From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
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1/16/2013 12:58:14 PM
Mike Donnelly--HSLDA
URGENT Action Needed on Legislation Threatening Homeschool Freedom

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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URGENT Action Needed on Legislation Threatening
Homeschool Freedom and Parental Rights

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Four bills have been introduced in the Wyoming Legislature that
threaten homeschooling freedoms and parental rights. Your action is
urgently needed to protect our liberties and stop this legislation.
There are four bills that need your urgent attention as they are
moving through the legislative process quickly.

The first is Senate File ("SF") 96 which increases the compulsory
school attendance age to age 18 or the completion of 12th grade. HSLDA
OPPOSES THIS BILL.

If SF 96 passes, homeschoolers would be required to submit to
intrusive government reporting for an additional two years. Those who
do not continue filing notification during the additional time could
be charged with truancy by school districts.

Increasing the age of compulsory attendance restricts the right of
parents to decide what is best for their children who are 16 and 17
years who prefer to work or pursue some other alternative form of
education.

The bill sponsors are incorrect in stating that this has no negative
impact on homeschoolers or freedom because, they say, that children
under 18 would still be able to drop out. However, two years ago the
legislature passed changes that required all students under age 18 and
their parents to meet with school officials before discontinuing
attendance. This was done even though the compulsory attendance law
remained at age 16.

SF96 is simply an attempt to increase state control over family
decision making and parental authority and should be vigorously
opposed.

Second, Senate File 104 creates the unconstitutional office of
director of public education. HSLDA OPPOSES THIS BILL.

SF 104 bypasses the Wyoming Constitution to strip authority away from
an elected state superintendent and create a new un-elected position,
a director of public education who would be appointed by the governor.
Article 7, Section 14 of the Wyoming Constitution explicitly calls for
the election of a state superintendent of public instruction.

If the legislature wishes to change this it should do so by modifying
the Wyoming Constitution rather than by political act. HSLDA believes
that protecting the integrity of the Wyoming Constitution is
essential, and that representative government is best served when
elected officials are authorized and empowered to carry out their
constitutional duties--something SF96 directly contradicts.

Thirdly, please take action regarding HB 8 on Child Abuse Reporting.
HSLDA supports HB 8 ONLY with the "mandated reporter amendment." This
amendment is NECESSARY in order to protect ordinary citizens from
unnecessary criminal prosecution that would likely result. The
amendment will also define mandated reporters, which are not currently
defined in Wyoming law, and clarify the circumstances under which they
are required to report.

The final bill is HB 144, which addresses early childhood development
programs. Bills like this are a potential first step toward lowering
the compulsory school attendance age and increased government
involvement in a child's early education. HSLDA opposes expanding
compulsory school attendance ages because doing so infringes upon
parents' freedom to make educational decisions for their children.
Furthermore valid research has demonstrated that programs like these
are not effective.


ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact your senator and give him or her the following messages
in your own words:

"I am calling to oppose SF 96 and SF 104. SF 96 increases the
compulsory attendance age. This bill is dangerous because it
unnecessarily increases state control over parental decision making.
The bill would lead to increased taxes and dangerous schools by
forcing children who have discipline problems to remain in school
against their wishes and the judgment of their parents. The law
already requires parents to consult with the school before children
drop out--this is sufficient. The bill imposes unnecessary and
intrusive reporting requirements on homeschooling parents.

"Second, I oppose SF 104. This bill creates the unconstitutional
office of director of the Department of Education. This puts too much
power in the hands of a single unelected official. The citizens of
Wyoming passed a constitution with an elected state superintendent in
order to have an elected official accountable for schools. The
legislature should not make changes to this without getting input from
the citizens through a constitutional amendment. Stripping the elected
superintendent of her duties goes against the constitution and takes
authority away from the people.

Please vote against both SF 96 and SF 104."


Please contact your House member and give him or her the following
message in your own words regarding HB 8:

"I support the mandated reporter amendment to HB 8 on Child Abuse
Reporting. This bill should only be passed with this amendment. This
amendment is NECESSARY in order to protect ordinary citizens from
unnecessary criminal prosecution that would likely result. The
amendment will also define mandated reporters which are not defined in
Wyoming law currently and clarify the circumstances under which they
are required to report."

Please also give House members this message about HB 144:

"I oppose House Bill 144 because it encourages unnecessary involvement
in a parent's decisions for their children and sets the stage for
lowering the compulsory attendance age. Government should not
micromanage the decisions parents make for their young children and HB
144 infringes on the parent's right to make educational decisions for
their children."

House members contact information can be found here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=16886

Senator contact information can be found here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=16887

Thank you for all you do in defense of freedom for families in the
great state of Wyoming!

Very truly yours,


Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you
consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support
for our work enables us to defend individual families threatened by
government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join
now >> http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=16889

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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