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8/2/2004 10:28:03 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New York--Please Call Again on Homeschool Freedom Bill!

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


New York--Please Call Again on Homeschool Freedom Bill!


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need your calls immediately. We have a small window to communicate
to the Assembly since the New York Legislature will be operating in a
special session beginning today, August 2, 2004. While it is not
certain that Assembly Bill 4598 will be voted on, we are asking for
your phone calls to convince them to pass the bill this session.

Please call Assemblyman Steven Sanders and Assembly Speaker Sheldon
Silver Monday through Wednesday. Please pray for the Legislature and
these bills, for God IS able to turn the hearts of these men.

Send the message loud and clear to Assemblyman Sanders and Silver that
homeschoolers will not rest until these issues are brought to a vote!
Please call again even if you have called in the past months.


REQUESTED ACTION

1) Please contact both Assemblyman Steven Sanders, the Chairman of the
Assembly Education Committee, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and
strongly urge them to support AB 4598. Please call both men daily
Monday through Wednesday. You can use the following messages:

"Please bring Assembly Bill 4598 for a vote. This bill will relieve
public school officials and homeschooling parents from burdensome and
costly administrative tasks. Home educators have earned the right to
regulatory relief after demonstrating their overwhelming success under
the current law for the past 15 years. This bill must be passed. We
need relief."

You can also tell both Assemblymen that homeschooling families will
not give up on these issues until they are passed, even if it means
calling all next session!

Assemblyman Steven Sanders - Assembly Education Committee Chairman
(518) 455-5506 and/or (212) 312-1464 and (212) 979-9696

Assemblyman Sheldon Silver - Assembly Speaker
(518) 455-3791 and/or (212) 312-1420


REASONS WE SUPPORT THIS BILL

Assembly Bill 4598 would make the following changes in the current
law:

- eliminate the requirement of an Individualized Home Instruction Plan
(IHIP);

- eliminate the requirement of quarterly reports;

- eliminate required subjects at all grade levels;

- permit the alternative method of evaluation (instead of standardized
testing) every year;

- permit parents who wish to test their children to choose any
nationally-normed standardized achievement test, in addition to a
State Education Department test or another approved test;

- eliminate the requirement that the local superintendent consent to
the person who administers a standardized achievement test or who
conducts the alternative method of evaluation;

- lower the minimum standardized test score from above the 33rd
percentile to above the 23rd percentile; and

- eliminate the provision for home visits while a home instruction
program is on probation.


BACKGROUND

If the Homeschool Freedom Bill is enacted into law, it will not only
relieve parents and public school officials of time-consuming
administrative tasks, it will significantly increase the freedom of
home educators in New York to direct the education of their children.
New York has the potential through this legislation to go from the
state with the most restrictive homeschool law in the nation to a
state with one of the most favorable laws for home educators.

Assembly Bill 4598 will virtually eliminate all of the legal problems
for homeschooling families in your state. While all of us would prefer
a law completely exempting students receiving home instruction from
the compulsory attendance requirements, it is not politically feasible
at this time. HSLDA's goal continues to be the repeal of all
compulsory attendance laws, but in the meantime we will support
efforts increase freedom for homeschoolers. We believe this
legislation would make great strides toward our ultimate goal, so we
wholeheartedly support these bills and ask that you do so as well.


Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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