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6/3/2004 3:33:35 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Idaho--Distance Education Academy - Bad Deal for Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 2, 2004


Idaho--Distance Education Academy - Bad Deal for Homeschoolers


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Recently, homeschooling families throughout Idaho have learned about a
new government school program for homeschoolers.

The Idaho Distance Education Academy (IDEA) is a government homeschool
program. It is supported by the Idaho State Department of Education.

Many "freebies" are offered to families who choose to enroll their
children in IDEA.

Families enrolling in IDEA will have to use the "free" government
money they receive for a secular curriculum only--any other books that
mention God or Christ have to be privately purchased.

Parents will receive an allotment of $600 for KG, $1200 for grades
1-3, $1400 for grades 4-8, $1600 for grades 9-12 to purchase
educational materials. They will also receive a computer and printer
"to use," and free Internet access.

Representatives from the Whitepine Joint School District 288 and the
assisting Alaska IDEA program presented informational meetings on May
22 and 24, 2004 in the Boise area.

All the services and materials are secular in nature.

On its face, this looks like a good deal. However, Home School Legal
Defense Association members and all homeschooling families across the
state should be aware of the ramifications of this seemingly harmless
program. We want our member families to make an informed decision
regarding participation in IDEA.


Reasons Not to Enroll in IDEA

HSLDA recommends against enrolling your children in IDEA for the
following reasons:

1) If you enroll in this program, you will no longer be considered a
private homeschooler--your child will be a public school student.
Therefore, you will not be eligible for membership in Home School
Legal Defense Association. Our goal at HSLDA is to work to protect the
right of parents to privately homeschool, free from government
controls and restrictions. IDEA is a tax funded, government program
with significant government limitations.

2) Since IDEA is a public school program, when you enroll your
children in IDEA to receive the free money and use their equipment,
your children will be considered public school students.

This means you waive certain parental rights and agree to educate your
children according to the rules of the public school. In other states
with similar "virtual" or online public school programs, HSLDA has
observed that more and more regulations are gradually placed on the
homeschooler each year. If the family does not comply, the "virtual"
school will demand the return of the equipment and money.

For those homeschoolers who become dependent on the free government
equipment and funds, their freedom is gradually exchanged for these
"freebies."

3) By enrolling in IDEA, you will be waiving certain parental rights
and complying with certain controls. The government does not offer
"free" services without obligation.

For example, IDEA will:

-require supervision by certified teachers;

-require IDEA students to participate in required state assessments;
and

-require you to use the money they give you to purchase an "approved"
secular curriculum (purchases must be through IDEA).

--IDEA enrollees are not allowed to purchase religious curriculum with
IDEA funds. According to their web site, "Federal and state laws
prohibit the purchase of faith based curriculum; however if parents
choose to use privately purchased faith based curriculum to educate
their children they can do so.

IDEA is an attempt by the government to create small public schools in
our homes. Before you make a decision about enrolling in this program,
please read our articles discussing public home school programs.

"Charter Schools: The Price is Too High" by Christopher J. Klicka
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1612

"Charter Schools: Look Before You Leap!" by Roy Hanson
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1613

Thank you for your prayerful consideration of this important matter.


Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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-> Can you call your attorney at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning?

Our members can get in touch with their attorney even after
business hours, when they have a legal emergency. Wouldn't you
like this level of protection?

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1100

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