliminate 75% of the burdensome
restrictions of the current home school law.

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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