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3/25/2013 4:34:32 PM
Scott Woodruff--HSLDA
Maine--Call Now to Stop Encroachment on Homeschool Friendly Private Schools

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maine--Call Now to Stop Encroachment
on Homeschool Friendly Private Schools

Dear Maine HSLDA Members and Friends:

On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. there will be a hearing on a bill that would
create an unprecedented level of government intrusion into private
schools that many homeschool families use: LD 772 would force all
private schools to report the number of their "Franco-American"
students to the state.

The privacy and autonomy of private schools that neither seek
accreditation nor approval nor take government money for student
tuition ("independent" schools) has always been robustly protected. LD
772's demand for demographic data would be an encroachment of
historical proportions.

LD 772 is reason for alarm for citizens who want to keep government
influence out of independent private schools. If LD 772 passes, there
is little doubt that further intrusions will follow. It creates a
platform for the expansion of government control in the future.

In fact, the ethnic data demanded is useless for tracking students
into adulthood (a stated purpose of the bill) unless independent
private school students are also forced into the state's massive
database of students and given an identification number (the MEDMS
system).

The bill will spawn new levels of confusion. It does not even define
"Franco-American!"

It contains no explanation of what penalties will be imposed if
independent schools refuse to supply the information. The state could
even claim it has the power to punish an uncooperative school by
withholding its recognition for attendance purposes--possibly
subjecting all the students to truancy prosecution.

Would students in independent schools have a right to refuse to
disclose their ethnic background? If not, how would they be punished?

This bill has nothing to do with elementary or secondary education and
much to do with control. Independent private schools ask for no
favors from the government, and they should be left out of
control-oriented programs like this.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call your senator or representative if he or she is listed
below as a member of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.
Use our Legislative Toolbox http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17763
to find the name of your senator and representative. If your own
senator or representative is not listed, please call the two chairmen
and the ranking minority member (identified below).

Your message can be as simple as: "Please vote NO on LD 772. Protect
private schools that don't accept public tuition money and don't seek
accreditation from government encroachment."

Please call between now and Wednesday morning.

CONTACT INFORMATION


Senators
In-State Toll-Free Message Line
(800) 423-6900

Millett, Rebecca (CHAIR)
Langley, Brian
Johnson, Christopher (ranking minority member)

Representatives
State House Message Phone: (800) 423-2900

MacDonald, W. (CHAIR)Soctomah, Madonna
Rankin, Helen
Pouliot, Matthew
Nelson, Mary
McClellan, Michael
Maker, Joyce
Kornfield, Victoria
Johnson, Peter
Hubbell, Brian
Daughtry, Matthea


BACKGROUND

A "Task Force on Franco-Americans" recently made four recommendations.
Three of those recommendations can be achieved without this bill. The
fourth recommendation, regarding tracking patterns of education and
employment of Franco-Americans, can be achieved without forcing
students in independent schools to participate because data from
public and non-independent schools can be used instead.

Schools whose students are already part of the state's massive data
base can be tracked for ethnicity, education and jobs with little
additional intrusion. But students not presently in the database
would have to be forced into the database for tracking to accomplish
its stated objective. Many parents have philosophical or religious
objections to this.

The Task Force was concerned that relatively few "Franco-Americans"
attend college. The wisdom of picking out one of the many ethnic
groups in Maine and spending taxpayer money to try to increase their
college attendance is questionable at best.

Furthermore, merely knowing the total number of "Franco-American"
students in a particular private school will not help anyone go to
college. Raising the number who attend college would require far more
government intrusion than is created in this bill. This bill simply
gives a toehold and invitation for more intrusive programs.

Many families pick independent private school specifically because
they have deep philosophical or religious objections to
government-dominated education. If the bill passes, it is to be
expected that many of these families will simply refuse to provide
ethnic data to their private school knowing that it will be sent to
the government.

The number one job the legislature gave the Task Force when they
created it was to define "Franco-American." The Task Force's
recommendations have no credibility whatsoever because it failed in
its first and most important assigned task.

HSLDA and Home Educators of Maine are united in opposing this bill.
We approached the sponsor and asked her to amend it so it would only
apply to private schools that seek state approval, accreditation or
public tuition money, but she did not consent. (State "recognition" of
a private school is a simple, streamlined process; state "approval" is
far more invasive.)

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you. Thank you for all you do for freedom! 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=17764


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-> Who are the nation's best lobbyists?

We don't know that this has ever been determined; but we do know
that HSLDA's Federal Relations Department is the only
national organization lobbying on behalf of homeschoolers on
Capitol Hill.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1102

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