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6/22/2005 11:29:43 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Louisiana--Legislative Update - Many Victories This Year

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


Louisiana--Legislative Update - Many Victories This Year


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Thank you for your prompt calls this year. Since the Louisiana
legislature was very active this session sometimes it seemed as if
they were needed every day. However, with your help Louisiana families
achieved three solid victories this year.


Compulsory Attendance Bill -

House Bill 476 was stopped from even making it out of the Education
Committee due in part to your calls. Had this bill passed it would
have lowered the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5. Homeschool
parents would have had to report two years earlier than they do now
under both homeschool options in Louisiana. While this bill has been
defeated for this year, we must remain vigilant as future bills are
likely. The sponsor of the bill, Representative Jackson, testified in
committee that he would be proud to send even his two-year-old child
to school.


Reducing TOPS Eligibility for Homeschool Graduates -

House Bill 120 passed with unanimous support through both the House
and Senate. Under this bill a homeschool graduate who has been
enrolled in a home study program for at least the last two years of
high school must score 2 points higher on the ACT than the public
school average in Louisiana. A homeschool graduate used to have to
score 3 points higher. Several legislators mentioned in various
committee hearings that the difference should be eliminated completely
but that will have to wait for another year.


Right of Parents to Provide Education for their Children -

House Concurrent Resolution 131 passed quietly through both the House
and Senate with much of the work done behind the scenes so no phone
calls were necessary. With this resolution the Louisiana legislature
stated that they recognize the inalienable right of parents to provide
for the education of their children. They also recognized that no law
or ruling in Louisiana should curtail or restrain the inalienable
right of every parent to choose the appropriate educational setting
for his or her children. The next step is to pursue a constitutional
amendment to fully protect this right.


Tax Credit for Educational Expenses -

While House Bill 834 has been withdrawn by the sponsor, Representative
LaBruzzo, he has vowed to reintroduce this bill to help lift the tax
burden on parents who are teaching their children at home.
Representative LaBruzzo withdrew the bill to amend it to only apply to
homeschool families due to the large fiscal impact of the original
bill. With the revised bill Representative LaBruzzo hopes to find
majority support among the House Ways & Means Committee members.


We also want to thank CHEF of Louisiana for their presence in the
Capitol and for all their hard work on these bills. With all of us
working together homeschool families in Louisiana have greater liberty
and freedom has been protected.


To become a member of HSLDA and help us continue to fight for
homeschool freedom in Louisiana please visit
http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp . Thank you for your support.


Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney
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