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9/9/2003 10:20:27 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Indiana--Popping Mishawaka's Bubble: Refusing Unauthorized, Tight Control Over Homeschooling

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 9, 2003

Dear HSLDA Member or Friend:

A member family in Mishawaka recently received a packet of
information from the City of Mishawaka that serves to warn us about
what might happen if homeschool families ever grow slack in defense
of their right to educate their own children at home.

According to Mishawaka's "Guidelines For Home Study," parents must:

1) Substantiate that they will provide equivalent instruction;
2) Initiate contact with the Indiana Department of Education;
3) Obtain a "school number" from the Department of Education;
4) File a "notice of intent;"
5) Acknowledge that the notice of intent is binding for one year;
6) Disclose each subject the child will be taught;
7) Disclose the "performance objectives" for each subject;
8) Disclose the name, qualifications, and experience, of every
teacher; and
9) Submit a daily instructional schedule indicating how many minutes
are taught each day in each subject.
10) In case parents are not sure how much time they should spend
teaching their own children, Mishawaka thoughtfully provides
recommended time allotments. According to the collective wisdom of
their school officials, for example, a third grader should receive
precisely 105 minutes per week in "motor skills development and
health/safety education."

These demands are preposterous, and-thankfully--none of the items
above are required under state law. Mishawaka is arrogating to itself
authority the people of Indiana have not granted it.

We recommend that families ignore Mishawaka's "Guidelines." If
homeschoolers submit to the unauthorized guidelines, it could give
officials a false sense of confidence tempting them to believe that
what they are doing is truly authorized. This false sense of
confidence could lead to persecution or harassment of the homeschool
families who choose to stand on their rights.

Mishawaka's vision for tight government control of home schooling is
no more than a dream in a soap bubble. For the sake of homeschool
freedom, the bubble needs to be popped.

Thank you for joining with us by saying "no" to Mishawaka and "yes"
to standing for liberty.

Sincerely,
Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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