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5/30/2003 3:52:34 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--House Passes Revisions to Homeschool Law

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 30, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Great news! The Oregon Senate voted 34-25 in favor of Senate Bill 761
yesterday after some debate on the bill. Many homeschoolers were able
to attend the session and showing their support with "Home Education
Freedom Works" stickers. For all of you who called and urged your
state senator to pass Senate Bill 761, your efforts helped bring
about this positive vote for homeschool freedom.

Senate Bill 761 now moves back to the Oregon Senate to concur with
the amendment made by the House. The Senate is expected to concur
with the amendment. The amendment is intended to address habitually
truant students.

Once the bill passes the Senate, it will go to the Governor for him
to either sign it into law or veto it. Since the Governor has urged
various legislators to vote "no" on Senate Bill 761 and has
threatened to veto this legislation, he needs to hear from
homeschoolers. This bill has come too far to be defeated by the
Governor's veto.

REQUESTED ACTION

We urge you to write Governor Kulongoski and ask him to sign Senate
Bill 761 into law. Simply write a short letter with the bill number
clearly visible and end the letter with your address and signature.
You may have each of your children write a letter, sending them in
separate envelopes. Write Governor Kulongoski at:

The Honorable Ted Kulongoski
Governor of Oregon
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047

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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