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Date:
From:
Subject:

1/20/2004 10:46:30 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Vermont--Homeschool Drivers Ed Options Proposed in Vermont

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 20, 2004

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

A bill has been introduced in the Vermont House of Representatives
that would enable homeschool parents to teach their children to
drive. Currently, a state approved driver ed course can only be
obtained through the public schools or a commercial driving school.
These options would still be available but this bill would provide
another option - a state-approved parent taught driving course.
Vermont House Bill 560 would require the Commissioner of Education
and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to approve at least one
driver's education course for homeschooled students. This bill has
been introduced by a representative trying to help homeschoolers, and
would go a long way to help young students and their parents obtain
the benefits of a driver's ed course. One benefit could be reduced
insurance premiums.

HSLDA has been told that this bill will possibly be scheduled for a
hearing sometime next week. We will let you know THE DETAILS ABOUT
THIS WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE. This hearing is probably the best
way for homeschoolers to express their support for the freedom and
equality this bill would bring to their families!


Action Requested:

1. Please email the following members of the Education Committee to
express your support for H560. Send a message such as, "My name is
______ and I live in ______. I support House Bill 560, which would
make driver's education available for homeschooled students. Please
vote for this bill in the House Education Committee!"

Rep. Howard Crawford (R-Burke) Chair; hcrawford@stj.k12.vt.us (Rep.
Crawford is the sponsor of this bill)

Rep. Carolyn Whitney Branagan (R-Georgia); cbranagan@leg.state.vt.us;
Dunmore@adelphia.net

Rep. Henry Chen (D-Mendon); hchen@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Virginia Duffy (R-Rutland City); vduffy@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Kevin Endres (R-Milton); kendres@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Steve Hingtgen (P-Burlington); shingtgen@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Kathy LaBelle LaVoie (R-Swanton); klavoie@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Rosemary McLaughlin (D-S. Royalton);
rmclaughlin@leg.state.vt.us; rozo@valley.net

2. Please call the two members of the Committee who do not have
email. You will probably get an answering machine. Leave a message
such as, "Hi, my name is ______. I'm calling to express my support
for House Bill 560, which would require the Commissioner of Education
to approve at least one driver's education course for homeschooled
students. Please vote for this bill in the House Education
Committee!"

Rep. George Cross (D-Winooski) Vice-chair; 655.4611

Rep. William Aswad (D-Burlington); 862.2067

3. If possible, plan to attend the hearing on this bill, which may be
held as early as next week. We will inform you as soon as we know
the date and time of the hearing.


BACKGROUND:

H560 has been introduced by two influential Vermont legislators who
want to do something positive for homeschoolers. Rep. Howard
Crawford is the Chairman of the House Education Committee. Rep.
Frank Mazur, the co-sponsor, is Chairman of the House Transportation
Committee.

Parents have two choices for their children's state-approved driver
education: pay for their children to be taught how to drive at a
commercial driving school by certified instructors, or try to
persuade the local public schools to make room in their driver's
education courses.

Many states allow parents a third option: teach your own children how
to drive. States for too long have restricted parents' right to teach
their children to drive.

Now we have an opportunity to pass H560 to expand parental choices.

In addition, statistics show parent-taught driver training saves
lives. For example, compare the following facts:

According to insurance company statistics, out of every 100 teen
drivers:
- 37 will be ticketed for speeding,
- 28 will be involved in accidents,
- 13 will be injured in an automobile accident,
- 4 will be ticketed for driving under the influence of alcohol or
drugs, and
- 1 will be killed in an automobile accident.

On the other hand, according to a University of Colorado-Colorado
Springs survey, for every 100 students using a parent-taught driver
education program (provided by the National Driver Training Institute
of Colorado Springs):
- 8 were ticketed for speeding,
- 8 were involved in accidents,
- 6 were injured in automobile accidents,
- 1 was ticketed for driving under the influence of alcohol or
drugs, and
- there were NO fatalities.

This study and others demonstrate that parent-taught driver education
produces safer drivers.


CONCLUSION

This bill is a big step forward for Vermont homeschoolers. Even if
you do not have a child of driving age, please support this bill.
Thank you for standing with your fellow homeschoolers to promote the
cause of freedom!


Sincerely,

Scott Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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