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Date:
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3/12/2011 10:06:22 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Vermont; Calls Needed to Stop Harmful Legislation

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Calls Needed to Stop Harmful Legislation

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The VT Department of Education (DOE) appears to be pushing ahead with
its proposed major restructuring of the home study law in spite of our
calls last week. Therefore, it is necessary for Vermont homeschoolers
to contact members of the Senate Education Committee by Monday
evening.

Action Requested

Contact the Senators and give them the following message in your own
words. Please contact them by Monday evening as the committee meets
again on Tuesday. You may customize the following message as needed:

"Please do not move forward with the DOE's proposed changes to the
home study law. The changes proposed by the DOE are major policy
changes and not merely technical corrections. Homeschoolers have had
zero input into these policy changes. As a homeschooling parent, I
believe that our home study law is in need of change. However, any
changes must include input from homeschoolers and not just the DOE.
To date there has been no input at all from Vermont homeschoolers into
the proposed changes. Please tell the DOE to work with
representatives like Retta Dunlap and HSLDA to develop a law that
meets the needs of all constituencies."


Senate Education Committee

Sen. Philip Baruth, clerk
87 Curtis Ave., Burlington, VT 05408
(802) 503-5266
pbaruth@leg.state.vt.us

Sen. Virginia "Ginny" Lyons, vice chair
241 White Birch Lane, Williston, VT 05495
(802) 863-6129
vlyons@leg.state.vt.us
vvlyons@cs.com

Sen. Kevin Mullin, chair
118 Oxyoke Dr., Rutland, VT 05701
(802) 353-6770
kjmbjm@aol.com

Sen. Bill Doyle
186 Murray Rd., Montpelier , VT 05602
(802) 223-2851
wdoyle@leg.state.vt.us

Sen. Sara B. Kittell
437 Chester Arthur Rd., Fairfield, VT 05455
(802) 827-3274
Fax: (802) 827-3274
skittell@leg.state.vt.us

BACKGROUND
HSLDA is working with Retta Dunlap, a long time legislative liaison
for homeschoolers. The information below is from notes she has
provided to HSLDA regarding how this situation has developed.

February 15: Mark Oettinger, Department of Education (DOE) council,
explained to the State Board of Education the department's legislative
agenda, in which he mentions that home study is part of this agenda.
This is the first time any word of this has reached any homeschooler
and only because Retta Dunlap attended this meeting.

February 24: Language was presented to Senate Education to
fundamentally rewrite the home study statute. Donna Russo-Savage from
the legislative council explained the language to the Senators. This
was the first time proposed language was available to homeschoolers,
and it has been posted at http://www.hslda.org/vt and at
http://www.vt-home-education.net .

March 9: Michael Mulchay presented the DOE's language to the Senate
education Committee. Retta Dunlap testified regarding the fact that
Vermont is not an approval state (apparently the DOE still thinks it
is) and that the DOE has not worked with homeschoolers on this
legislation at all. The chair of Senate Education, Kevin Mullin,
instructs Retta Dunlap and Michael Mulchay to work together to create
an appropriate legislative proposal. However, the DOE has not
followed these instructions

The Commissioner of Education, Armando Vilaseca, is currently on
medical leave. It is reported to us that he fully supports this and
wants homeschoolers to not only take mandatory tests but to take the
state assessment. Currently that is the NECAP test. However, the state
is phasing out this test.

Thank you for taking action to support freedom for homeschooling in
Vermont.

Sincerely,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.

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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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