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10/16/2006 11:41:38 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Pennsylvania-Calls Needed Now for Last Chance to Pass Homeschool Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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October 16, 2006

Pennsylvania-Calls Needed Now for Last Chance to Pass Homeschool Bill

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

This is our last opportunity to reduce government restrictions on home
education! Please call your state representative immediately.

Today at 1:00 p.m. the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will
consider an amendment to pass the favorable homeschool law we have
been working on for over two years. If it passes the House it is very
likely that this bill will be enacted.

Representative Ronald S. Marsico has agreed to attach the favorable
homeschool language from House Bill 505 to Senate Bill 143 which has
already passed the Senate. If the House agrees to this, Senate Bill
143 will be returned to the Senate for concurrence by a simple up or
down vote.

There are only a few days left in this legislative session to get this
bill through. And the third and final consideration of Senate Bill 143
is today. Time is of the essence!

This bill with the proposed homeschool amendment would totally
eliminate a superintendent's authority to review your portfolios and
evaluate the progress of your home education program.

Action Requested:

(1) Please call and e-mail your state representative with this
message:

"Please support Senate Bill 143 with Representative Marsico's
amendment 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."

To find the name and contact information for your state
representative, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

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

Reasons to support Senate Bill 143:

As amended, Senate Bill 143 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 homeschool language from House Bill 505, go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3365

Background:

In 1998 the General Assembly of Pennsylvania enacted a new home
education statute, Section 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, Section 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 18 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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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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