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3/5/2009 9:44:18 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Idaho--Update on Homeschool Freedom Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 5, 2009

Idaho--Update on Homeschool Freedom Bill

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

As we informed you earlier, a bill has been sponsored by the Senate
Education Committee which will fix a potential problem in the Idaho
Code section 33-202 and thereby better protect homeschools in Idaho.

The bill will add the statement that a child who is "privately
instructed by, or at the direction of, his parent or guardian" is in
compliance with Idaho's compulsory education law. In addition, the
bill will add virtual charter schools to the list of options for
parents to teach their children.

This amendment will recognize both private home education and also
allow instruction by relatives, friends, co-ops, tutors, or other
combinations. In addition, the amendment removes the requirement that
children be taught during "a period in each year equal to that in
which the public schools are in session" as applying to home
education. This last change will enable families to have complete
flexibility to adjust their teaching times to fit the best interests
of their homeschooled children and family schedule.

This bill, with amendments, has quietly passed the Senate, and has now
gone to the House floor.

There are no need for calls at this time. We will inform you in the
future if they are necessary.

BACKGROUND:

This bill is being introduced primarily to avoid a crisis like the one
that California experienced this past year. In March 2008, the
California Court of Appeals ruled that all homeschooled students had
to be instructed by certified licensed teachers. However, when HSLDA
entered into the case and helped the family to file for a re-hearing,
the Court granted a re-hearing and ended up reversing its original
decision. This occurred after six excruciating months of concern and
fear that homeschooling was essentially outlawed in California. God
was gracious to deliver us all from that legal catastrophe.

The three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeals reversed its
original ruling and decided to affirm that homeschools are private
schools in California because the word "homeschool" is mentioned in
the California code.

The Idaho Code does not mention the word "homeschool" or private
instruction by parents and thus it is possible that Idaho courts could
make a decision similar to the California court's first ruling. To
ensure that we are not blindsided by another such ruling, Barry Peters
of Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE) and Christian
Homeschoolers of Idaho State (CHOIS), together with HSLDA, have
decided to move forward with this bill.

God opened the door for this to happen by having the Governor's Task
Force on Children at Risk add language to a bill they are planning to
have introduced. A few months ago, the task force asked Barry Peters
to review its bill, which was drafted to clarify Idaho's Child
Protection Act as it relates to educational neglect. After ICHE and
HSLDA reviewed the changes, we concurred that the task force simply
wishes to modify Idaho's existing statutes to clarify that educational
neglect that will be determined by Idaho's existing requirement that
all children be educated. Essentially, that is what the current law
means, but the new language will clarify it. The task force then
invited ICHE and CHOIS to offer its changes. That is how this
homeschool bill, which will protect the freedom of homeschoolers in
Idaho, was born.

Yours for freedom,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> How many news articles did you read this morning over your
oatmeal?

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right time can make a big difference in the outcome of important
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issues that affect you. HSLDA does this for you in the areas that
affect your homeschool. Our emails and website enable you to
take quick, decisive action. Please consider becoming a part of
this team.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1923

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