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2/8/2010 4:29:27 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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Oklahoma: Action Needed--Home Education Freedom Threatened!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

We sent out an alert last month regarding two bills currently being
considered in the Oklahoma Legislature, HB 3099 and SB 1403. Both of
these bills have now been assigned to a committee in their respective
chambers.

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 the committee that will be hearing
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 the entire Appropriations/Sub-Education
Committee, and give them this message in your own words:

"Please remove House Bill 3099 from consideration by the
Appropriations/Sub-Education Committee 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 each representative'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.

For a list of committee members:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7642

2. Please call and email all of the senators on the Senate Education
Committee, where Senate Bill 1403 will be considered, and give them
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 each senator'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. Senator Easley, the author of this
bill, sits on the Senate Education Committee
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7643 .

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.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=7644 .

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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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 80,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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