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7/6/2007 1:24:38 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon: Wrap up--Freedom Safe after Legislature Closes

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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July 6, 2007

Oregon: Wrap up--Freedom Safe after Legislature Closes

Dear HSLDA members:

After a very busy legislative session, homeschool families can
celebrate their continued freedom in Oregon. Due to the vigilance of
hundreds, if not thousands, of families across the state, several
direct attacks on home education were defeated. One example of God's
intervention was the change of heart of several legislators to vote
against Senate Bill 392 when all appeared lost.

The most direct attack against homeschool freedom this year came from
House Bill 2979. Among other things, this bill would have required
annual notification and raised the score required on the standardized
achievement test required in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. If a student
failed to meet the higher score in two straight years, the
superintendent would have ordered the student to be enrolled in
school.

After hundreds of calls against the bill and several hundred
homeschoolers at the hearing, House Bill 2979 died in committee.

Another danger this year was House Bill 2996. This bill would have
required a person to obtain a teaching license if they were paid to
teach a child any subject in kindergarten to 12th grade. Even if a
homeschool parent taught a history course to a couple of homeschool
students in a co-op type setting, they would have been required to get
a teaching license if they were paid.

The most difficult legislative battle this year, by far, involved
Senate Bill 392. This bill would have lowered the compulsory school
attendance age from 7 to 6. While this bill would certainly have
affected homeschool families, it was a broader issue of parental
rights and who should determine when a child is ready for school.

From the time SB 392 was introduced a week after the legislative
session began, HSLDA worked closely with OCEANetwork, OHEN, and others
to fight it. Your quick responses to all of our e-lerts were vital in
helping inform legislators that this bill should not be passed. After
the bill failed to pass the House floor vote it was sent back to
committee. When the legislature closed on June 28th the bill died.
However, this issue could certainly come up again in the future.

Several positive bills were also introduced and supported this year.
House Bill 2629, also known as the home education freedom bill, was
introduced and received a hearing. Many homeschool families attended
the hearing and called in support of the bill. While this bill did not
make it to the House floor, we will continue to work with OCEANetwork
for greater freedom for homeschooling families in Oregon.

Two bills were introduced to address the issue of homeschooling foster
children. While neither bill received a hearing, because the issue was
raised in the legislature, the Department of Education reversed their
prior position against allowing foster children to be taught by their
foster parents.

Another bill that would have benefited families in Oregon was Senate
Bill 849. This bill would have required social workers to be trained
in the constitutional and statutory rights of children and families.
SB 849 would have also required a social worker to inform the person
they were investigating of the allegations made against them. We will
continue to work to get these basic protections for families under
investigation.

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

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney


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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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