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7/18/2007 1:29:04 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Florida: Legislative Wrap-Up

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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July 18, 2007

Florida: Legislative Wrap-Up

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The Florida legislature closed May 4, after two short months in
session. Although we tracked many bills that would potentially impact
homeschool freedoms, nothing passed. God was good!

Here are the most important bills we tracked:

> H.B. 277 and S.B. 360 would have raised the compulsory school
attendance age from 16 to 18; neither got out of committee. Thank you
for your calls in response to our e-lerts. House Bill 277, which
started to move, was deferred in the House Committee on 21st Century
Competitiveness. The hearing and vote did not take place as scheduled.
We believe your calls contributed to this delay and the bill's
ultimate demise.

> S.B. 704 would have required private schools, before awarding a high
school diploma, to have students earn a passing score on the FCAT or
score "on a standardized test [which is] concordant with passing
scores on the FCAT."

Many homeschoolers have enrolled in 623 and 627 umbrella schools that
award high school diplomas. From our early understanding of this bill,
these private schools that cover the homeschoolers will have to
require the homeschool students to take the FCAT or score, on a
standardized test, equal to a passing score on the FCAT. Thankfully,
this needless government red tape over private schools did not pass.

> A couple of other bills, H.B. 799 and S.B. 2822, would have expanded
virtual schools in the state. Homeschool leaders and HSLDA are
concerned about the virtual school laws being passed around the
country. Every time a public virtual school program starts, private
homeschoolers leave homeschooling to join these programs.

Much freedom is lost as the homeschool movement slowly becomes
secularized and many controls are placed on participating families.
Thanks again for your calls, as these virtual school bills were all
defeated!

For more detailed information on any of these bills and more, I invite
you to go to our webpage on Florida legislation at
http://www.hslda.org/legislation/state/FL/default.asp.

The best news of the 2007 session was that Governor Charlie Crist
issued a proclamation the week of April 1-7 to celebrate the
contribution of homeschooling in Florida. To our knowledge, there had
never been a proclamation by a governor in Florida celebrating
homeschooling.

Regina Hicks of FPEA worked with HSLDA to draft the proclamation for
the governor. Regina then contacted the governor's office to secure
this proclamation.

To review or print the proclamation to hang in your homeschool room,
go to
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/fl/Florida_proclamation.pdf

Thank you for your vigilance and involvement to support parental
rights in Florida and keep your ability to homeschool your children
free from unreasonable governmental interference.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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