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5/5/2006 2:00:53 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Setbacks and Victories

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 5, 2006

South Dakota--Setbacks and Victories

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

This was a year of both setbacks and victories for the cause of
homeschool freedom in the South Dakota legislature.

Despite overwhelming evidence that children do not benefit from such
laws, the legislature lowered the age of compulsory attendance from 7
(with a waiver) and 6 (without a waiver) to 5, regardless of a waiver.
Strong citizen opposition killed the bill in its original form as
House Bill 1234, but through the parliamentary sleight of hand known
as "hog housing," the contents of the bill were inserted into another
bill, H.B. 1275, which passed. The new law does not take effect until
July 1, 2010, so there is time to seek to replace the waiver provision
the bill eliminated.

The legislature created a public-school-at-home program through House
Bill 1236. It is a compliment to homeschooling that public educators
have largely dropped efforts to ban homeschooling and have now
switched to see how they can make money from it. This program will
recruit homeschoolers across the state and try to persuade them to
give up some of their freedom in exchange for anticipated perks such
as a free computer, free Internet access, free government-approved
books, etc. Thousands of dollars of tax money will get sucked into
the program for every former homeschool student who enrolls. Each
family who participates will lose a corresponding amount of freedom.
Students in this program will be public school students and therefore
not eligible for membership in the Home School Legal Defense
Association.

Homeschoolers were successful, however, in stopping House Bill 1160,
which would have given local school districts a financial windfall by
giving them 25% per pupil funding for every homeschool student in
their district. The only requirement was that they merely make their
programs "available" to homeschool students. School districts would
have received the money even if no homeschool student ever signed up
for any public school program!

An effort to expand the upper limit of compulsory attendance from 16
to 18 via House Bill 1235 was finally killed on the Senate floor after
passing the House by a wide margin. The efforts of homeschoolers were
pivotal in blocking this attempt to expand government control over our
children.

Homeschoolers did not even let a bill get out of committee that could
have made it impossible for children with attendance problems in
public school to get a fresh chance through homeschooling. If the
school filed a truancy petition against a student, Senate Bill 110
would have reduced the right to homeschool to a mere privilege
dependent on the will of government officials. Rising up to protect
the rights of children who may need homeschooling the most, families
across the state poured in phone calls opposing the bill. A legal
letter from HSLDA was read to the committee pointing out the bill's
many constitutional infirmities. The Senate Education Committee killed
the bill by a narrow 3-2 vote.

Thank you for the many phone calls you made, and the trips to Pierre
to carry your message to the lawmakers. The rights of all parents and
taxpayers took a hit through House Bills 1236 and 1275, but homeschool
advocates could claim victories in defeating the House Bill 1160
boondoggle and the ill-advised House Bill 1235. And homeschool
freedom was fully protected from the most direct attack, Senate Bill
110.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Can you look at the clouds and tell the direction of the wind?

An interesting phenomenon of wind is that it can blow in multiple
directions at the same time, at different heights from the ground.
But usually there is a prevailing wind. HSLDA watches the gusts
and monitors the prevailing trends of change in the legal climate
of home education. So no matter which way the wind is blowing,
we're there to protect your family.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1938

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Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733
Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org

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