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3/25/2009 3:16:04 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Minnesota: Legislative Confusion--Some Clarification

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Minnesota: Legislative Confusion--Some Clarification

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

There are several proposals making their way through the Minnesota
legislature, and based on emails we've received, we wanted to clarify
some confusion that may exist for some of our members.

The Homeschool Mandate Reduction Act (Senate File: 846/House File
1037) would reduce reporting requirements and paperwork for
homeschoolers. This bill is supported by MACHE and HSLDA. While the
bill would make homeschoolers ineligible for per pupil student aid, we
believe that the increased freedom from paperwork and reporting is
worth the sacrifice in government funding. HSLDA contends that it is
in the best interests of the homeschool community to avoid government
programs that have strings attached (like the pupil aid program - See
the related story "The Cost of Free Materials at
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/mn/200712190.asp). HSLDA believes that
programs like the education tax credit are far more beneficial and do
not result in extra entanglement with the government.

The Mandate Reduction Act has passed out of the Senate and House
Education committees with favorable votes. Some special interest
groups, including the county attorneys association, are creating
problems for supporters of the bill. MACHE and other supporters are
working hard to shepherd this bill through the legislative process in
order to retain the maximum benefit for homeschoolers. HSLDA is
working closely with MACHE.

Last week we made you aware of a proposal by Representatives
Lenczewski and Marquart to eliminate all tax credits, including
corporate tax credits and health care credits, in favor of three
targeted tax credits including a per child tax credit. While a per
child tax credit is a fine idea to allow more citizens who are bearing
the financial burden of raising children to keep more of their
hard-earned money, it should not replace existing tax credits that are
used for the education of children.

These two legislative proposals are distinct and not related. HSLDA
and MACHE do not support the repeal of the education tax credits. We
are working with MACHE to coordinate the best response to this
legislation to preserve the freedom you enjoy to homeschool without
unreasonable government interference.

Thank you for your support as we work together to improve the
environment for homeschooling in Minnesota! Please continue to pray
for those involved in this process, and we will keep you informed. I
hope to see many of you at the MACHE conference in St. Paul in a few
weeks.


Very Truly Yours,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
Staff Attorney

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