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Date:
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9/8/2010 11:11:14 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California: Family Protection Ministries Endangered--Urgently Needs Support

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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A Message from HSLDA President Mike Smith

Dear Homeschoolers:

Family Protection Ministries (FPM) is in critical need of increased
financial support in order to continue their work in the California
Legislature, now and into the next two-year legislative session. And
California homeschoolers are in critical need of FPM. Let me explain.

It is going to be difficult for Family Protection Ministries to meet
their limited expenses and payroll this month and the following
months. They have already had to cut expenses and reduce their pay.
They are very frugal and are not expanding their work beyond their
mission of defending your freedoms in the Legislature. The downturn
in the economy continues to take its toll on FPM, as it has on nearly
every nonprofit organization in California. However, FPM's
performance continues to reach the high expectations we all have grown
accustomed to despite less support over the last nine months.

Many are thinking that we don't need to help FPM as much this year
with donations because they haven't received alerts from FPM
announcing big threats.

However, this is incorrect, because FPM worked very hard, and quietly,
behind the scenes in order to achieve two vitally important victories
this past year! Because of the relationships they have developed in
California and their over 25 years of experience, most of what they do
in protecting your freedoms is done behind the scenes. This is by far
the most effective way to make positive changes to legislation, when
strategically possible. An additional benefit to this
behind-the-scenes work is that we don't have to ask you to contact
your state assembly members and state senators frequently.

The two behind-the-scenes and vitally important FPM victories I am
referring to are:

(1) The defeat of a proposal in AB 2380 that would have dangerously
added "hearsay" as a basis for reporting allegations of child abuse.
This proposal could have caused a huge increase in false allegations
of child abuse and forced many innocent families to endure the trauma,
the stigma, and the legal and financial burden of an intrusive
investigation of alleged child abuse. Many innocent families would
have been devastated even if the allegations were ultimately
determined to be completely "unfounded."

(2) The defeat of a proposal in SB 1317 that would have allowed any
public school official who opposes private homeschooling to bypass
existing due process protections and simply contact the district
attorney to charge parents (including homeschooling parents) with a
crime. Parents could have been fined up to $2,000 and jailed for up
to a year. The amendment language proposed by FPM, written in
consultation with me, was successfully amended into SB 1317. It
required public school officials to follow all of the reporting and
"due process" provisions of current law before they could declare a
pupil to be a "chronic truant." This victory was very important,
because we at HSLDA have often relied on California's due process laws
to prevent homeschool families who are being investigated for truancy
from ever having to go to court.

FPM has led the battle in many other victories, for example:

> FPM stopped efforts by the Legislature to have a statewide daytime
curfew law.

> FPM stopped the Legislature from making "failure to send a child to
school" a case of "education neglect" and subjecting parents and their
children to being hauled into juvenile court.

> FPM stopped, in almost every legislative session, attempts to lower
the compulsory school attendance age to 5.

> FPM stopped efforts to mandate periodic mental health screening for
all residents of California.

> FPM stopped efforts to rewrite the Education Code, which would have
abolished the current definition of private schools, which is how we
homeschool in California.

> FPM got legislation passed that requires social workers on first
contact to inform parents of the specific allegations of abuse or
neglect. The legislation also requires social workers to receive
training and instruction on the how the Fourth Amendment impacts their
contact with parents accused of abuse or neglect.

> FPM coordinated contacts among all the different state homeschool
organizations to ensure cooperation in opposing the ruling in the 2008
homeschool appellate court case, In Re Jonathan L. that declared
homeschooling illegal in California.

We must keep FPM strong--ready to spot and act quickly on every
dangerous legislative proposal that is a threat to our homeschool
freedoms. Legislation like the examples listed above is reintroduced
almost every legislative session. I can assure you that each one of
these victories required a tremendous investment of time and
resources. As a result of homeschoolers' support and prayers, God
continues to bless FPM's hard work and dedication with the amazing
result of a continued 100% preservation of our homeschool freedoms in
California!

FPM, founded in 1986, is the only organization with a full-time
presence in Sacramento that is dedicated to protecting the freedoms of
both private homeschooling and parental rights in the California
Legislature. We work closely with FPM, as they are key to our success
in protecting your right to homeschool. Having Roy Hanson, Jim Davis,
and Nathan Pierce of FPM being our eyes and ears and "troops on the
ground" in Sacramento is absolutely critical. On a daily basis they
screen what amounts to 6,000 pieces of legislation each two-year
legislative session. And each piece of legislation is amended on
average, three to five times.

FPM is supported by the gifts of those of you who understand the
importance of protecting your freedoms. FPM's continued ability to
represent us adequately in California is dependent upon your financial
and prayer support.

Unfortunately, some have dropped their support, incorrectly assuming
that homeschooling parents and their children are now secure in
California because of the In Re Jonathan L. victory. Nothing in this
court decision prevents the Legislature from trying to pass bills that
would add burdensome regulations or attempt to make homeschooling, as
we know it, illegal. This victorious court decision could be
significantly eradicated by the Legislature.

FPM must be able to invest their resources and time in developing and
maintaining important relationships with dozens of organizations,
thousands of families, and 120 legislative offices. Without FPM's
past and current efforts, we would be living in one of the most highly
regulated states for homeschooling.

Family Protection Ministries is funded solely by tax-deductible
donations from homeschoolers. Without our giving, FPM will not exist,
and private home education will be at risk of ever increasing
regulation. We must have FPM's presence in Sacramento to protect our
liberties!

I am asking you to give sacrificially and generously today to protect
our continued freedom to homeschool in California.

FPM needs both new regular monthly support and one-time gifts. For
those of you who are already giving regularly to FPM, I thank you and
ask you to please consider giving an extra amount at this time.
Please also consider forwarding this request onto other homeschoolers.
Those who give $40 or more each calendar year will receive FPM's
newsletter on a complimentary basis.

Make your tax-deductible gift payable to FPM, and mail it today to:

FPM
P.O. Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648-0730

Roy, Jim, and Nathan need your help now!

Thank you for your consideration of FPM's urgent need as they work
diligently to protect our freedoms. Your freedom depends upon having a
strong voice in Sacramento to keep California's liberal Legislature
from imposing their radical views on home education and families.

God Bless,

Mike Smith
President, HSLDA

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