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4/6/2011 2:48:22 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Florida: Important-Possible Impact of SB 2156

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Florida: Important-Possible Impact of SB 2156

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

There are some concerns with the governmental reorganization bill,
Senate Bill 2156, that is on the Senate Special Order Calendar today.
The bill currently does three things that are concerning and have the
potential to impact parents and homeschoolers in Florida. As currently
written it would:

1. Move the Office of Early Learning from the Agency for Workforce
Innovation to the Department of Education,

2. Establish the Division of Early Learning within the Department of
Education with a Deputy Commissioner, and

3. Move school readiness programs, such as voluntary pre-kindergarten
and other child care programs, under the control of the Department of
Education.

The main concern with SB 2156 is that by moving the Office of Early
Learning from Agency for Workforce and Innovation, the Department of
Education would control a significant amount of the policy and state
standards for child care and early educational programs for children
from birth to school age.

While the Office of Early Learning is already a governmental agency,
the reorganization under the Department of Education could lead to
additional regulations. Senate Bill 2156 would allow the Department of
Education to have an influence over programs that are predominantly
privately run.

While Senate Bill 2156 would not directly affect homeschool freedom,
some in Florida believe that this move could push voluntary
kindergarten programs further along the path of becoming mandatory for
all.

POSSIBLE ACTION

The following information is provided to assist you.

You may call or email your own state senator and give him or her the
following message in your own words:

"Please do not move the Office of Early Learning to the Department of
Education as proposed by Senate Bill 2156. I believe that privately
run early education programs should remain as they are under the
Agency for Workforce Innovation. I urge you to oppose any attempt to
create a Division of Early Learning within the Department of
Education."

Please remember to be courteous as you contact your legislators and
their staff, as they could be receiving many calls. You do not
identify yourself as a homeschooler or identify yourself with any
organization; instead you can identify yourself as a concerned parent
and constituent.

To find the contact information for your state senator visit HSLDA's
Legislative Toolbox at: http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

BACKGROUND

Senate Bill 2156 is over 700 pages long and is a governmental
reorganization bill. The move to relocate the Office of Early Learning
to the Department of Education is only a small part of the bill. If
you would like to read the bill you can find it at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10830 . The section related to the
Office of Early Learning begins on line 437.

While the Department of Education wouldn't have the ability under
Senate Bill 2156 to impose requirements on a child care or early
childhood education providers that do not deliver service under the
school readiness programs (or receive state or federal funds), they
will be able to establish the standards and outcome measures for
children from birth to 5 that could have some influence on privately
run programs.

If you are not already a member of HSLDA and would like to help
support our mission to protect, defend and advocate on behalf of
parental rights, please join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10610.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Very truly yours,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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