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Date:
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4/3/2007 4:53:00 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon: Urgent--Two-Pronged Attack on Homeschooling. Calls Needed!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 3, 2007

Oregon: Urgent--Two-Pronged Attack on Homeschooling. Calls Needed!

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need your action on two bills that seriously attack homeschool
freedom in Oregon. Many of you will remember the email we sent out
last month warning of these two dangerous bills and that we might need
your help to stop these bills. Well, the time has come.

The House Subcommittee on Education Innovation has scheduled a hearing
on House Bill 2979 and 2996 for Thursday at 1 p.m. We need your calls
and emails now to urge the Committee to kill these bills.

As we previously stated, House Bill 2979 would completely revise
Oregon law for parents who teach their children at home. If this bill
passes, homeschool parents would be required to notify their
Educational Service District (ESD) every year of their intent to
homeschool. House Bill 2979 also raises the composite score required
on a standardized achievement test and parents would be required to
submit test scores without being requested to do so by the ESD.

If that wasn't bad enough, if a homeschool student failed to reach the
higher percentile the second year after being retested, the student
would be ordered by the ESD Superintendent to enroll in the local
public school for up to 12 months.

The second bill that will also be heard Thursday is House Bill 2996.
While this bill primarily adds substantial regulations on private
schools it would affect a large number of homeschool families as well.


The main impact to homeschool families is that House Bill 2996 would
require any person who is paid to provide instruction to a child in
kindergarten to 12th grade would have to have a teaching license. So,
if a homeschool parent taught a science course once a week in a
co-op-type setting he or she would be required to get a teaching
license if the parent were paid any amount of money to teach the
class.

Your calls and emails are needed to help educate the Education
Innovation Subcommittee members that this legislation is not needed.
Please take the time to respectfully let your legislators know that
these bills must be killed.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please give the Education Innovation Subcommittee members listed
below this message in your own words:

"Please oppose House Bills 2979 and 2996. Both of these bills harm
private home education and unreasonably burden the educational choices
that parents have here in Oregon. Homeschool parents have demonstrated
that parental involvement in their child's education is very
successful. Studies show added regulation will not improve this
successful educational option and will only restrict choices parents
have. Please ensure that House Bill 2979 and 2996 are defeated."

Please remember to be kind and courteous when speaking to the staff;
they will likely receive many phone calls about this issue. Repeating
the message word for word is not necessary and you can personalize it
to fit your style.

House Subcommittee on Education Innovation Members

Representative Betty Komp, Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1422
Email: rep.bettykomp@state.or.us

Representative Karen Minnis, Vice-Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1449
Email: rep.karenminnis@state.or.us

Representative Arnie Roblan, Vice-Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1409
Email: rep.arnieroblan@state.or.us

Representative Peter Buckley
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1405
Email: rep.peterbuckley@state.or.us

Representative Ben Cannon
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1446
Email: rep.bencannon@state.or.us

Representative John H Dallum
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1459
Email: rep.johndallum@state.or.us

Representative Gene Whisnant
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1453
Email: rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us

2) If possible and you live nearby, attend the Education Innovation
hearing on Thursday. The hearing is scheduled to be held on Thursday,
April 5, 2007, at 1 p.m. in hearing room D. Information on parking can
be found here: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3986 . Hearing room D
is on the first floor and a map can be found here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3987 .

If you would like to testify you need to be prepared to submit 20
collated copies of written materials at the time of your testimony.

BACKGROUND:

If House Bill 2979 is passed this bill would require:

> Annual notification of your decision to homeschool your children
instead of the one-time notice required now.

> Testing within 30 days of notifying the ESD for the first time of
your intent to homeschool any child who has already completed the 3rd
grade. This will primarily affect homeschool families moving into
Oregon although a child who has already completed the 3rd grade before
turning 7 would also be affected.

> All test results for grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 will be required to be
submitted to the ESD, even if they don't request the results.

> All test results for these grades must be above a certain, not
currently specified percentile. Currently a student has to score above
the 15th percentile. The intent of the bill is to raise that
percentile.

> If the student failed to reach that percentile score he would be
required to take another test the next year. If the student failed to
score at the required percentile the second year, the ESD would order
the student to enroll in the public school for up to 12 months. This
would occur even if the student showed an improved score but wasn't at
the required percentile. Currently a student is fine if he shows
improvement.

> Homeschool students interested in participating in interscholastic
activities would be required to score at a yet unknown percentile
score. It is clear from the bill that this is to be higher than the
current percentile of at or above the 23rd percentile.

> Parents who fail to comply with these provisions will be cited for a
class C violation after only one warning.

House Bill 2996 is an extensive bill that mandates a number of public
school regulations on the private school community. While some private
schools already comply with some of these requirements, such as
registering with the Department of Education, this bill will require
all private schools to comply.

Besides placing a financial burden on private schools to comply with
all these additional regulations, this bill will negatively affect
homeschool parents. Any person who is paid to provide instruction to a
child between kindergarten through 12th grade would be required to
have a teaching license. This would virtually eliminate the option of
the occasional homeschool co-op class unless the teacher providing the
instruction was certified. This would include, for instance, the
government class held for several homeschool students from different
homes taught by a local college professor and homeschool father for
$10 a student.

Please call now and help defeat these bills.

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA, we need your help to support
greater parental rights and homeschool freedom in Oregon! Please visit
http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp to join today.

If you would like to be put on our email list to receive vital
e-lerts you may sign up at
https://secure.hslda.org/hslda/elert/account.asp?Process=Subscribe .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Oregon!

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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