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California

May 21, 2004
Another California Homeschooling Victory

HSLDA is posting the following information from a Legislative NEWSFLASH by Roy Hanson and Jim Davis of Family Protection Ministries (FPM).

We are very grateful to God for providing another recent encouraging victory for our members and every private homeschooler in California through the dedicated work of Roy Hanson and Jim Davis of Family Protection Ministries. State Senator Kevin Murray withdrew his "clean bathroom bill," SB 1562, from the Senate Education Committee before it was heard and voted on. SB 1562 is "dead" this year according to Senator Murray's office and the Senate Education Committee. Roy and Jim will be watching, along with HSLDA, to see if a similar bill is introduced next year.

SB 1562 would have permitted cities and counties to inspect bathrooms in any public or private school to ensure that school bathrooms are kept clean, operational, and supplied with toilet paper, soap, and paper towels or functional hand dryers. We have no problem with the state requiring that public schools keep their bathrooms clean. However, if this bill had passed, it would have set a bad precedent by permitting any part of a private school's operation in a home to be monitored. Local public officials could have attempted to inspect the bathrooms in homes in which a private school was based (i.e. any homeschool).

After extensive research, FPM communicated their concerns both verbally and in writing to the author's office and the Senate Education Committee. They also worked in close consultation with Michael Smith at the Home School Legal Defense Association and with others since early this year to ensure that California's private homeschoolers would be exempt from the provisions of this bill.

Jim Davis attended the Senate Education Committee to testify in opposition to SB 1562 unless it was amended to exempt homeschools. The Senator withdrew his bill during the hearing and subsequently decided to drop it for this year. As Senator Murray was leaving the committee room, God provided an unusual opportunity for Jim Davis to have a very good private conversation with him, and explain the details of our concerns in a way that definitely would not have been possible in a hearing.

We thank God for this victory. It has been our privilege to work with FPM, and we thank those who also worked with FPM to get this bill stopped or amended. This would be an appropriate time to show our appreciation and support for Family Protection Ministries by sending a generous donation to FPM at PO Box 730, Lincoln, CA 95648-0730. All gifts are tax deductible and any gift of $40 or more in a calendar year will ensure receipt of FPM's Legal-Legislative Update newsletter for one year.