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2/14/2011 2:37:14 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oklahoma: Update on Bad Bills, Last Call to Attend Capitol Day!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Oklahoma: Update on Bad Bills, Last Call to Attend Capitol Day!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

As you may know, because of your actions and that of Oklahoma
Christian Home Educators' Consociation (OCHEC), the Chairman for the
Senate Education Committee has decided not to hear either Senate Bill
393 or Senate Bill 394. This is great news, and we ask that you thank
Senator John Ford!

However, even though these bills will not be heard and therefore are
"dead," we still would like you to take action! It is just as
important for you to attend the Home Educator's Capitol Day on
February 17. Without the large crowd of home educators descending on
the Capitol and the relationships with your legislators that are
created and built during this time and throughout the year, we could
very easily be looking at hearings on two very bad bills for home
education freedom in the best homeschool state in the country. Your
attendance is vital to help protect homeschool freedom for the future.

If you have plans to meet with your elected officials on Capitol Day,
you can still bring up these bills and let them know why you oppose
these attempts to restrict the freedom you have in Oklahoma.

When legislators see hundreds of energetic homeschool families touring
the Capitol with their bright-eyed children, it makes homeschooling
more real to them. A large turnout of homeschoolers for Home Education
Capitol Day every year will continue to persuade legislators to vote
against any negative homeschool legislation that comes up.

For more information about the Home Education Day at the Capitol event
and to register now, please visit:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10306 .


REQUESTED ACTION:

1) Please email or send a note to Senate Education Committee Chairman
Senator John Ford, and thank him for his actions against Senate Bills
393 and 394. You can give him the following message in your own words:

"Thank you for your action and commitment to prevent Senate Bills 393
and 394 from being heard in the Senate Education Committee. Oklahoma
has long been a state that protects the freedom of 'other means of
education,' and your action has ensured that Oklahoma will continue to
do so for another year. Thank you for your help to keep home education
free!"

Senator John Ford, Chairman, Education Committee
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Rm. 424A
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Email: fordj@oksenate.gov


2) Come to the Capitol on February 17, 2011, to participate in Home
Education Day. Tomorrow, February 15, is the last day to pre-register.
While you and your family can still come if you haven't preregistered,
early registration is strongly encouraged. Registration allows you to
get a name tag for the event and pick a "track" for the day. Visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10307 to register now.

3) If you can't come to the Home Education Day at the Capitol, please
pray for the event. Other ideas can be found here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10308 .

BACKGROUND

Senate Bill 393 would have removed the current protection under
Oklahoma law that homeschool students are exempt from being taken into
temporary custody by an attendance officer, peace officer, etc. when
they are in public during normal school hours. Under Oklahoma law,
homeschool students who are in public during normal school hours and
are involved in a legal activity (i.e. going to a local community
college, music lessons, or simply running errands for their parents)
simply would indicate that they are homeschooled, and they should be
free from being detained or taken into temporary custody.

The second bill, Senate Bill 394, would have drastically changed the
homeschool law in Oklahoma. Senator Wilson's bill would have required
parents teaching their children at home to notify their local school
officials each year they were homeschooling.

Under Senate Bill 394, the homeschool notification would have been
required to be submitted before the first day of the school year or
within 10 days from when the parent began their homeschool program.

In addition to the annual notification, a homeschool parent would have
been required to submit an academic progress report for each school
age student at the end of each semester of the school year. Senate
Bill 394 did not state what information would have been required in
the academic progress report or how a parent might have been confident
that their progress report would be adequate under this new law.
Because of this fact, it was highly likely that, if Senate Bill 394
had passed into law, each local school district would have different
policies on what a homeschool parent would need to submit in their
academic progress report.

Senate Bill 394 would also have removed the protection for homeschool
students from being taken into temporary custody.

Last year approximately 1,600 homeschoolers came out for Home
Education Day at the Capitol. Bring your family and help make this
year's event even bigger. A large turnout will help demonstrate that
the movement for home education freedom in Oklahoma is still going
strong!

Both Oklahoma Christian Home Educators' Consociation (OCHEC) and
Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Oklahoma (CHEF of OK) work hard
in monitoring legislation and keeping up relationships with
legislators. Your presence will help fill the Capitol with
homeschoolers and will be vital in protecting home education freedom
in Oklahoma. Last year just over 1,600 people attended Home Education
Day at the Capitol. Make your plans now to make this year's event even
bigger!

HSLDA Federal Relations Director Will Estrada will be at this year's
event and will be speaking to the Future Statesman program as well as
presenting information to the adults on federal legislation we are
keeping on top of. Tj Schmidt, HSLDA's staff attorney for Oklahoma,
will also be there again to share with the Track 1 adults important
homeschool issues across the country as well as participate in the
Legislative Impact session.

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/elink.asp?id=10304 .

If you would like to be put on our e-mail list to receive vital
e-lerts you may sign up at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10305.

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Oklahoma! Feel free
to forward this to your friends who are homeschooling but may not be
part of HSLDA, OCHEC, or CHEF of OK.


Sincerely,

Thomas J (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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