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2/16/2005 10:32:57 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Please Call Immediately!--Testing Freedom Bill Set for Crucial Vote Today

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 16, 2005


Virginia--Please Call Immediately!--Testing Freedom Bill Set for
Crucial Vote Today


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

The House of Delegates has scheduled a crucial vote this afternoon on
HB 1770, the bill that would give homeschool parents the right to
choose which standardized test to use under testing option 1. When
the state stopped approving nationally normed standardized tests for
use in public schools, our right to test under testing option 1 was
jeopardized. This bill preserves testing option 1 and protects us
from the whims of bureaucrats.


ACTION REQUESTED

1. Call your delegate and ask him to support HB 1770. Your message
can be as simple as: "Please support HB 1770, as amended by the
Senate Education and Health Committee. Homeschool parents in many
other states already have the freedom to test their children with a
nationally normed standardized test. This bill would guarantee that
Virginia homeschool parents have the same freedom."

2. Call (800) 889-0229 (outside Richmond) or 698-1990 (Richmond area)
to give a message to your Delegate. If you don't know your Delegate's
name, use our legislative toolbox http://www.hslda.org/toolbox/


BACKGROUND

1. The original intention behind testing option 1 was for
homeschoolers to have the right to use any standardized test the
public schools were allowed to use. This linkage guaranteed that our
students would be treated the same as public school students.

2. Many public schools, including Virginia's, have recently abandoned
nationally normed standardized tests despite their obvious usefulness.
Since the state does not currently approve national tests for use in
public schools, our right to use testing option 1 is threatened.

3. As originally passed by the House of Delegates, the bill would have
given the Department of Education a power they had never had before:
complete control over what tests homeschoolers could use under option
1 and option 2. Our freedom to choose would have hung by the slender
thread of a bureaucrat's good will.

4. The Senate Education and Health Committee amended the bill to bring
it back to the law's original intention, which was to give homeschool
families wide latitude in deciding which nationally normed
standardized test to use. With the Senate Committee amendment, the
bill passed the Senate unanimously, but must now be approved by the
House of Delegates.

Sincerely,


Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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