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3/22/2005 12:27:03 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Montana--Calls Needed Today to Pass Driver Education Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 22, 2005


Montana--Calls Needed Today to Pass Driver Education Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

House Bill 673, the parent-taught driver education bill, is struggling
in Montana's House of Representatives. After receiving a favorable
vote for its second reading on March 9, the bill was sent to the House
Appropriations Committee where it was approved and sent back to the
House. The House held another second reading and then voted to kill
the bill. Representative Edward Butcher, the bill's sponsor, moved to
reconsider the bill, and this time the House revived the bill with a
53 - 46 vote. Today the bill will undergo yet another second reading
and vote.

The members of the House of Representatives need to get a strong
message from parents that they want the bill to become law. Please
pick up the phone and call your state representative this morning.

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. It 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 your state representative 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 your state
representative. They need to hear from you right away.

You can find the name and telephone number of your state
representative by using HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2201

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

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


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://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2202

Please contact your state representative today.

Sincerely,


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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