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3/4/2008 3:52:23 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
District of Columbia--Tips on Testifying

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 4, 2008

District of Columbia--Tips on Testifying

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

We appreciate all of you who are coming forward to testify on this
proposed regulation. If you are going to testify, please notify my
office at legaldc@hslda.org or call Dr. Beverly Wheeler, Executive
Director of the State Board at (202) 741-0884 or email her at
Beverly.Wheeler@dc.gov .

The public hearing being held tomorrow night is the beginning of the
public comment period for this proposed regulation. There is a 30-day
period during which the public may submit written comments. Following
this period, there is another hearing and comment period before the
proposed rules will be voted on.

The Office of the State Superintendant of Education has already
revised the regulations, removing Section 5209 that would have
required that parents file an "annual assessment." You can review the
new proposed draft regulations at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4827 .

ACTION REQUESTED

Attend the State Board of Education meeting scheduled for this
Wednesday, March 5, at 5:30 p.m. The hearing will be held at One
Judiciary Square- First Floor Chambers, 441 Fourth St. NW, Washington
DC 20001. The hearing will be aired live on the District Schools TV
Channel 99.

To see the proposed rules and access more information about DC
homeschooling, visit our webpage at www.hslda.org/DC

BACKGROUND

Here is some background to help you understand the organizational and
political context of the new D.C. schools hierarchy. In June 2007,
the D.C. Council (the District's legislative body) gave
"governor-like" power to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty over education in the
District.

In that law, the Council separated the D.C. Public Schools from other
schools and created the Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE). In
that legislation, the Council also assigned the State Board of
Education approval authority over a number of items, including
approving home education regulations. For more specific information on
the specific functions of the Board, you can go to D.C. Code
sec.38-2652.

There are nine members of the State Board of Education authorized;
seven seats are currently filled. Five of these members are elected
and four are appointed (two of the appointed seats are vacant). In
November of 2008, all nine seats will be up for election.

The State Board of Education has approval and oversight responsibility
over the OSSE; this is the first opportunity the Board has had to
review these proposed regulations. The Board has stated that it is
eager to hear public input and that it will listen to public input.
While it is true that the Board will likely grant a fair amount of
deference to the OSSE in interpreting its authority, it is important
to remember that the Board's positions are elected, and members are
therefore accountable to the voters.

When testifying before the board, each person will have about three
minutes to speak. The Board may ask questions. When we address the
Board, it is in our interest that we remain respectful and communicate
our points positively. We should appreciate these board members for
their willingness to serve regardless of whether we agree with their
politics or position on this particular regulation.

With these points in mind, I have prepared a document to assist you in
understanding the proposed regulations and in preparing your
testimony. This document is available on our website at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4828

We need your help! If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like
to help us fight for greater homeschool freedom in the District of
Columbia, please visit http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp . Join or
renew for two years and you get the Drive Thru History--America DVD
and curriculum free, a $50 value.

If you would like to be put on our e-mail list to receive vital
e-lerts, you may sign up at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4829 .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in the District of
Columbia!

Sincerely,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
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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