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5/21/2009 4:48:54 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Missouri: Update--Army of Homeschoolers Thwarts Power Grab

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Missouri: Update--Army of Homeschoolers Thwarts Power Grab

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

When a last-minute legislative maneuver threatened to give the state
power to decide when a homeschooler can graduate and how he must earn
a high school credit, thousands of homeschoolers dropped everything
and rushed to Jefferson City.

Senate Bill 291 began innocently enough as a new dose of public
education reforms. But as lawmakers hurried to pass bills before the
legislature closed on May 15, a provision was quietly inserted into
S.B. 291 changing the end date for compulsory education from a child's
16th birthday to the date he had completed 16 high school credits
toward graduation. This would have given the state power to define
"graduation" and "credit" for homeschoolers, possibly with devastating
consequences.

Alert Families for Home Education's (FHE) regional director learned of
the change and put the spotlight on it. FHE and HSLDA worked quickly
and on the evening of May 13 asked homeschoolers to rally to protest
this attempted power grab. On incredibly short notice, more than 2,500
homeschoolers set everything else aside and gathered at the steps of
the Capitol in Jefferson City at 1 p.m. on May 14.

Lawmakers and reporters were astonished that homeschoolers could
organize such a large group less than 24 hours after the word went
out!

With this crowd on his doorstep, the lawmaker who had inserted the
provision in S.B. 291 publicly apologized to the assembled families.
He agreed to either fix the problem or withdraw the bill. In
negotiations with FHE's lobbyist, Kerry Messer, he agreed to include a
special definition of a "credit" for homeschoolers: 100 hours of
instruction or more in a course. With this definition in place, state
officials are blocked from imposing their own. As finally passed, the
bill also exempted any student reaching age 17.

The new law will go into effect August 28, assuming the governor signs
it. HSLDA is reviewing the final language carefully to see if any
additional changes should be sought next year. We will send out a
bulletin soon with practical guidance about applying the new law.

Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice to come to Jefferson City.
A new generation will have stories to tell about what you did to
protect freedom, and how God used one ordinary person to sound an
alarm just in the nick of time.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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