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1/19/2010 2:54:43 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oklahoma: Action Needed--Home Education Freedom Threatened!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 19, 2010

Oklahoma: Action Needed--Home Education Freedom Threatened!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Once again, several legislators in Oklahoma have introduced several
bills that attempt to regulate home education freedom. Last year two
bad bills were introduced but never made it out of committee.

This year the attack on home education freedom may even be greater.
Many of you know that homeschooling is protected under the Oklahoma
State Constitution as "other means of education." House Bill 3099
would attempt to add "adequate" into statute and then define what type
of education homeschooling families would be required to provide.

It appears that the intent of House Bill 3099 is to modify the
constitutional protection of the right of parents to provide other
means of education to their children. While the legislature could
certainly add several different ways in which "other means of
education" could be provided, it would violate the state constitution
by restricting or prohibiting what is currently protected.

Senate Bill 1403 has also been introduced and would require parents
teaching their children at home to notify their local school district
within 10 days of beginning their home education program.

We need your calls and emails to both sponsors of these bills to
express your opposition. While you should certainly let these
legislators, and their staff, know where you stand on these bills,
please be courteous in your communication. We have provided a
suggested message, but your own personal message will be the most
effective way to let the legislature understand that these bills are
not needed and would damage the freedom of "other means of education"
that Oklahoma has recognized for over 100 years.

REQUESTED ACTION:

1. Please call and email Representative Ed Cannaday, sponsor of House
Bill 3099, and give him this message in your own words:

"Please remove House Bill 3099 from consideration by the legislature
immediately. Under the Oklahoma Constitution a parent may provide for
'other means of education' to their children. This bill is an
unconstitutional infringement of parents' rights to direct their
child's education and determine what is in their best interest. This
legislation is unnecessary, and we will oppose it."

When calling Representative Cannaday's office understand that they
will probably be receiving a lot of calls. Please be courteous but
firm in your opposition to House Bill 3099. Please let his office know
if you live in his district and are one of his constituents (District
15).

Rep. Ed Cannaday
Capitol Address:
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 322
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 557-7375
Email: ed.cannaday@okhouse.gov

2. Please call and email Senator Mary Easley, sponsor of Senate Bill
1403, and give her this message in your own words:

"Please remove Senate Bill 1403 from consideration by the legislature
immediately. Under the Oklahoma Constitution a parent may provide for
'other means of education' to their children. Study after study has
shown that children taught at home on average perform above their
nonhomeschooled peers academically. There is no reason why parents
should be required to notify their local school officials of their
intent to teach their children at home. This bill is an unacceptable
infringement of parents' rights to direct their child's education."

When calling Senator Easley's office understand that they will
probably be receiving a lot of calls. Please be courteous but firm in
your opposition to Senate Bill 1403. Please let her office know if you
live in her district and are one of her constituents (District 18).
Senator Easley is also on the Senate Education Committee.

Senator Mary Easley
Capitol Address:
2300 North Lincoln Blvd., Room 429
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 521-5590
Email: easley@oksenate.gov

District Address:
106 S. Cherokee Lane
Grand Lake Towne, OK 74349

3. Pray that these bills are defeated and plan on attending the
Oklahoma Home Educators' Capitol Day on February 9.

Because of the hard work of Oklahoma Christian Home Educators
Consociation (OCHEC) and Christian Home Educators Fellowship of
Oklahoma (CHEF of OK) many legislators look favorably on homeschooling
families. However, it just takes a few legislators to introduce bad
legislation. If homeschoolers are complacent, freedom could be lost.

Your attendance at the Oklahoma Home Educators' Capitol Day is vital
in the battle to keep the freedom you have. This event will provide
you with a great opportunity to impact these bills, to get to meet
your legislators and to create a positive impression for home
education. For more information on the upcoming Capitol Day go to:
http://www.ochec.com/Categories.aspx?Id=Capitol_Day .

BACKGROUND

Under House Bill 3099 the new "appropriate education by other means"
would require parents to provide "educationally appropriate and age or
grade appropriate instruction." The instruction would have to ensure
that each child attained "at least a minimum level of competencies in
a variety of core subject areas" for not less than the time public
schools in the state are required to provide instruction.

Some of you may remember that in the 2007 and 2009 legislative session
Senator Jim Wilson introduced a bill that would have added several
requirements to the freedom that homeschoolers have in Oklahoma. Both
times those bills were successfully defeated by the prayers and hard
work of families all across Oklahoma. Outstanding attendance at the
Oklahoma Home Educators' Capitol Day also played a big part in the
defeat of these bills.

While House Bill 3099 is a greater threat to undermining the freedom
that homeschoolers have in Oklahoma, we pray that working together we
will again be able to defeat these attempts to restrict the freedom of
home education in Oklahoma. The freedom of the right to provide "other
means of education" should not be undermined.

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for greater parental rights and homeschool freedom in Oklahoma please
visit http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp .

If you would like to be put on our e-mail list to receive vital
e-lerts you may sign up at
https://secure.hslda.org/hslda/elert/account.asp?Process=Subscribe .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Oklahoma! Feel free
to send this to others who are supportive of home education freedom.

Sincerely,

Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Will your children's inheritance retain its value?

If you pass on a legacy of freedom, your children and their
children's children will thank you. But freedom is never secure;
it must always be guarded. Membership with HSLDA is an investment
in the future that can be passed on to future generations of
families wanting to teach their children at home.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1944

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