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1/14/2005 5:00:39 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
North Dakota - Calls Needed to House Education Committee

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 14, 2005

North Dakota - Calls Needed to House Education Committee

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Your calls are needed to express support for a bill which would
significantly improve the homeschool law of North Dakota.

This Tuesday, January 18, the House Education Committee will conduct a
hearing on House Bill 1265. This bill would eliminate all monitoring
of homeschooling parents by state-certified teachers. Additionally,
the law would be changed to permit parents to homeschool children who
have developmental disabilities, such as Down's syndrome. These
changes in the law would place North Dakota more in line with the
homeschooling laws of other states.

House Bill 1265 will be opposed at the hearing by officials from the
Department of Public Instruction. Unless your voice is heard, it is
unlikely that this bill will pass out of this committee. I am planning
to attend the hearing and testify in favor it. I hope to see you
there.


Requested Action:

1. Please contact as many members of the House Education Committee as
possible and your own state representative with this message:

"Please vote for House Bill 1265. This bill would bring the homeschool
law of North Dakota more in line with other states by removing
unnecessary restrictions on parents. It would permit parents with a
high school diploma or GED to homeschool their children without being
monitored every week by a state-certified teacher. It would also allow
parents to homeschool their developmentally disabled children, as
every other state permits."

It is not necessary for you to contact the two sponsors of the bill
serving on the House Education Committee: Representative Margaret
Sitte and Representative Lisa Meier. Members of the committee are as
follows:

RaeAnn G. Kelsch (R)- Chairman
(701) 220-0003
rkelsch@state.nd.us

Dennis Johnson (R) - V. Chairman
(701) 739-9328
djohnson@state.nd.us

C.B. Haas (R)
(701) 974-3738
chaas@state.nd.us

Lyle Hanson (D)
(701) 251-1654
lhanson@state.nd.us

Kathy Hawken (R)
(701) 293-5483
khawken@state.nd.us

Gil Herbel (R)
(701) 352-2294
gherbel@state.nd.us

Stacey Horter (R)
(701) 791-2962
shorter@state.nd.us

Bob Hunskor (D)
(701) 272-6283
bhunskor@state.nd.us

Lisa Meier (R)
(701) 255-4166
lmeier@state.nd.us

Phillip Mueller (D)
(701) 435-2737
pmueller@state.nd.us

Mike Norland (R)
(701) 770-1657
mnorland@state.nd.us

Margaret Sitte (R)
(701) 255-4885
msitte@state.nd.us

Dorvan Solberg (D)
(701) 568-3614
dsolberg@state.nd.us

John Wall (R)
(701) 642-2103
jwall@state.nd.us

You can find the name and telephone number of your state
representative by using HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://capwiz.com/hslda/state/main/?state=ND&view=stateofficials#1

2. Please forward this e-mail to every homeschooling family you know
who is not a member of HSLDA and urge them to contact members of the
committee and their own state representative.

3. Please attend the hearing on the bill at the State Capitol in
Bismarck on Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. Your presence will show the
legislators how important this bill is to homeschoolers. The hearing
will be held in the Pioneer Room in the State Capitol Building. For an
update on the location of the hearing, you may contact the North
Dakota Home School Association at (701) 223-4080.

Background:

North Dakota is unique in two respects regarding its homeschool law.
First, it is the only state in the nation requiring parents with a
high school diploma or a GED to be monitored by a state-certified
teacher. Second, it is the only state in the nation prohibiting the
homeschooling of children with developmental disabilities, except for
children with autism. Autistic children in North Dakota may be
homeschooled under very restrictive conditions.

Forty-one states do not require homeschooling parents to have a high
school diploma or GED. Nine states, including North Dakota, require
the diploma or GED, but only North Dakota requires weekly monitoring
by a state-certified teacher. Most noteworthy, every study conducted
thus far on homeschooling has found that the formal education level of
teaching parents makes no significant difference in the performance of
their children on standardized tests. These students score on average
15-30 points higher than their public school counterparts.

HSLDA has long taken the position that North Dakota's law prohibiting
the homeschooling of developmentally disabled children is
unconstitutional. We believe this law violates the fundamental right
of parents to direct the education of their children as guaranteed by
the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We are
eager to challenge this law in court if the North Dakota Legislature
fails to provide relief from this overly restrictive law. However, it
would be much easier on the affected families if the Legislature would
simply fix the law.

From an educational standpoint, there can be little question that the
one-on-one attention given to a developmentally disabled child by a
parent is more effective than a classroom setting. This has been
confirmed in two studies by Steven F. Duvall, P.h. D., a Kansas school
psychologist, who found that there are higher rates of time in
homeschooling where the student is "academically engaged" and
consequently greater academic gains were made by homeschool students
who have learning disabilities.

To view a copy of the text of House Bill 1265, go to
http://www.state.nd.us/lr/assembly/59-2005/bill-text/FAOD0200.pdf

Please call now!

Sincerely,


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel




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