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3/9/2010 3:16:42 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Calls Needed Today to Oppose Discriminatory Attendance Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maryland--Calls Needed Today to Oppose Discriminatory
Attendance Bill, Destruction of a Homeschool Option

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed immediately to stop Senate Bill 239, a bill that
would subject families to another two years of government regulation
of their education, discriminate against homeschool graduates, and
destroy an important homeschool option.

The bill has come out of committee and will likely come to the full
Senate for a vote within days.

Parents--not the government--know whether it's best for their 16- and
17-year-olds to stay in a formal education setting or follow some
other path. This bill destroys parents' options for those young
people.

Maryland currently has two homeschool options: (1) provide "regular,
thorough instruction" in compliance with Maryland Education Statute
7-301 plain and simple (i.e., without using the homeschool
regulations); or (2) provide instruction in compliance with the
detailed home school regulations found in COMAR. The first option is
simpler and allows greater liberty. While it has rarely been used, it
has proven extremely helpful in cases where HSLDA has defended
families with strong convictions against the regulations. This bill
would change the law so that a homeschool child is exempted from
public school attendance only if he is receiving "regular, thorough
instruction ... including home schooling under COMAR 13A.10.01" In
other words, the option to satisfy the law by providing regular
thorough instruction separate from the regulations is abolished in the
bill.

There is an exemption for students who graduate from a Maryland high
school, an out-of-state high school, or get a GED--but no exemption
for students who complete their secondary education in a homeschool
setting! This might spur a new wave of discrimination against our
young people who are seeking college admission and jobs--since it
doesn't treat our graduates as "real" graduates.

ACTION REQUESTED:

Please call your senator to oppose the bill. Use our Legislative
Toolbox to find your senator: http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

You can use the background information below to develop your own
thoughts, or your message can be as simple as:

"Please oppose SB 239. This multimillion dollar proposal will force
unwilling, unmotivated older teens to remain in classrooms where they
will cause disruption. Protect the right of parents to decide what
educational or vocational paths their 16- and 17-year-olds should
follow."

BACKGROUND

> The bill raises the compulsory age to 17 in 2012, and 18 in 2014.

> Raising the compulsory school attendance age will not reduce the
dropout rate. Some states with the lowest completion rates compel
attendance to age 18.

> More than 20 states only require attendance to age 16. Older
children unwilling to learn can cause classroom disruptions and even
violence, making learning harder for their classmates who truly want
to learn.

> This will inevitably lead to a tax increase to pay for more
classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students
compelled to attend public school.

You may be told homeschoolers are exempt. Not so. The bill says that
homeschool students are exempted if they keep on complying with the
homeschool law. This is meaningless. If one can only be exempted from
a law by complying with it, it is no exemption at all.

For more information on compulsory school attendance, please see our
memorandum at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3623 .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Can you call your attorney at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning?

Our members can get in touch with their attorney even after
business hours, when they have a legal emergency. Wouldn't you
like this level of service?

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1100

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Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733
Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org

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