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1/20/2012 3:34:47 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Virginia--Reform "Curriculum Description" Requirement

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Virginia-- Reform "Curriculum Description" Requirement

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The Virginia legislature is now open, and HSLDA is carefully watching
for bills that could affect your homeschool freedom.

Hope is on the horizon that we will be able to reform the hopelessly
vague "curriculum description" requirement in Virginia's home
instruction statute that has caused problems for years. This
requirement serves no purpose. But its vagueness has led to dozens of
conflicts and misunderstandings, and even threats of truancy charges.

Some school districts, following examples posted on the website of the
state Department of Education, demand that families submit a detailed
description of what they will teach in each subject. No family that
followed HSLDA's simple guidance on this issue was ever prosecuted.
But families without access to legal advice, when threatened by the
school district, would respond to the onerous demands by submitting a
curriculum description that was many pages in length.

Working in partnership with other state homeschool organizations,
HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff met with representatives of the
state Department of Education on several occasions to urge them to
adopt a policy that supplying a simple list of subjects satisfies the
curriculum description requirement. We made it clear that if the
department failed to act, we would seek legislation to solve the
problem. That time has come.

Using language suggested by HSLDA, and at the request of Home
Educators Association of Virginia, two bills have been filed to solve
the problem. Senator Dick Black has filed SB 564 in the Senate, and
Delegate Brenda Pogge has filed an identical bill, HB 1208, in the
House of Delegates.

Both bills would change the home instruction statute to read
"...provide a description of the curriculum, limited to a list of
subjects to be studied during the coming year..." We believe this
language would put an end to overbearing demands from school districts
and dramatically reduce conflicts associated with the filing of the
annual notice of intent. We will update you as the bill makes
progress.

HB 560 would prevent any person under age 21 from getting a driver's
license unless they have a high school diploma or GED. This attempt
to motivate unwilling students to finish school by holding out the
"carrot" of a driver's license deserves to be defeated. Driver's
licenses should be linked only to the ability to drive safely--not the
level of a person's education. Students who have received diplomas as
a result of a homeschool program could be unpleasantly surprised to
find how the Department of Motor Vehicles might decide to administer
this proposed requirement. HSLDA will fight this bill.

HB 887 would mandate that public school superintendents "ensure" that
any expelled or suspended student "continues to receive an education."
HSLDA will fight this bill. It could be construed to give public
schools new power over expelled or suspended students whose parents
wish to provide them with home instruction.

Delegate Rob Bell has filed a bill, HB 947, that would give
homeschoolers access to public school sports. HSLDA is neutral on
this bill. However, we know that some of our members are very
interested, so we will keep you updated from time to time. Del. Bell
also championed this issue in the last General Assembly and worked
hard to address the needs and concerns of all parties.

If you are a member of HSLDA--thank you! Your support provides us
with the resources we need to work to protect your freedom. If you
are not a member yet, please consider joining with us in our work to
protect and expand homeschool freedom. Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=13462

Sincerely Yours,
Scott A. Woodruff, Senior Counsel

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-> Is customer service an art or a science?

For us, good customer service is both an art and a science
-it should appeal to our members and be effective. Consider what
our members say about us:

The freedom HSLDA allows me to have as I homeschool is wonderful!
They handle the law and I get to dedicate the time to my daughter.
- National City, CA

HSLDA members since 1993, our membership is just as important to
us as our children's curriculum. Thank you HSLDA for all you do on
our behalf! - West Valley, NY

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1941

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