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11/1/2004 3:43:06 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Washington--Vital Information on Tomorrows Charter School Referendum - Referendum 55

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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November 1, 2004


Washington--Vital Information on Tomorrows Charter School Referendum -
Referendum 55


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 2nd, voters will decide whether to permit
charter schools in Washington. I write to explain why this issue is so
important to our long-term freedoms.

Referendum 55 would permit the formation of up to 45 charter schools
over the next 6 years in Washington. These schools are publicly
funded. Therefore, a student enrolled in a charter school is a public
school student.

While homeschool families would be able to participate in these
charter schools on a part-time basis, doing so would limit the freedom
you have as private homeschools.

The charter school legislation, if enacted by Referendum 55, would
permit "virtual" charter schools in Washington. These virtual charter
schools are public schools in the home. Clearly outlined in the
language of the bill these charter schools are "to be subject to the
same or greater academic standards and performance outcomes at other
public schools." Thus, any homeschool student enrolled in a charter
school is going to be held to the secular public school standard, not
to your standard.

As a public school, these charter schools are prohibited from being
operated by a sectarian or religious organization. No homeschool
curriculum that is Christian based could be used for credit when a
student is enrolled full-time in the charter school.

Additionally, the charter school will be required to ensure that each
student meets the elementary, middle, and high school Washington state
standards. Charter school students would be required to take the WASL
exam and meet all the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of
2001. While homeschool students are currently not required to do
either, once they enrolled in a charter school they would have to meet
both of these requirements.

For more information about virtual charter schools and the concerns
for homeschoolers relating to these schools please visit
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/C/CharterSchools.asp


Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney
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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 75,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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