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2/14/2007 12:17:21 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Montana--Dangerous Homeschool Bill Set for Hearing

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 13, 2007

Montana--Dangerous Homeschool Bill Set for Hearing

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

On Monday, Senator Don Ryan, chairman of the Senate Education and
Cultural Resources Committee and sworn enemy of homeschooling,
introduced a bill which would require homeschool students to register
with the county superintendent the same as public school students.
This is yet another in a series of bills sponsored by Senator Ryan
over the last several years intended to restrict or destroy
homeschooling in Montana. It is crucial that you express your
opposition to this dangerous bill right away!

According to the language of the bill, the deadline for registration
would be at least seven days before the beginning of the school
district's fiscal year on July 1. This means that families would have
to register their children by June 23 of each year. Presumably, county
superintendents would deny any family the right to homeschool if they
missed the deadline.

Equally if not more threatening to homeschooling in Montana is the
registration requirement itself. Current law requires homeschools to
simply notify the county superintendent of student's attendance at the
homeschool. By registering the homeschool students with the county
superintendent, they arguably become enrolled in the school district
as public school students. This would entitle the school district to
receive the same amount of state funds for a homeschool student as for
a regular public school student, even though the school district was
providing no services to the homeschool student. This would be a huge
rip-off to the taxpayers of Montana. Even more significant, if
homeschool students become public school students, this will destroy
homeschooling in Montana by subjecting homeschool students to whatever
requirements the public schools impose on them, such as approved
curriculum and standardized testing.

Senator Ryan has wasted no time in scheduling a hearing on this bill.
It's scheduled for Monday, February 19, at 3:00 p.m. in Room 303 of
the Capitol in Helena. We need a large turnout of homeschoolers to
demonstrate that this bill is unacceptable!

REQUESTED ACTION:

1. Please contact the members of the Senate Education and Cultural
Resources Committee listed below and your own state senator with this
message:

"Please vote against Senate Bill 458, which would require homeschool
students to register with the county superintendent the same as public
school students. This would effectively destroy homeschooling in
Montana by turning homeschool students into public school students
with all of the attendant state control. It would also unfairly
entitle local school districts to receive state funds for homeschool
students in the same amounts as for regular public school students,
even though the school districts provided no services to the
homeschool students."

Please call and e-mail the state senators. They need to hear from
every homeschooling family in Montana.

Sen. Don Ryan (D) - Chairman, 10th District
(406) 761-3261
Use the on-line message form available at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=3755

Sen. Jerry Black (R), 14th District
(406) 434-5363
BLACKS@3RIVERS.NET

Sen. Jim Elliott (D), 7th District
(406) 827-3671
Or (406) 827-3671
JIM@JIMELLIOTT.ORG

Sen. Bob Hawks (D), 33rd District
(406) 587-1403
r_hawks@imt.net

Sen. Carol Juneau (D), 8th District
(406) 338-5689
Or (406) 338-5689
CSJUNEAU@3RIVERS.NET

Sen. Sam Kitzenberg (D), 18th District
(406) 228-8518
(406) 228-8518
SAM@KITZENBERG.NET

Sen. Dan McGee (R), 29th District
(406) 628-6534
Use the on-line message form available at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=3755

Sen. Jim Peterson (R), 15th District
(406) 374-2277
Or (406) 374-2277
JPRANCH@TTC-CMC.NET

Sen. Robert Story (R), 30th District
(406) 633-2746
Use the on-line message form available at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=3755

You may also call any of the senators at:
(406) 444-4800.

2. Please forward this e-mail to every homeschooling family you know
who is not a member of HSLDA and urge them to contact the Committee
members and their own state senator.

3. Please attend the hearing on this bill when it comes before the
Senate Education Committee on February 19. Information about
presenting testimony and the current status of proceedings can be
found at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=3756 and
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=3757 .

To find the name of your state senator, use HSLDA's Legislative
Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2055 .

Please contact these senators today!

Sincerely,


Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel


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