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8/25/2005 4:23:03 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California--Urgent: Your Help is Needed to Protect our Freedoms

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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California--Urgent: Your Help is Needed to Protect our Freedoms


Dear California HSLDA members and friends:


To maintain our freedom we must remain vigilant. Our freedoms are at
risk. There is much at stake. Your help is needed now!

Homeschool families in California have continued to be protected by
the work of Family Protection Ministries (FPM). Roy Hanson and Jim
Davis have been providing an invaluable service to the homeschool
community in California.

However, there have been some recent challenges. Before I give you
details of the challenges we face, let me give you some additional
background.

As the President of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), the
attorney who represents HSLDA members in California, and a veteran
homeschooler from California, I understand that what happens in
California is critical, not only to you but for our whole nation.
HSLDA is striving to preserve the freedoms that now exist to
homeschool in California, but we cannot do it alone. For this reason,
we work very closely with Roy and Jim of Family Protection Ministries
(FPM).

I am thankful that, 19 years ago, myself and the homeschool leadership
in California, spearheaded by the Christian Home Educators Association
of California (CHEA), asked Roy Hanson to serve as special consultant
for legislative affairs for the state of California. Roy established
FPM to serve in this capacity.

FPM is the only full-time ministry in Sacramento defending both
private homeschooling freedoms and parental rights in the California
Legislature (which passes more bills each year than Congress). Roy
and Jim, with the help of Nathan Pierce, monitor thousands of pieces
of legislation every year.

They work hard against incredible odds and massive opposition in an
increasingly hostile Legislature. Yet, God continues to bless their
work. By God's grace, 100% of our homeschool freedoms have been
preserved.

For example, during the last two-year session, God blessed Roy and Jim
in leading our team to victories on many issues.

They were able to translate a victory HSLDA achieved in Congress into
a crucial state-level victory for protecting parental rights and
children by getting Assembly Bill 2749 passed and signed into law. AB
2749 requires Child Protective Services social workers, at the initial
contact, to advise every individual who is subject to an investigation
of child abuse or neglect of the allegations against him. AB 2749
also requires social workers to be trained in their duties "to protect
the legal rights...of children and families..." they are
investigating. This includes the Fourth Amendment right to be free
from unreasonable search and seizures, such as forced entry into your
home without a valid warrant, followed by possible strip searches of
your children, all based on nothing more than an anonymous tip.
Social workers have often violated these protections and traumatized
innocent children and their families.

FPM was successful at getting Senate Bill 1262 positively amended
before it was signed into law. As originally written, SB 1262 would
have burdened homeschool groups, private Independent Study Programs,
and other nonprofit organizations with an overwhelming maze of vague
bureaucratic requirements, complex reporting, and excessively heavy
penalties for non-compliance. Over a period of several months, FPM's
long hours paid off. Every provision which was bad for small
nonprofit organizations was removed from the bill.

FPM was also successful at getting Assembly Bill 2855 positively
amended to preserve two provisions of law which mandate that public
school officials follow due process by requiring them to notify and
then attempt to meet with the parents of any alleged truant, before
pursuing criminal penalties against the parents. This provision helps
keep homeschoolers out of court.

During this same session, Roy and Jim of FPM led the charge in
defeating many dangerous bills. These include:

AB 424 would have repealed the Education Code and created a commission
to rewrite it. It would have repealed every law protecting private
homeschools and all other private schools, and rolled back every
victory homeschoolers have won over the past 19 years.

SB 950 would have added truancy as a category of "child abuse and
neglect" and could have been used to threaten homeschoolers with loss
of custody of their children.

SB 7, AB 56, and SB 550 would have lowered the compulsory education
age from 6 to 5 years of age.

AB 712, AB 56, and SB 432 would have established universal preschool
for all children 3 and 4 years of age.

S.B. 1562 would have authorized inspections of your home (private
school) bathrooms.

Additionally, God has used FPM to intercept and stop all proposals to
draft legislation to criminalize and control homeschooling, from 1986
to the present. FPM regularly visits the offices of all 120
legislators, providing them with materials explaining the success of
homeschooling and why legislation to regulate private homeschooling is
unnecessary.

