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3/3/2008 1:27:07 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Two Homeschool Bills Head to Governor

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Virginia--Two Homeschool Bills Head to Governor

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Last week two significant homeschool bills cleared a path to the
governor's desk.

TWO NEW ASSESSMENT OPTIONS

H.B. 1183. This bill is headed for the governor's desk!

It opens the door for families to file two new kinds of assessments:
an evaluation letter from a person who is licensed to teach in any
state, or a person with a master's degree in an academic field; and a
transcript or report card from a community college or college, a
college distance learning program, or a home education correspondence
school.

Last week the House voted 80 to 1 to adopt the Senate version, even
though the House itself had passed a somewhat different version. The
primary difference is that the House version established portfolios as
a lawful option, but the Senate version did not. Since the House
voted to adopt the Senate version, the bill will not need to go to
conference committee. Conference committee is where hand-picked
lawmakers from both houses try to come to agreement on one version of
a bill that both chambers initially passed in different forms.

After the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate sign
H.B. 1183, mere formalities, the bill will head for the governor's
desk for signature.

HOMESCHOOL "OPTION" REVISION

H.B. 767. The speaker of the House and the president of the Senate
signed off on this bill last week. Its next step is the governor's
desk.

This bill makes some relatively minor changes to what a family is
required to show when filing their notice of intent. It merges the
options we formerly referred to as the "approved correspondence
course" option and the "standards of learning" option. The option of
"providing evidence the parent can adequately educate the child,"
which previously did not have its own number in the law books, will be
renumbered as (iv), so we will still speak of four "options."

The Department of Education drafted this bill to simplify and
rationalize its administrative responsibilities over home education.
During the course of the drafting of the bill, the Department sought
comment from HSLDA, Home Educators Association of Virginia, and
Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. The Department took to heart
many of our comments, and the result is a bill that will modestly
simplify the administrative aspects of home education without bringing
any disadvantages to families.

TAX CREDITS

H.B. 1164. Last week the Senate Finance Committee killed this bill
that would have increased investment in all types of education by
providing tax credits. Sponsor Del. Chris Saxman is to be commended
for his bold effort to improve education.

The House had earlier crippled the bill by adding amendments that
would have dramatically reduced its ability to bring about change.
Hopefully, Virginia will soon elect a legislature that is willing to
think outside the box and provide the kind of real solution
exemplified in H.B. 1164.


Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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