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2/17/2006 6:33:46 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Missouri--Calls Needed to Stop Expensive Public School-at-Home Program

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 17, 2006

Dear HSLDA members and friends,

Calls are needed immediately to defeat House Bill 1275 and Senate Bill
912. These identical bills will hurt taxpayers and turn homeschoolers
into public school students. The full House could vote on H.B. 1275
this coming week. The Senate Education committee is scheduled to hold
a hearing on S.B. 912 on Tuesday.

These bills create a program in which students receive most of their
instruction through a computer while they are at home, but the local
public school is in full control. They create a public-school-at-home
program.

Parent-directed home education costs taxpayers nothing, which helps
keep taxes lower for everyone. These bills, however, would pay public
schools (15%) and state Department of Education (85%) for every
homeschool student who joins the public-school-at-home program. They
would together receive the full per-pupil funding for each student,
even though teaching a child at home costs a fraction of the cost of a
student taught in a public school building.

While these bills would create a program that resembles homeschooling,
the public school would be in control of the children's education,
parental rights would be marginalized, and the homeschool student
would become a public school student.


ACTION REQUESTED:

To find contact information for your representative or senator, use
our legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

1. Please call your state representative immediately. Your message
can be as simple as: "Please vote no on H.B. 1275, the virtual school
bill. It's another example of government overspending. It forces the
taxpayer to pay the full per-pupil amount for an inexpensive
home-based education."

2. If your state senator is listed below, call him or her
immediately. Your message can be as simple as: "Please vote no on
S.B. 912, the virtual school bill . It's another example of government
overspending. It forces the taxpayer to pay the full per-pupil amount
for an inexpensive home-based education."

Senate Education Committee

Gary Nodler, (573) 751-2306
Norma Champion, (573) 751-2583
Bill Alter, (573) 751-1492
John Loudon, (573) 751-9763
Rob Mayer, (573) 751-3859
Charlie Shields, (573) 751-9476
Rita Days, (573) 751-4106
Chuck Graham, (573) 751-2162
Yvonne Wilson, (573) 751-9758

BACKGROUND:

1. In other states where public-school-at-home programs have been
created, the schools have heavily or exclusively recruited among
homeschool families to fill their program. Therefore, private
homeschooling, which was previously free to the taxpayer, now becomes
an expensive taxpayer funded public school in the home .

2. In Kansas, entire homeschool support groups vanished after
intensive recruitment by public-school-at-home programs.

3. In Alaska, parent-directed home education has nearly vanished
because of public-school-at-home programs. In fact, approximately 80%
of homeschoolers are now public school-at-homeschoolers. The main
homeschool conventions are government run and the largest homeschool
newsletter is government produced and does not mention God or
Christianity.

4. Public-school-at-home programs initially lure homeschool families
by the promise of certain "freebies" such as free curriculum and
laptop computers. Also, your children will no longer be considered
private homeschool students, but rather public school students. This
means you waive certain parental rights and agree to homeschool
according to the public school's rules. In other states with similar
"virtual" charter school programs, HSLDA has observed that more and
more regulations are gradually placed on the homeschooler each year.

5. As experienced in other states, public school-at-home programs will
place many restrictions on homeschoolers because public school
personnel will:

> develop personal learning plans for your children;
> assess your children accordingly;
> require you use its own secular curriculum;
> have certified teachers supervise you;
> require your child to participate in all required state
assessments; and
> reduce parents to the role of "learning coach . . . consulting
frequently with public teachers."

5. HSLDA does not accept public-school-at-home families into
membership, because it is not parent-controlled education.

This is not the free, private homeschooling that has been so
successful. This is simply an attempt by the government to create
small public schools in our homes.

Please read the articles on virtual charter schools on our
website_http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/C/CharterSchools.asp .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,


Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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