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Date:
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6/23/2003 2:47:43 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Idaho--Task Force Considers Regulating Homeschoolers; Urgent Email Needed

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 23, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

In a surprise development, Idaho homeschoolers are suddenly faced
with the possibility of mandatory registration, testing, and
oversight.

An Education Task Force appointed by the Governor is scheduled to
vote tomorrow on recommendations for regulating homeschoolers. Your
email and faxes are needed today and tomorrow morning to let the
Governor's Task Force know homeschoolers do not need or want any more
regulation.

If the measures are enacted, any student who fails to register or who
fails to score at grade level on the Idaho Standard Achievement Test
(ISAT) could be forced to attend public school.

The Education Committee has a number of members whom we believe are
philosophically opposed to home education, including the Executive
Director of the Idaho Education Association (IEA) and four
professional educators, making the potential for harm more likely--
UNLESS the Task Force hears from you now.

ACTION REQUESTED

IMMEDIATELY email or fax this message (in your own words) to Governor
Dirk Kempthorne and the members of the Task Force listed below:

"Homeschooling works without needless government oversight. Please
reject all recommendations to add restrictions on homeschooling
freedoms. Studies document that more government regulations DO NOT
make better homeschool students."

Include a paragraph about the success of your homeschool too and send
today or tomorrow morning to the following people:

1) Send an email or fax to all Task Force members. Begin "Dear
Members of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force..." and it will be
routed to all 47 members. Email: cbrush@jobservice.us, Fax: 208-
332-7417.

2) Governor Dirk Kempthorne
Email: governor@gov.state.id.us
Fax: 208-334-2175

3) Lt. Governor James Risch
Email: jrisch@lgo.state.id.us
Fax: 208-334-2175

BACKGROUND

Governor Dirk Kempthorne created his 2020 Blue Ribbon Task Force
during October 2002. The 47 members of the Task Force were assigned
to five committees including an Education Committee. Each committee
was charged with the task of producing a "blueprint that will guide
development of an efficient, effective system of government that we
hope will serve Idaho for at least the next 20 years."

Each committee then generated and considered "Draft Recommendations"
attempting to fulfill this goal within the area of its jurisdiction.

Recently, the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE) received a
report that a Draft Recommendation concerning home education was
under consideration by the Education Committee. Ray Smelek,
responded to the ICHE's inquiries and forwarded a copy of the Draft
Recommendation which he had drafted in consultation with personnel
from the Idaho Department of Education.

The Education Committee is scheduled to consider the Draft
Recommendation at its final meeting this Tuesday, June 24, 2003. If
adopted, it would then be presented to the full Task Force on that
same day. If approved by the Task Force, the Recommendation would
then be forwarded to the Governor to begin the process of seeking its
implementation.

Mr. Smelek, to his credit, after hearing arguments from Barry Peters
of ICHE, promised he will personally recommend to the Education
Committee "no action" on the Draft Recommendation on Homeschooling.

The Draft Recommendation requires:

> Mandatory registration and oversight of all homeschoolers by their
local school districts;

> Required testing of all homeschoolers on the Idaho Standard
Achievement Test (ISAT);

> Forced remediation and reassessment of any homeschool student
failing to score at grade level as required of public school
students;

> Truancy and juvenile criminal prosecution of students and parents
failing to comply with these requirements.

Please pray and take time to contact the Task Force and Governor.
Your action will make a difference!

Yours for freedom,

Christopher Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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