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2/6/2009 12:07:19 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oklahoma--More Calls Needed on Bad Bills!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 6, 2009

Oklahoma--More Calls Needed on Bad Bills!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

As many of you already know, there are two bills that threaten the
freedom that Oklahoma parents have had. These bills, Senate Bill 308
and Senate Bill 472, threaten the foundation of home education freedom
by limiting parental rights in determining where their children can be
during school hours. Senate Bill 472 would also require significant
notification and reporting when teaching your children at home.

While we requested that you contact the Senate Education Committee
last month, even before these bills were officially introduced, these
bills have now been assigned to the Senate Rules Committee.

We need your calls and emails to all members of the Rules Committee
over the next week or so. While it is always important to have a big
turnout at Oklahoma Home Educators' Capitol Day, these bills make it
doubly important that the legislature understand that the
homeschooling community is watching. Please plan on coming to the
Capitol Day on February 10.

While we have provided a suggested message to give to the committee
members, 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. Thank you for your
efforts to protect freedom in Oklahoma!

REQUESTED ACTION:

1. Please call and email the Senate Rules 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 Rules 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=6080 .

If your last name begins with the letters A through M, please call the
senators in the first group. If your name begins with N through Z,
please call the second group. Everyone should call the chairman.

Senate Rules Committee Members

Senator Jonathan Nichols (R)- Chair
Phone: (405) 521-5535
Email: nichols@oksenate.gov

GROUP 1

Senator Earl Garrison (D)- Vice Chair
Phone: (405) 521-5533
Email: whitep@oksenate.gov

Senator Brian Bingman (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5528
Email: bingman@oksenate.gov

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

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

Senator John W. Ford (R)
Phone: No calls needed--already stated that he opposes these bills.
Email: fordj@oksenate.gov

Senator Mike Johnson (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5592 and local (405) 375-5718
Email: johnsonm@oksenate.gov

GROUP 2

Senator Clark Jolley (R)
Phone: No calls needed--already stated that he opposes these bills.
Email: jolley@oksenate.gov

Senator Mike Mazzei (R)
Phone: No calls needed--Already stated that he opposes these bills.
Email: mazzei@oksenate.gov

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

Senator Mike Schulz (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5612
Email: schulz@oksenate.gov

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

Senator Joe Sweeden (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5581
Email: sweeden@oksenate.gov

Senator Anthony Sykes (R)
Phone: (405) 521-5569
Email: lewis@oksenate.gov

Senator Charles Wyrick (D)
Phone: (405) 521-5561
Email: wyrick@oksenate.gov

2. 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=6081 .

BACKGROUND

Senate Bill 472 would require every parent or guardian who is
providing "other means of education" (i.e. home education) for 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.

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/join/apply.asp .

If you would like to be put on our email list to receive vital
e-lerts you may sign up at
https://secure.hslda.org/hslda/elert/account.asp?Process=Subscribe .

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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