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2/17/2005 6:22:19 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Montana--Calls Needed to Break Committee Deadlock on Driver Education

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 17, 2005

Montana--Calls Needed to Break Committee Deadlock on Driver Education

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Calls are needed immediately to expand parental freedom. House Bill
673 would give parents the right to teach their children driver's
education. This bill is stalled in the House Transportation Committee.
Your calls are needed to Democrats on the Committee to break a
deadlock vote which took place Wednesday of this week. The Committee
voted along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor of the
measure and Democrats voting against it. The Committee is scheduled to
meet again on Friday, February 18, 2005, at which time another vote
will be taken to determine the fate of this bill.

This bill would establish a way for parents to provide driver's
education as an acceptable alternative to obtaining the training
through the public school system. Students instructed by their parents
under the proposed law would be able to obtain a learning permit so
long as a parent meets certain requirements. This bill would not
prohibit parents from teaching their children how to drive, as they
are now entitled to do. This bill would empower parents to choose
their own curriculum and to provide the training now only offered
through the local school district.

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. Please contact the Democratic members of the House Transportation
Committee listed below with this message:

"Please vote for House Bill 673 which would authorize parents to
conduct driver's education for their children. Many families in
Montana have to travel long distances to obtain the driver's education
in a public school, and some school districts will not permit
nonpublic or homeschool students to be enrolled in these programs."

There is no time to write a letter. Please call and email the
Democratic members of the Committee. They need to hear from you right
away.

House Transportation Committee Democrats:

Rep. JILL COHENOUR (D)
Rep. GEORGE GOLIE (D)
Rep. LARRY JENT (D)
Rep. MONICA J LINDEEN (D)
Rep. BOB BERGREN (D)
Rep. JIM KEANE (D)

You can call any of the Representatives listed above at (406)
444-3064.

REASONS WE SUPPORT HOUSE BILL 673

- This bill enables parents of students in a homeschool or nonpublic
school to conduct driver's education for their children. In doing so,
parents will have the flexibility to choose the best curriculum for
their children.

- This legislation provides higher standards than current driver's
education, ensuring that the student drives under the direct
supervision of a parent for ten hours per month for a minimum of six
months or 500 miles each month. The student must drive at least 60
hours or 3,000 miles during the training period, including urban areas
for at least 15 hours and during hours of darkness for at least six
hours.

BACKGROUND

There are many instances in Montana in which parents live a long
distance from where the driver's education program is being offered at
public schools. Presently there are still a few districts that are not
willing to permit homeschool students to participate in their training
programs. This bill would remove the considerable inconvenience
suffered by homeschooling families attempting to get driver's
education for their children and, for some families, would provide the
only reasonable means by which their children may obtain the required
instruction.

To review a copy of the bill text go to:
http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/2005/billhtml/HB0673.htm

Please contact these six Democratic members of the Committee today.

Sincerely,


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel




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