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2/12/2007 2:58:30 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Calls Needed to Stop HB 1266,' Over-Funding Proven Failure'

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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South Dakota--Calls Needed to Stop
H.B. 1266, "Over-Funding Proven Failure"

Dear HSLDA Friends and Members,

We're giving a new nickname to H.B. 1266--the bill that would overfund
the South Dakota Virtual School. We're calling it the "Over-Funding
Proven Failure" bill. Here's why.

We have just confirmed some remarkable statistics.

Idaho has a public-school-at-home (PSAH) program similar in some ways
to the one that would be funded with H.B. 1266.

For both 2005 and 2006, fewer students in the Idaho PSAH schools
scored "proficient" or higher on the Idaho Standards Achievement Test
than their fellow public school students--at every grade level! This
troubling data is even more shocking because in multiple scientific
studies homeschooled students have achieved higher average scores than
public school students when taking standardized achievement tests.

This rubs salt in the wound of H.B. 1266 threatening to give
brick-and-mortar funding to inexpensive home-based education. The
public would be paying MORE and getting LESS!

The attempt to borrow the homeschool "model"--but put the government
at the center rather than parents--appears to have failed in Idaho.

Before foolishly rushing to fund a program that appears to be a
dangerous experiment--with children as the guinea pigs--the
legislature should slow down and carefully examine official data from
other states comparing PSAHs to brick-and-mortar public schools.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call your representative with this message: "Please vote no on
H.B. 1266. Please do not provide a funding mechanism for virtual
schools. Virtual schools have been proven to be failures in Idaho.
Don't experiment with our kids."

Use our legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to get
contact information for your representative.

BACKGROUND

This email will be posted on the HSLDA website with links to the data
used here.

H.B. 1266 funds the South Dakota Virtual School (SDVS) by allowing
homeschool students, with some exceptions, to enroll in any public
school in the state--including the virtual school--and the public
school gets full pro-rata funding. When a homeschool student
partially enrolls in a brick-and-mortar public school, this funding is
rational. It is not rational when a homeschool student enrolls in a
virtual school, like the South Dakota Virtual School, since virtual
education is much less expensive.

Section 1 of the bill allows homeschoolers to enroll in public school.
Section 2 provides pro-rata funding, whether the student attends a
brick-and-mortar school or receives inexpensive education at home.
Section 3 requires school districts--which would include the SDVS--to
allow homeschool students to transfer in. These 3 sections together
create state-wide access to the SDVS and over-fund it dramatically.

Thank you for standing with us for liberty.


Sincerely Yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Idaho Virtual School performance on Idaho Standards Achievement Test (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)


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