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6/15/2007 1:59:04 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Nevada: Victory for Homeschool Freedom Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Nevada: Victory for Homeschool Freedom Bill

Dear HSLDA members:

After a tremendous effort by the Nevada Homeschool Network, especially
Frank Schnorbus and Barbara Dragon, S.B. 404, the Homeschool Freedom
Bill, has been signed into law. Joining in the effort during key
periods over the past four months were Elissa Wahl, Irene Rushing,
Carl Lucas, Tina Goodman, Kelley Radow and former Assemblywoman
Sharron Angle (also a former homeschooler).

Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Christopher
Klicka was involved in the minute-by-minute drafting process and
amendments, as well as orchestrating e-lerts to Nevada HSLDA members.
Finally, without the help of the many emails, phone calls, and
appearances at committee hearings from homeschool parents throughout
Nevada, this bill would never have become law.

Incredibly, S.B. 404 passed during just one legislative session. Many
times, this type of bill, which eliminates over 50% of the current
regulation, takes several sessions to actually pass. However, due to
the expert guidance of the Nevada Homeschool Network, not only was the
bill passed by the Senate and the Assembly, and signed by the
Governor, but it was passed unanimously by the entire Senate!

S.B. 404 does several things:

> Eliminates oversight of homeschooling by the local or state public
school system. It establishes a one-time (instead of annual)
notification of intent to homeschool to be sent to the local school
district when the child begins to homeschool. No longer do parents
need to show the child's birth certificate.

> Eliminates the requirement that homeschoolers provide "equivalent
instruction to public schools." The law recognizes parents' rights to
direct the education of their children and their full responsibility
to determine how their children are being educated. It does list
certain subjects that must be taught, but only as appropriate for each
child's age and skill level as determined by the parent.

> Requires the school district to accept a notice of intent that
contains the name, age, gender of each child; name and address of
their parents; a short educational plan, as appropriate for the age
and skill level of the child at the time of filing for the first year
of homeschooling.

An optional privacy statement is included on the notice of intent form
if you so wish to sign it to prevent your notification from being
circulated to anyone else.

The school district must give the parent a "written acknowledgement"
that serves as a "Proof of Compliance" with Nevada's compulsory school
attendance law.

S.B. 404 requires the school district give notice about testing
opportunities that must be available to homeschool students, such as
college entrance exams and the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying
Exam.

One of the most amazing aspects of S.B. 404 is that it includes a
religious freedom clause!

This religious freedom provision in S.B. 404 states that "no
regulation or policy of the state board, any school district or any
other governmental entity may infringe upon a parent's right to
educate his child based upon religious preference unless it is (a)
essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (b) the
least restrictive means furthering that compelling interest." This
language was crafted by Klicka in order to parallel religious freedom
acts which HSLDA has helped to enact in nearly a quarter of the other
states. However, this is the first time it is being used in a purely
educational context. This is an important provision because it serves
as a "backup" of the homeschool law. Any homeschool family who is
teaching their children according to their religious convictions may
invoke this clause any time a school district becomes abusive. HSLDA
is particularly excited about this aspect of the new Homeschool
Freedom Bill.

The term "parent" is defined to include: "parent, custodial parent,
legal guardian, or other persons in this state who have control or
charge of a child and the legal right to direct the education of the
child."

The Department of Education is required to develop a standard form for
homeschool children to participate in programs and activities,
including classes, sports, and interscholastic activities.

The Homeschool Freedom Bill will virtually end the state's power to
create regulations for homeschoolers. Now homeschoolers will have all
their rights specifically delineated in the Nevada Code as enacted by
the Legislature. This makes homeschool rights more permanent.

We are thankful to God for this incredible victory in Nevada. Nevada
homeschoolers will now enjoy one of the best laws in the country.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Is customer service an art or a science?

For us, good customer service is both an art and a science
-it should appeal to our members and be effective. Consider what
our members say about us:

We're thankful for the support HSLDA membership provides us. We'd
never homeschool without them. We highly recommend HSLDA to all
homeschoolers. - North Tonawanda, NY

I cannot imagine our homeschool journey without HSLDA's strong
leadership, protection, and guidance. God bless HSLDA!
- Alta Loma, California

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1940

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