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3/2/2007 5:17:11 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Missouri--Calls Needed Now to Stop Homeschool High School Registration Bills

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Missouri--Calls Needed Now to Stop
Homeschool High School Registration Bills

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Two bills that interfere with the ability of parents to supervise
their children will receive a public hearing Tuesday, March 6.

House Bill 708 would require homeschool families to file a certificate
every year certifying that their student has adequate attendance and
grades if they want their student to have a driver's license or
learner's permit. This would amount to de facto homeschool
registration for families of older teens.

H.B. 694 initially gives school districts power to create standards
their students would be required to meet for a learner's permit or
driver's license. But then a student not satisfying those standards
would be prohibited from getting a learner's permit or license even if
he began homeschooling--and even if he fully satisfied all his
parents' standards. The label of "failure" would follow him after he
tried to get a fresh start. Families of those labeled "failure" would,
in effect, be forced to register and enforce public school standards
on their student.

Current law puts parents in the driver's seat on licenses. Students
under 18 can only get--and keep--a learner's permit or license with
their parents' permission. H.B. 708 and H.B. 694 are attempts to yank
the steering wheel away from parents.

Families for Home Education (FHE) joins HSLDA in opposing these bills.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Committee members probably do not understand how these bills would
impact homeschool families, but your calls can help. Please call them
with the message, "Please do not support H.B. 708 or H.B. 694. These
bills will have unintended consequences for homeschool families and
reduce the ability of parents to supervise their children."

2. Come to the hearing on Tuesday morning and explain how these bills
would affect you. Both bills are scheduled for a public hearing
beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 6, in Hearing Room 1 in the
basement of the state Capitol.

Contact Information for Members of the House Transportation Committee:

St. Onge, Neal C., Chair, 573-751-5568

Faith, Sally, Vice Chair, 573-751-1452

Daus, Michael, 573-751-6736

Denison, Charles, 573-751-2210

Fallert, Joe, 573-751-7735

Kuessner, J. C., 573-751-2112

Meadows, Tim, 573-751-1311

Munzlinger, Brian, 573-751-7985

Onder, Jr., M.D., Robert F., 573-751-3572

Quinn, John, 573-751-2917


BACKGROUND

There is a trend nationwide to use the threat of losing a driver's
license to motivate students to study hard in school. Giving a student
a permit or license should be based on their ability to drive
safely--not on how smart they are in school. No safe driver should be
denied a license if his parents approve.

The driver's license must not be degraded into a tool for enforcing
social policy that has nothing to do with driving safely. It is far
too important. We may sympathize with the goal of encouraging students
to study hard, but his is the wrong way to do it.

H.B. 694 requires students to prove every semester that they have
satisfied whatever standards the school creates. This requirement
would continue to apply even to families who start to homeschool, if
the student was below school standards when the homeschool program was
initiated. This would interfere with parents' ability to provide the
student with the education they believe is best for him.

H.B. 708 requires students--including homeschool students--to keep a
1.75 grade point average. This raises numerous problems for homeschool
families. School officials may use this as an opportunity to intrude
into families and demand "proof" that the grades parents assigned were
justified. Some families do not use grades to evaluate their students.


Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

Link to H.B. 708
http://www.house.mo.gov/bills071/biltxt/intro/HB0708I.htm
Link to H.B. 694
http://www.house.mo.gov/bills071/biltxt/intro/HB0694I.htm

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