From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


6/18/2003 5:00:54 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Iowa--Online Public School Program Problematic for Homeschoolers

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

June 18, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Homeschool families across the state have received letters inviting
them to attend informational meetings about the "Iowa Virtual School
Program," (IAVSP) a program of the Pocahontas Area Community School
District (PACSD). We want to help you make a well-informed decision.

1. The IAVSP is a public school program. The government has ultimate
control of the education, not parents. HSLDA's mission is to promote
and protect the right of parents to privately control their
children's education. Children who enroll in the IAVSP will be not
eligible for membership in HSLDA.

2. Books and materials the IAVSP provides are subject to the same
requirements as other government school books. They are not allowed
to promote religious faith.

3. If a parent tries to use Christian books for a particular subject,
he might find their child's grade for the course, and eligibility for
a government school diploma, in jeopardy.

4. As with traditional public schools, the IAVSP is not giving
families who enroll a choice of curriculum. It is offering only one,
a secular curriculum.

5. You may waive certain parental rights by enrolling in IAVSP.

6. Students who enroll will be subject to the same laws as other
students in government schools. They will be forced to submit to the
same state testing. They will be eligible to receive a government
school diploma upon graduation if all requirements are met.

7. Last Friday, a leading federal court of appeals ruled that a
public school could give an "F" to a student who refused to
participate in a required health class because of religious
convictions. The parents wanted their son homeschooled for that one
course instead. Your child may receive an "F" on his permanent record
for any required class not taken. For the judge's entire ruling, go
to: (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

We have seen public schools across the country try to entice
homeschoolers back into the system with the lure of "freebies"
(money, computers, books, musical instruments) and relatively few
restrictions. Once the homeschooler gets comfortable with the free
materials or services, the school system then gradually adds
restrictions. Individuals are far more willing to accept government
restrictions after they have come to rely on government "help".

It is part of the human condition that we are easily tempted to give
up freedom to gain comfort. The homeschool movement is dramatic
proof, however, that tremendous blessings flow when we set aside
certain comforts to exercise greater freedom.


Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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Fax: (540) 338-2733

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