Originally Sent: 6/28/2013
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Maine. He and his wife homeschooled their children.
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Dear Wisconsin HSLDA Members and Friends:
Wisconsin’s budget bill has passed the Senate and Assembly with Section 1828 intact. This highly problematic section would give public schools the power to arbitrarily set standards that make it difficult or impossible for homeschoolers to participate in public school classes.
Currently, Wisconsin Statute §118.145(4) gives homeschool students (and private school students) the right to take up to two public high school classes. The student must be qualified to attend the school itself, and there must be room in the classroom, but there are no other restrictions.
By allowing schools to set “admissions requirements” for homeschoolers for each course, this measure would convert a right to take public school classes to a privilege that could be withheld on the whims of the school district. Not only that, but this measure discriminates solely against homeschoolers—private school students who want to take classes at public school are not affected by any new admissions standards.
The governor has six business days to take action on this bill, but may sign it as soon as this Sunday—so he needs to hear from you right away!
Please call and email the governor’s office right away. Your message can be as simple as: “Please remove Section 1828 from AB 40. It gives unlimited power to public schools to turn homeschool students away from public high school classes. It discriminates against homeschool students, and it’s an invitation to arbitrary action.’
To contact the governor, for email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For phone calls: Office of Governor Scott Walker, (608) 266-1212.
There is a wide variety of opinion within the homeschool community as to the wisdom and desirability of participating in public school classes or other activities. HSLDA takes no position on creating new rights to access public school programs.
However, when that right already exists, HSLDA firmly believes it should be protected. For example, when a public school in Iowa violated a homeschool student’s right to take low-cost college classes through a public school program, HSLDA filed suit and won a victory for the family that benefitted all homeschoolers. When the right to take low-cost college classes was threatened in Maine, HSLDA drafted a bill to protect access, and that bill is making excellent progress.
When homeschool students in Idaho were told they could not play on public school sports teams—to which they were clearly entitled under law—HSLDA intervened and pushed the offending public school system to let the homeschool kids play on the team. When the right to obtain free, voluntary testing through the local public school was threatened in Iowa, HSLDA worked to obtain passage of a bill protecting the right.
HSLDA’s opposition to Section 1828 of AB 40 is fully in line with our belief that existing rights to access public school programs should be protected for the sake of those who wish to take advantage of them.
Section 1828 of AB 40 would create one possible benefit: it would place public elementary school classes within the potential reach of homeschool families. However, access would be subject to the unlimited power of the public school to determine who is qualified to take each course. This makes the actual ability to access an elementary school course highly doubtful. This questionable benefit is not worth the trade-off.
Thank you for standing with us for freedom!
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
Senior Counsel, HSLDA
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 enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>
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