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6/25/2003 12:17:55 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Louisiana--Legislature Adjourns with Mixed Results

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 25, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On Monday, June 23, the 2003 regular session of the Louisiana
Legislature adjourned. Thanks to your hard work and phone calls,
several dangerous bills were withdrawn or defeated, and another was
amended to address homeschooler's concerns.

HB 1341 would have made all citizens mandatory reporters of child
abuse. It was referred to the Committee on Administration of Criminal
Justice but never acted upon.

HB 935, which would have subsidized grandparents who go to court to
take custody away from their own children, was likewise killed in
committee.

SB 465, a bill which would have violated federal law by forcing
"approved" private schools to take criterion-referenced tests, died
in the Senate Education Committee.

HB 63 would have allowed schools to withhold copies of the student's
education record in certain cases. Thanks to opposition from
determined homeschoolers, the bill's sponsor withdrew it from the
House in April.

SB 460, which tied drivers' licenses to school attendance, was also
withdrawn.

One bill that managed to survive the legislative process was SB 303.
The first draft of this bill would have required every pastor to
report abuse, without any exceptions. When homeschoolers contacted
the Senate Committee on Judiciary A, it amended the bill to preserve
the right of priests and pastors to not report "confidential
communications." This amendment basically removes the harmful aspects
of this bill.

Several positive bills were introduced this year as well. HB 575,
which would have made TOPS scholarships available to military
families, passed the Education Committee but was never acted upon by
the Committee on Appropriations.

HB 261 would have permitted homeschoolers to participate in extra-
curricular activities at their local public schools. Although
reported favorably from the Education Committee, it failed final
passage in the House by a vote of 42-57.

Visit our website for more information on this legislation and
homeschooling in Louisiana:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/LA/default.asp

Louisiana homeschoolers can be proud of the difference they made in
this year's legislative session, and thankful that homeschool liberty
remains intact. By working hard and working together, we can continue
to preserve the blessings of liberty for homeschoolers throughout the
Bayou State.

Very truly yours,

Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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