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2/10/2005 11:23:24 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Victory for Testing Freedom for Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 10, 2005

Virginia--Victory for Testing Freedom for Homeschoolers

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

A bill that threatened to take away a parent's right to freely choose
which standardized test to use was amended in the Senate Education and
Health Committee at HSLDA's request.

The original version of House Bill 1770 would have given the
Department of Education unlimited power to determine what tests,
assessments and evaluations homeschoolers would be allowed to use
under both homeschool testing options. The freedom to choose the most
appropriate year-end assessment for a child would have hung by the
slender thread of a bureaucrat's good will.

HSLDA learned last night that an amendment we had proposed earlier,
that would have solved the problem, was never offered. At such late
notice, HSLDA could not attend the hearing, which was scheduled for
8:00 AM this morning.

However, HSLDA secured Sandston homeschool mom Carol Slater to attend
the hearing and read a statement from HSLDA stating our objection and
offering our amendment. The statement, prepared by HSLDA attorneys
Scott Woodruff and Chris Klicka, explained that homeschoolers must
have the freedom to choose any nationally standardized test under
testing option (i), and that testing option (ii), which has always
been flexible, should not be changed. Klicka also called four key
Senators on the committee and explained HSLDA's opposition and the
proposed solution.

The only opposition to HSLDA's solution came from the Department of
Education. This is not surprising since the Department would gain
unbridled power over the testing of homeschoolers if the bill passed
in its original form.

Under the leadership of Senator Russell Potts and the mediation of
Senator Steve Martin, the committee unanimously voted to adopt the
HSLDA amendment.

Today's victory places us a step closer to more freedom in testing
under the homeschool law than we have ever experienced in Virginia.
Each family's freedom to choose a testing instrument currently hangs
on a favorable Attorney General (AG) opinion concerning the testing
language in the statute. While very helpful, an AG opinion can be
disregarded by a court. Once the General Assembly passes the bill
with HSLDA's amendment and the Governor signs it, our freedom to
choose will no longer depend on a judge agreeing with the AG opinion.
Our freedom will be established in the statutes of Virginia.

After the full Senate passes the bill, it will return to the House of
Delegates for approval since the House passed a different version. We
will watch the bill carefully as it moves forward in the legislative
process.

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney




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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 80,000 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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