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6/27/2007 3:42:42 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Iowa--Legislative Wrap up

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Iowa--Legislative Wrap up

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

With the closing of the legislature, it's time to assess both the good
and the bad.

Despite overwhelming evidence that putting 4-year-olds in classrooms
brings no lasting benefits--and may cause harm--Iowa became one of the
only states in the nation to force taxpayers to foot the bill for
statewide government-financed classroom time for 4-year-olds. Teachers
unions around the nation are pushing hard to get more and more
children into their system, and in Iowa they found a receptive
audience, with the legislature having taken a strongly statist lurch
in the last election.

The legislature also passed mandatory lead testing for all children,
including homeschoolers. It is not entirely clear when the law will be
enforced. But homeschoolers in the future will be required to test
their children for lead in their blood unless they have a religious
exemption, or are exempted under rules to be adopted by the Department
of Health in the future, or the law can be modified.

We can rejoice, however, at the defeat of many proposals that would
have eroded liberty. Although there was a tremendous push to expand
the age of compulsory school attendance, and passage of at least one
of them looked all but certain, every bill that would have raised the
upper limit or lowered the bottom limit of compulsory attendance
failed to become law.

The legislature rejected the opportunity to establish a definition of
marriage through the democratic process. This puts Iowa citizens at
risk of unpredictable judges imposing their own idiosyncratic
definition. Many states have wisely taken this decision away from
appointed judges and given it to the citizens.

A bill that would have put government busybodies literally in the crib
with babies, Senate File 481, failed to become law. The bill would
have created a program for government agents to visit the home of
every newborn babe--except for families knowledgeable enough to know
they could reject such officious conduct. These seemingly innocuous
"visits" would, in reality, have been government investigations of
each unsuspecting family, and would have swept many guiltless families
into frightening contact with the child welfare establishment.
Shockingly, this invasive program passed the Senate Committee on Human
Resources unanimously. The $2 million price tag for this "big brother"
program may have contributed to it running out of steam and failing to
reach a vote on the Senate floor.

House Joint Resolution 4 would have created "Home Rule," allowing
counties much more power over citizens. This easily could have
resulted in counties trying to impose their own homeschool
requirements. Fortunately, it failed to become law.

A bill that would have helpfully established September 15 as the
uniform date for filing the annual Competent Private Instruction form
(as opposed to the variable first day of school in each district)
failed to become law. However, the Department of Education has
sensibly adopted this date as policy. The new CPI handbook and form
state that September 15 is the filing date.

HSLDA members were active on many of these issues, making phone calls
and visits to legislators. The Network of Iowa Christian Home
Educators (NICHE) once again played a central role in helping protect
liberty. Our thanks go to NICHE and the many HSLDA member families who
worked to defeat bills that would have eroded liberty for all.

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1107

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