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10/17/2005 1:54:19 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Pennsylvania--Calls Needed For Homeschool Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Pennsylvania--Calls Needed For Homeschool Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:


House Bill 505, now in the House Education Committee, would make major
improvements in your state's homeschool law. Among other things, it
would remove the local public school superintendent from reviewing the
portfolios in a home education program.

Your calls and letters are needed to prompt legislators to give
attention to this important bill which has been in committee since
February of this year. We need to take action which will let them know
that thousands of Pennsylvania homeschoolers want this bill to become
law.


Action Requested:

(1) Please call or write (both would be better) to your state
representative and your state senator with this message:

"Please support House Bill 505, which would improve the homeschool law
of Pennsylvania. It would remove the unnecessary double evaluation of
home education programs and streamline administrative procedures for
both school districts and parents."

Additionally, ask your state representative to consider cosponsoring
this bill in the House of Representatives. Also encourage your state
senator to sponsor a companion bill in the Senate.

To find the name and contact information for your state representative
use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox , or
you can call the office of the Chief Clerk of the House of
Representatives at (717) 787-2372.

To find the name and contact information for your state senator use
HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox , or you
can call the office of the Chief Clerk of the Senate at (717)
787-7163.

(2) Please forward this email to other homeschooling families who are
not members of HSLDA and ask them to contact their state
representative and state senator as well.


Reasons to Support House Bill 505:

House Bill 505 would do the following:

-Eliminate the public school superintendent's review of portfolios;

-Require superintendents to accept an evaluator's determination that
an appropriate education is occurring in the home education program;

-Provide for an administrative procedure to resolve any claim by the
superintendent that the parent has failed to comply with any aspect of
the homeschool law; and

-Ensure that the home education program may continue during the time
of any appeal of an adverse ruling by a hearing examiner.

To review a copy of the bill text, go to
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/BT/2005/0/HB0505P0543.HTM


Background:

In 1998 the General Assembly of Pennsylvania enacted a new home
education state, sec. 13-1327.1 of the Pennsylvania Statutes
Annotated. This legislation was prompted by a federal court decision
that same year declaring the compulsory school attendance statute
unconstitutional for vagueness. HSLDA represented the plaintiff in
that case challenging the constitutionality of the state law. The
compulsory attendance law, sec. 13-1327, permitted home schooling by a
"properly qualified" private tutor if the instruction was
"satisfactory" to the local public school superintendent. With 501
school districts in Pennsylvania, each with its own standards for who
was properly qualified to teach and what was considered satisfactory
instruction, there was no objective standard parents could rely upon
in complying with state law.

By enacting the home education statute in 1988, the General Assembly
addressed the vagueness issues of the compulsory attendance statute,
but Pennsylvania also became one of the most highly regulated states
in the nation. Only New York, which also adopted its home instruction
law in 1988, has more state oversight of home education than
Pennsylvania.

After 17 years of demonstrating success under an unnecessarily
restrictive law, home educators in Pennsylvania have earned the right
to less state oversight.

If you have any questions or concerns about what this bill would do,
please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.


Sincerely,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Who are the nation's best lobbyists?

We don't know that this has ever been determined; but we do know
that HSLDA's National Center for Home Education is the only
national organization lobbying on behalf of homeschoolers on
Capitol Hill.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1102

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