FPM continues to work quietly and effectively behind the scenes on
other legislation and develop positive relationships with key
officials. They have made contacts and worked with HSLDA to help
reverse the old attitudes and policies of the California Department of
Education. This includes influencing the department to reverse some
misleading statements which they had made on the legality of home
education and the filing of private school affidavits during the
tenure of former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.


FPM's teamwork with HSLDA has led to an improved professional
relationship with the Department of Education, under the new
Superintendent of Public Instruction. This has been critical in
turning what was a difficult situation into probably the best
relationship with the department we have had since the modern
homeschool movement began in the early 1980's.

In order for our freedoms to continue to be protected, FPM must
continue to remain strong. This can only be done with your support.

We face several challenges:

(1) The number and complexity of attacks on your freedoms in the
California Legislature continues to grow. This is due in part to
trends in the Legislature over the past ten years, which reflect the
changes in our culture. Because the Legislature is now overwhelmingly
controlled by statist liberals, FPM's work continues to become more
difficult and time-consuming with each passing year.

(2) This past year, due to an increase in your support, FPM was able
to hire an additional younger full-time staff member, Nathan Pierce,
to keep Roy and Jim from sinking under the work load. Roy and Jim's
God-given vision and calling is not only the defense of our freedoms
now; but also to hire and train new younger staff so they can defend
our freedoms for future generations. Roy and Jim have no plans to
retire, but desire to plan for a smooth transition to new leadership
in the future.

The specialized on-the-job training for the unique set of complex
tasks, skills, knowledge, and wisdom for this work require at least
seven to ten years of on-the-job experience. FPM needs additional
funds right now just to be able to keep Nathan Pierce. An additional
amount will be needed for a second younger staff member. This is
necessary for an adequate time to train at least two younger staff
members in the responsibilities which are being filled by Roy and Jim.
There is more than enough important work to keep all of them busy.

(3) Up until this summer there has been enough support for the new
staff member. There will always be some changeover in supporters in
any donation-based organization like FPM. Each year FPM loses some
supporters and gains new ones. Some people no longer support FPM
because they have lost their job or suffered other financial setbacks,
or they no longer homeschool, or they have had jobs that required a
move out of state. Normally, the new support FPM gains at the
conventions has balanced the natural loss of some supporters.

Unfortunately, this year, the attendance at the conventions was down
significantly. At the same time, the recruiting of families by the
public school charter school programs is hurting all parts of the
private Christian homeschool movement, including FPM. Both of these
factors have led to a decrease in the level of new support from the
conventions compared to what FPM has experienced in previous years.

It is imperative now, more than ever, that those who value the right
of parents to homeschool privately, without public school control,
give generously to FPM. If we want FPM to continue working to protect
our freedoms now and for many years to come, it is absolutely critical
that we increase the support to this ministry.

Roy and Jim need your help now!

I want to thank you if you are one of those families who are already
giving regular support to FPM. Without you, most, if not all, of the
victories I cited above would not have happened.

I know Roy and Jim personally and work closely with them on a regular
basis. They are committed to God and the ministry He has given them.
In addition, they are well respected as competent professionals.

We must ensure that FPM has the proper resources to be able to
continue to monitor all of the legislation and to be able to mount an
effective opposition to dangerous legislation. FPM is 100% dependent
upon contributions from homeschoolers for salary and expenses. In
order for FPM to keep Nathan Pierce on staff and to survive, they need
an additional $15,000, which is roughly equivalent to an increase in
average monthly giving of $1,200 per month.

I urge you to help now. Contributions (tax-deductible) should be made
payable to Family Protection Ministries (PO Box 730; Lincoln, CA
95648-0730). Both monthly and annual contributions are needed. Also,
please pass this along to your homeschooling friends and encourage
them to support FPM.

This is a very important investment in the future of your children and
your grandchildren. Thank you for your part in the fight to preserve
the level of home education and family freedoms that Californians
enjoy.


Sincerely,

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President


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