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1/13/2009 4:29:39 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oklahoma: Action Needed--Homeschool Freedom Threatened by Two Bad Bills!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 13, 2009

Oklahoma: Action Needed--Homeschool
Freedom Threatened by Two Bad Bills!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Even before the Oklahoma 2009 Legislative Session has officially
started, two bills have come to our attention, and we need your help.
These bills, Senate Bill 308 and Senate Bill 472, threaten the
foundation of home education freedom that parents have in Oklahoma.
Both bills are scheduled to be officially introduced on February 2.

Senate Bill 472 would require every parent or guardian who is
providing "other means of education" (i.e. home education) to their
child to notify their local school district of this fact. If this bill
is passed, every parent would have to submit a notice of their intent
before the first day of each school year or within 10 days from
beginning their home education program.

Senate Bill 472 would also require parents to submit a report of each
of their children's academic progress at the end of each semester.
Every parent would be required to submit two reports a year to their
local public school officials for each child to demonstrate how that
child was doing in their home education program.

Senate Bill 308 and Senate Bill 472 would allow local police or
certain public school officials to take temporary custody of any child
who was taught at home. Under both S.B. 308 and S.B. 472 whenever a
child is away from their home without an adult present, a police
officer or school official could pick them up and temporarily detain
them. Currently under Oklahoma law, children who are taught at home
cannot be picked up and detained; they are exempt.

We need your calls and emails to both sponsors of these bills to
persuade them to remove their bills. We would also like you to contact
the Senate Education Committee to let them know that you oppose these
bills as well. We have provided a suggested message to give, but your
own personal message about this bill will be the most effective way to
let the legislature understand that these bills are not needed and
would damage the freedom of "other means of education" that Oklahoma
has recognized for over 100 years.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1. Please call and email Senator Mary Easley, the sponsor of Senate
Bill 472, and give her this message in your own words:

"Please remove Senate Bill 472 from consideration by the legislature
immediately. Under the Oklahoma Constitution a parent may provide for
'other means of education' to their children. Study after study has
shown that children taught at home (on average) do above average
academically. This bill is an unacceptable infringement of parents'
rights to direct their child's education."

When calling Senator Easley's office understand that they will
probably be receiving a lot of calls. Please be courteous but firm in
your opposition to Senate Bill 472. Please let her office know if you
live in her district and are one of her constituents (District 18).
Senator Easley is also on the Senate Education Committee.

Senator Mary Easley
Capitol Address
2300 North Lincoln Blvd., Room 429
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 521-5590
Email: easley@oksenate.gov

District Address:
106 S. Cherokee Lane
Grand Lake Towne, OK 74349

2. Please call and email Senator Jim Wilson, the sponsor of Senate
Bill 308, and give him this message in your own words:

"Please remove Senate Bill 308 from consideration by the legislature
immediately. Under the Oklahoma Constitution a parent may provide for
'other means of education' to their children. This bill is an
unacceptable infringement of parents' rights to direct their child's
education and determine what is in their best interest. Children who
are not in violation of the law should be exempt from being picked up
by local officials simply because they are taught at home."

When calling Senator Wilson's office understand that they will
probably be receiving a lot of calls. Please be courteous but firm in
your opposition to Senate Bill 308. Please let his office know if you
live in his district and are one of his constituents (District 3).

Senator Jim Wilson
Capitol Address:
2300 North Lincoln Blvd., Room 533C
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 521-5574
Email: wilson@oksenate.gov

District Address:
708 W. Shawnee
Tahlequah, OK 74464

3. Please call and email the Senate Education Committee members listed
below and give the following message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 472 and Senate Bill 308. Under the Oklahoma
Constitution a parent may provide for 'other means of education' to
their children. Study after study has shown that children taught at
home (on average) do above average academically. These bills are an
unacceptable infringement of parents' rights to direct their child's
education.

Senate Bill 472 will create unnecessary paperwork for public school
officials and parents, wasting time and money.

Both Senate Bill 308 and 472 would also violate the child's
fundamental Fourth Amendment rights. Many children 16 and older who
are taught at home attend educational activities outside of the home
with the consent and under the direction of their parent."

If you find that your state senator is on the Senate Education
Committee please let him or her know that you are a constituent. You
can find a list of the Senate organized by district here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5979 .

Senate Education Committee Members

Senator John W. Ford (R)- Chair
Phone: (405) 521-5634
Email: fordj@oksenate.gov

Senator Clark Jolley (R)- Vice Chair
Phone: (405) 521-5622
Email: jolley@oksenate.gov

Senator Cliff Branan (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5543
Email: branan@oksenate.gov

Senator Bill Brown (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5602
Email: brownb@oksenate.gov

Senator Kenneth Corn (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5576
Email: cochran@oksenate.gov

Senator Mary Easley (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5590
Email: easley@oksenate.gov

Senator Judy Eason McIntyre (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5598
Email: easonmcintyre@oksenate.gov

Senator Jay Paul Gumm (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5586 and local (580) 924-4717
Email: gumm@oksenate.gov

Senator Jim Halligan (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5572
Email: halligan@oksenate.gov

Senator Richard C. Lerblance (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5604 and local (918) 297-2501
Email: lerblance@oksenate.gov

Senator Mike Mazzei (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5675
Email: mazzei@oksenate.gov

Senator Susan Paddack (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5541
Email: paddack@oksenate.gov

Senator Jim Reynolds (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5522
Email: reynolds@oksenate.gov

Senator John Sparks (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5553
Email: sparks@oksenate.gov

Senator Gary Stanislawski (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5624
Email: stanislawski@oksenate.gov

4. Pray that these bills are defeated and plan on attending the
Oklahoma Home Educators' Capitol Day on February 10. This will provide
you with a great opportunity to impact these bills, to get to meet
your legislators and to create a positive impression for home
education. For more information on the upcoming Capitol Day go to:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5980 .

BACKGROUND

Some of you may remember that in the 2007 legislative session Senator
Jim Wilson introduced a bill that was virtually identical to current
Senate Bill 472. That bill, Senate Bill 375, was successfully defeated
by the prayers and hard work of families all across Oklahoma. By those
efforts again we pray that we will again be able to defeat these
attempts to restrict the freedom of home education in Oklahoma.

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for greater parental rights and homeschool freedom in Oklahoma please
visit http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5981 .

If you would like to be put on our email list to receive vital
e-lerts you may sign up at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5982 .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Oklahoma! Feel free
to send this to others who are supportive of home education freedom.

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> How long are you in for?

Some families are facing what seems like a lifelong commitment to
homeschooling, with children at both ends of the spectrum -- some
graduating and some just reaching school age. If you're going to
be "in" for a while, consider a lifetime membership with HSLDA.
It's a good deal for families with more than 10 years of
homeschooling ahead.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1936

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