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5/27/2004 12:45:43 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--Your Calls Needed To Stop Future Bad Legislation In Oregon!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 27, 2004


Oregon--Your Calls Needed To Stop Future Bad Legislation In Oregon!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

For those of you who were able to make the Interim Education Committee
Meeting last week, thank you! Over 450 homeschoolers came to the
committee meeting and made a strong statement to all of the committee
members.

However, the work is not done! Please write or e-mail the Interim
Education Committee members about your opposition to any further
regulation of homeschoolers. Please forward this to all of your
homeschooling friends who may not be members and ask them to write
also.

Your letters and e-mails, politely written could help stop any
negative legislation from being introduced next legislative session.
Please write now!


REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please write to the Senate Interim Education Committee members
listed below. You can either use this message or use your own words.

"Parents who have made the commitment to teach their children at home
do not need to be further regulated. All studies show that homeschool
students score on average 20-30 percentile points higher than public
school students. Please do not restrict the parent's right to choose
to teach their children at home. Homeschooling has proven that it is
most successful with maximum parental freedom."

2003-2004 Interim Senate Education Committee

Senator Bill Morrisette, Co-Chair
Party: D District: 6
Interim Address: 348 G St., Springfield, OR 97477
Interim Email morrsett@clipper.net

Senator Charles Starr, Co-Chair
Party: R District: 13
Interim Address: 8330 S.W. River Rd., Hillsboro OR 97123
Interim Email kstarr@charlesstarr.org

Senator Avel Gordly
Party: D District: 23
Interim Address: 10809 N.E. Fremont, Portland OR 97220
Email Address: sen.avelgordly@state.or.us

Senator Ken Messerle
Party: R District: 5
Interim Address: 94271 Coos Sumner Ln. Coos Bay OR 97420
Email Address: sen.kenmesserle@state.or.us

Senator David Nelson
Party: R District: 29
Interim Address: 1407 NW Horn Ave., Pendleton OR 97801
Email Address: sen.davidnelson@state.or.us

Senator Charlie Ringo
Party: D District: 17
Interim Address: 4085 SW 109th Avenue, Beaverton 97005
Email Address: sen.charlieringo@state.or.us

Reasons We Oppose Adding To The Current Laws:

- Statistics show that higher regulation--such as mandatory testing
does not help homeschool students. Studies show that homeschoolers
score 20 to 30 percentile points higher than other students. Forcing
them to take tests when their performance has already been proven is
senseless.

- Currently 41 states (including Oregon) recognize the right of
parents to teach their children without any specific teacher
qualifications. Studies have shown that the level of education that a
parent has does not figure significantly in a homeschool student's
achievement. If you compare students in public school or homeschool
based upon the education level of their parents, homeschooled student
will still perform 20 to 30 percentile points higher than public
school students. In fact, if you compare students of parents with less
than a high school education, homeschooled students perform 40 to 50
percentile points higher than public school students.

- No state requires a parent to provide the time and location of their
home education program. This would add a significant burden on
families who do not follow traditional school hours or their children
receive education from many different locations (community college,
co-op, apprenticeship, etc.)

- Under the current law a parent must be educating the child in order
to be exempt from public school attendance. If a parent were truly not
educating their children, as claimed by the truant officer, they would
already be in violation of the compulsory education laws in Oregon.
Thus, any school district already has the ability to protect those
children who are not being educated at home by their parents.


BACKGROUND:

The Interim Education Committee is considering whether to add to the
current requirements for homeschooling families in several different
areas. Among the issues being considered are requiring parents to
provide the Education Service District (ESD) or local School District
with:

- a list of the materials to be used in the home education program;
- the time and place of the instruction; and
- require that the parent have at least the equivalent of a high
school education.

This hearing is being held at the request of a truant officer from the
Springfield School District who believes that there are many
homeschooling families in Oregon who are simply putting their name on
a notice of intent form with no real intent to educate their children.


The truant officer is reported to have stated that he believes that
nearly 30-50% of homeschooling families in his district are not
educating their children. He has provided no evidence to support these
wild claims. The vast majority of families homeschooling their
children are doing so, not out of laziness as the truant officer
suggests, but out of a desire to train their children to be
contributing members of society and for the Kingdom of God.


Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney




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