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6/19/2009 3:59:37 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--Legislative Wrap-Up

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Texas Legislative Wrap-Up Elert

June 3, 2009

The Texas Legislative Session adjourned on June 1. HSLDA focused a
generous amount of time and effort into watching the legislature
closely for any bills that would have negatively or positively
affected homeschool rights. Largely through the efforts of HSLDA
Legislative Council, Tom Sanders, and HSLDA members, we are happy to
report that many bad bills did not pass.

Tom Sanders worked tirelessly on our behalf going from office to
office working to kill the bills that would have restricted our
freedoms, including a Children's Bill of Rights bill, a daytime curfew
bill, and a mandatory kindergarten bill. In addition, he made sure the
bill allowing homeschoolers an exemption from jury duty, passed.

A summary of the bills we worked on are below:

House Bill 319: Exemption from Jury Duty

This bill provides an exemption for homeschoolers from jury duty.
HSLDA supported the bill and it passed!

House Bill 1886: Enforcement of Juvenile Curfew Ordinance

This bill would have authorized the sheriff of each county in which
the municipality is located to enforce a juvenile curfew ordinance.
HSLDA opposed this bill, and it did not pass!

House Bill 188: Rights for Children

This bill would have guaranteed certain rights for children and the
education of parents regarding their duties as parents. The problem
with the bill was in the vague language, which included giving
children the right to "quality education," and the "right to be free"
from "any form of discipline that humiliates or demeans a child,"
which could be interpreted against homeschools or parents who spank
their children. HSLDA opposed this bill, and it did not pass!

Dallas City Daytime Curfew Ordinance

Despite our efforts, the curfew passed with a vote of 12-2. City
officials have indicated that the curfew was scheduled to take effect
May 18, but will not be enforced until the beginning of the 2009-2010
school year.

Thankfully, language was inserted at the last minute into the
ordinance that will require the council to review the curfew by June
1, 2010. In addition, the curfew will be subject to council review
every three years.

Also, the latest version of the ordinance that passed on May 13
included several changes to lessen the severity of the ordinance by
allowing for a few more defenses to prosecution, and requiring that a
police officer had to allow a business two warnings before the officer
could ticket. The added defenses included in the ordinance were
exemptions for medical appointments, work study, and school-sanctioned
functions.

House Bill 948: CPS Reform

This bill would have reformed CPS investigations by giving the parent
more power through the investigation process. HSLDA supported this
bill, but it died in committee.

Senate Bill 1064: Weakens Families' Rights During CPS Investigations

This bill would have authorized DFPS, without filing suit, to seek a
court order in aid of investigation. Fortunately, this bill died in
committee.

House Bill 316: Mandatory Kindergarten

This bill would have required mandatory attendance in kindergarten in
the public schools. Fortunately, this bill died in committee.

House Resolution 1438: Requires Government Oversight on Homeschoolers

This resolution urged the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to implement in
the state regulations a policy to require schools to use academic
indicators to demonstrate adequate yearly progress. The policy would
have required the TEA to track all students, including students who
withdrew from the public school in order to homeschool. Fortunately,
this resolution died.

Senate Bill 466: Excluding a Child from the Immunization Registry

This bill would allow for a child to be excluded from the immunization
registry. HSLDA supported this bill, but unfortunately, it did not
pass.

House Bill 351: Tuition Refund for Homeschoolers

This bill allowed for an exemption from or refund of tuition and fees
for lower-division students enrolled in a general academic teaching
institution who maintain a high grade-point average. HSLDA supported
this bill, but unfortunately, it did not pass.

House Bill 2084: Parental Rights Restoration Act

The bill would have modified the grandparent visitation law in favor
of parental rights. The bill would prohibit a grandparent from suing a
parent for access to the grandchild unless the grandparent provides
proof that the child's physical health will be endangered, and the
child's emotional well-being and development will be impaired, if
access is not granted. HSLDA supported this bill, but unfortunately,
the bill did not pass.

Thank you for your stand with us in fighting for homeschool freedoms!

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Who are the nation's best lobbyists?

We don't know that this has ever been determined; but we do know
that HSLDA's Federal Relations Department is the only
national organization lobbying on behalf of homeschoolers on
Capitol Hill.

More reasons to join HSLDA…
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1102

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