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1/23/2009 1:49:50 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Florida--Broward County Homeschoolers Subject to Blanket Portfolio Reviews

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 23, 2009

Florida--Broward County Homeschoolers
Subject to Blanket Portfolio Reviews

Dear HSLDA Members:

For many years, the Florida homeschool law has allowed school
districts to inspect the portfolios of homeschoolers with only 15 days
written notice. Unfortunately, too many school districts have
misapplied this law by randomly harassing innocent homeschool
families.

Recently, our members have notified us that Broward County is planning
to randomly notify scores of families that they must submit a
portfolio of each child's academic work for the school district to
"evaluate."

We at HSLDA believe that although the school district can request
portfolio reviews, you are not obligated to comply for the following
reasons:

First of all, it was never the intent of the Florida legislature that
portfolio reviews be conducted randomly! This is simply an abuse of
the law and intent of the legislature. The law is essentially being
used as a tool for harassment.

Secondly, we believe that portfolio reviews should only be used if
there is evidence that a family is not in compliance with the law. It
should not be a common practice performed on a random basis.

If you are contacted by the school district and you do not want to
have your portfolio reviewed, contact our office immediately and we
will write a letter to the school district on your behalf. If enough
families stand together, we can make a difference and stop this random
practice.

Furthermore, homeschoolers who have religious reasons for
homeschooling could invoke the Florida Religious Freedom Act (Florida
Statutes Section 761.01 et seq.) that HSLDA helped pass a few years
ago. This act provides religious homeschoolers with a legal means to
say "no" to the portfolio review, if the portfolio review is offensive
to the homeschoolers' religious beliefs. By invoking the Religious
Freedom Act, the homeschooler can force the state to prove that the
fulfillment of a portfolio review "furthers a compelling state
interest" and is the "least restrictive means" of fulfilling its
interest that children be educated.

Therefore, HSLDA is willing to help any member families in Florida who
object to the random demand for a portfolio review.

Please let us know if you find yourself in this situation. We are
ready to assist.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 80,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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