From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


5/17/2005 8:58:33 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Rhode Island--Calls Urgently Needed - Bill Threatens Freedom to Teach Civics

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

Rhode Island--Calls Urgently Needed - Bill Threatens Freedom to Teach

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

A bill that would empower the government to specify every detail of a
homeschool family's civics curriculum has passed the senate and is
scheduled for a hearing in the house on Wednesday, May 18.

Senate Bill 864, sponsored by Senators Gallo, Fogarty, Levesque,
Walaska and Felag, gives the board of regents for elementary and
secondary education power to set detailed standards for the civics
curriculum. It prohibits a school committee from approving a
homeschool program unless it complies.

This would destroy a family's freedom to choose the curriculum that is
best for their child. It could force families to teach ideologies
contrary to the family's own convictions.

The senate passed this bill over the opposition of homeschool
families. It's imperative that we communicate our opposition to this
bill in the house in a powerful way.


1. Please call your representative immediately.

Your message can be as simple as:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 864. It destroys a homeschool family's
freedom to teach civics according to their own convictions. It
prevents families from using the civics books they know are best for
their children."

To find the name and contact information of your representative use
our legislative toolbox:

2. Please come to the hearing on Wednesday. It will be in room 135
in the State House at the "rise of the house", which is about 4:30.
We need to pack the hearing room.


Under current law, homeschool families must teach a civics program
"substantially equivalent" to that provided in the public schools.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education currently has
authority to prescribe the general outlines of the civics course, but
not detailed standards. Senate Bill 864 would give the government the
power to specify detailed standards.

Homeschool families generally have no problem following broad outlines
of the typical civics course taught in public schools. However, being
forced to comply with detailed standards will have the effect of
replacing parental judgment with governmental judgment. Many popular
curriculums would not satisfy the kind of detailed standards we can
envision the government creating.

Civics is about liberty. And liberty must start with the freedom to
teach civics as each parent believes is best for the child.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.


Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney
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