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11/16/2011 4:17:20 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Jersey--Stop State-Mandated Annual Medical Exams, Portfolios

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Jersey--Stop State-Mandated Annual
Medical Exams and Portfolios for Homeschoolers

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls are needed to stop a bill that treats every homeschool
parent like a child abuser by requiring them to give their school
system documentation of a medical exam every year for every
homeschooled child.

It would also require parents to submit each child's name, birth date,
and homeschool instructor's name every year by August 1. The bill says
a mandatory portfolio is due June 30 and is "not limited" to the
examples listed in the bill text (assessments, books used, worksheets,
workbooks, and writing samples). What bureaucrats can require in a
child's portfolio is therefore virtually unlimited.

The bill gives the State Board of Education power to dictate all
details of how these requirements would be enforced. Through
regulations they adopt, state bureaucrats who are not held accountable
through elections would have dramatic new power to control--and even
define--homeschooling.

This bill would turn New Jersey's current sensible legal framework
into a morass of regulations and burdensome red tape. With three
filings every year for each of the state's approximately 42,000
homeschooled children, taxpayers would end up paying the cost of
filing, processing, checking, responding to, and storing about 120,000
sets of paperwork each year. Taxes will inevitably go up to pay for
it.

The media carried reports recently about the Division of Youth and
Family Services (DYFS) failing to protect an allegedly homeschooled
child in danger--with tragic results. In effect, S3105 punishes
parents for the failures of DYFS.

The bill is pending in the legislative bill room, but has not been
introduced. Your freedom to homeschool your children may be at stake.
We urge the homeschool community to send a unified message to the
bill's sponsor, Loretta Weinberg: do not introduce this bill.

ACTION REQUESTED

Whether or not you are her constituent, please call, email or write
Sen. Weinberg within the next few days. Ask her courteously to not
introduce S3105. You can frame your own message using information in
this email, including material in the "background" section below.

Or your message can be as simple as: "Please do not introduce S3105.
Don't punish homeschoolers for the failures of DYFS."

Her contact information is : phone, (201) 928-0100 or (609) 847-3700;
email, senweinberg@njleg.org ; regular mail: 545 Cedar Lane, Teaneck,
NJ 07666 (her district office).

BACKGROUND

HSLDA, Education Network of Christian Homeschoolers (ENOCH), and
Catholic Homeschoolers of New Jersey (CHNJ) and others are united as a
task force in opposing S3105.

To view the entire bill as currently drafted, go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=12911

DYFS had numerous contacts with the family of the abused girl who was
in the news this summer. A fresh report was called in just a few days
before she died. DYFS did virtually nothing about the report and
closed it. Fix DYFS. That's where the problem is.

Ironically, S3105 will likely put more children into the custody of
DYFS. Making the law more complicated creates many more traps for
parents. DYFS will therefore have many more opportunities to take
children away from their parents if S3105 is enacted. Forty-three
children died while under DYFS supervision during a recent year.

No state singles out homeschoolers for medical exams.

The bill effectively taxes a parent's constitutional right to choose
homeschooling. Medical exams can be expensive. This tax would fall
heaviest on large homeschool families whose budgets are already
stretched the most.

Tense conflicts with school officials could become an everyday
occurrence. New Jersey would overnight have one of the worst
homeschool laws in the nation. The New Jersey tax base and overall
economy could suffer as homeschool families avoid (or leave) the
state.

It is simply not logical to believe that filing annual notices and
requiring portfolios will help. Statistics show that children in
states with the least homeschool regulation do just as well
academically as those in states that require notices, portfolios,
tests, etc. (source: Dr. Brian Ray, "Home Schooling Achievement,"
1997)

Sen. Weinberg was recently elected state Senate majority leader. Since
this is a statewide position, it is her duty to listen to parents all
across the state.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely yours,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Will your children's inheritance retain its value?

If you pass on a legacy of freedom, your children and their
children's children will thank you. But freedom is never secure;
it must always be guarded. Membership with HSLDA is an investment
in the future that can be passed on to future generations of
families wanting to teach their children at home.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1944

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