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Homeschool Activists On the Alert
On the morning of December 1, 2003, homeschool leaders in the Cheyenne area realized they had a potential problem on their hands. The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle had reported that U.S. Senator Mike Enzi would be meeting with officials from the United States Department of Education and the Wyoming Department of Education in a public "Town Hall" meeting. What put homeschoolers on the alert was the news that Senator Kathryn Sessions would be on a panel to ask questions of Senator Enzi and the education officials. With Senator Sessions openly planning to regulate homeschoolers at the earliest opportunity, this Town Hall could spell trouble.
Members of the Wyoming Legislative Watch e-mail network promptly contacted HSLDA attorney Scott Somerville, who contacted Tom Washburne, Director of the National Center for Home Education. Mr. Washburne, who previously served as chief of staff for a U.S. Congressman, contacted Senator Enzi's office to determine the purpose of the meeting. Within hours, HSLDA staff had contacted Senator Enzi's office in Cheyenne. Senator Enzi's aides were very courteous and helpful, which made it easy to explain homeschooler's concerns about the Town Hall meeting. Senator Enzi's education aide spent a long time on a cell phone making sure he understood each aspect of the current situation affecting Wyoming homeschoolers.
A significant number of homeschoolers attended the Town Hall meeting, and were very pleased at the way the U.S. Department of Education fielded questions about homeschoolers and the No Child Left Behind Act. Senator Enzi later met with several homeschool leaders, who appreciated his responsiveness to their concerns. HSLDA wrote a letter of thanks (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) to express our appreciation for the way the Senator and his staff responded to constituent concerns.
As Wyoming homeschoolers become better organized and more prepared, our chances for defeating bad legislation greatly increase. We encourage all Wyoming homeschoolers to work together at the local and state level to preserve the blessings of liberty. A new homeschool political action committee has been formed, and we will be informing our members of their opportunity to get more active in legislative matters in the near future.
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