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6/10/2003 2:49:12 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--Legislature Now Closed for 2003

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 10, 2003

Dear Texas Members and Friends,

Thank you for all of your hard work this legislative season! Because
of your calls, letters, and email, we have been able to accomplish
several major victories for homeschoolers in Texas. Tom Sanders,
HSLDA's Legislative Counsel, was in Austin nearly every week during
the legislative session, lobbying on your behalf to make these
successes a reality.

1) Homeschoolers killed S.B. 586, the homeschool registration bill.
Our consistent message was "no compromise," and the sponsor got that
message from your calls (over a thousand as estimated by a staffer).

2) A steady barrage of calls and a providential budget shortfall
stopped Senator Zaffrini's compulsory attendance bill, S.B. 30.

3) Together we passed H.B. 944 which ensures that homeschoolers
cannot be discriminated against for college admissions. We
successfully removed the term "home school" from H.B. 944 and from
several other bills, changing it to "private school" in order to
remain consistent with the Texas Supreme Court precedent in the
Leeper case. This was crucial to avoid potential regulation and
classification of "home schools" in future legislatures.

4) We worked on H.B. 374, the corporal punishment bill and were able
to get the bill to the Senate where it unfortunately died. But this
year's investment will make the likelihood of success next session
more certain.

5) H.B. 1752, the child welfare reform bill, was bold and filled with
common sense reforms for Child Protective Services. The social worker
lobby, however, was too strong and the bill failed. We worked hard to
get that bill introduced but we will be back next session.

6) In spite of the defeat of HB 1752, Texas homeschoolers and
families will be better protected from Child Protective Services
(CPS) workers then ever before. HSLDA's amendment requiring social
worker training in constitutional rights has become law. The language
states, "It is the intent of the Legislature that the training
curriculum for CPS Caseworkers funded out of Strategy A.1.2, Child
and Family Services, include instruction in the Fourth Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution and parents' rights." Most social workers we
deal with, who have received an anonymous accusation against a
homeschool family, routinely ignore the family's parental and due
process rights. This law will help prevent that from happening.

7) We monitored several other pieces of legislation that could have
been harmful to homeschoolers in Texas.

See our web page for more information at:
http://www.hslda.org/legislation/state/TX/default.asp

Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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