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3/2/2009 5:01:51 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
West Virginia--Call to Stop Sports Trojan Horse

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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West Virginia--Call to Stop Sports Trojan Horse

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Delegate Margaret Anne Staggers has filed a bill that offers the
"perk" of allowing homeschoolers to play on public school sports
teams, but could force families to stop homeschooling.

Right now, families can use either a portfolio or test at year end.
Either way, if the child falls short, homeschooling can continue. The
family simply submits additional evidence showing they are giving the
child appropriate instruction.

Staggers' bill, H.B. 2749, makes two devastating changes. First, it
abolishes the portfolio option, so all children would have to submit a
standardized test. Second, it contains a provision automatically
terminating homeschooling because of a low test score. Since 50th
percentile is the lowest "passing" score, your child could be forced
to stop homeschooling if his score fell in the bottom 50 percent of
all students who took the test.

It's a classic big-government strategy: asking people to give up
freedom in exchange for goodies. Thanks, but no thanks.

Christian Home Educators of West Virginia joins HSLDA in opposing this
bill.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call to oppose this bill. Your message can be as simple as,
"Please oppose H.B. 2749. Sports access is not worth some families
being forced to stop homeschooling."

If your last name begins with A-F, call group 1. If it begins with
G-L, call group 2. If it begins with M-R, call group 3. Others call
group 4.

Also, if you live in Del. Staggers district (Fayette County area),
please call her and ask her to withdraw the bill. Your message can be
as simple as "Please withdraw H.B. 2749. Sports access is not worth
some families being forced to stop homeschooling."

CONTACT INFORMATION

Group 1
Delegate Paxton -Putnam, Mason Counties (304) 340-3337

Delegate Andes--Putnam, Mason Counties (304) 340-3121

Delegate Duke -Martinsburg (304) 340-3151

Delegate Sumner -Raleigh, Summers Counties (304) 340-3180

Delegate Moye--Raleigh, Summer Counties (304) 340-3162

Delegate Beach--Monongalia County (304) 340-3153

Group 2
Delegate Crosier--Monroe County (304) 340-3188

Delegate Ennis--Brooke County (304) 340-3126

Delegate Fragale--Harrison County (304) 340-3114

Delegate Lawrence--Jefferson County (304) 340-3152

Delegate Louisos--Fayette County (304) 340-3170

Delegate Perry--Fayette County (304) 340-3117

Group 3
Delegate Pethtel--Wetzel County (304) 340-3158

Delegate Rodighiero--Logan County (304) 340-3154

Delegate Shaver--Preston, Tucker Counties (304) 340-3146

Delegate Williams--Preston, Tucker Counties (304) 340-3160

Delegate Smith--Lewis County (304) 340-3123

Delegate Stowers--Lincoln County (304) 340-3384

Group 4
Delegate Walker--Clay County (304) 340-3135

Delegate Canterbury--Greenbrier County (304) 340-3131

Delegate Ireland--Ritchie County (304) 340-3195

Delegate Romine--Tyler County (304) 340-3226

Delegate Rowan--Hampshire County (304) 340-3157

Delegate Shott--Bluefield-Bramwell area (304) 340-3179



BACKGROUND

HSLDA is neutral on the issue of access to public school sports.
However, when a sports access bill threatens to hurt all
homeschoolers--like this one--we encourage members to unify and oppose
it. Some states have given homeschoolers access to sports in an
appropriate manner without hurting all families. Even in those
states, however, only a minority of homeschoolers put their children
in public school sports.

Before 2003, parents could not homeschool unless they had four years
more education than their child. In 2003, however, the legislature
passed a bill abolishing that rule and making several other changes.
In the area of year-end assessments, the "passing" score for a
standardized test was raised from the 40th percentile to the 50th
percentile. This was unhelpful.

However, HSLDA supported the bill because of two very helpful
features. A score below the 50th percentile was adequate if the
student's score showed improvement from the previous year's, adding
some flexibility. And most importantly, the public school could not
force parents to stop homeschooling. Instead, if a portfolio or test
did not show adequate progress, the focus would shift from the child
to the adequacy of the instruction. Parents were simply required
(after a year of remediation) to submit information showing that they
were providing adequate instruction. Both of these features showed
sensitivity to the struggling learner, the child with special needs,
and the child who does not test well.

H.B. 2749 keeps all the unhelpful features of the 2003 bill while
abolishing all the helpful testing features. It threatens all West
Virginia families. Your calls will help prevent the bill from being
placed on the agenda of the House Education Committee.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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