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Senate Bill 129 (L.D. 405): Change in Testing Requirement/Public School Profits from Home Schoolers
L.D. 405 Dies in Committee
Good news! Legislative Document 405, which would have forced home school families to take the Maine Educational Assessment test, died in committee this morning. It did not even survive as a resolution to create a study commission, which is what the bill's sponsor sought after facing overwhelming opposition to his bill in its original form.
In a classic battle of values, Maine's 4,000 home schoolers rose up to protect their right to educate their own children against an attack by those who wanted to impose harsher state control. The contest was well publicized in several newspaper articles and on numerous radio programs.
The bill's sponsor, Senator Peter Mills, pushed his measure to the end, but the Education and Cultural Affairs committee voted unanimously to reject his attack on home school freedom.
More people deserve our thanks than could ever be listed. Nonetheless, at the head of that list would be Ed and Kathy Greene of Home Educators of Maine, education policy advocate Kathy Kearney, Mike Heath of the Christian Civic League, and Senator Betty Lou Mitchell and Representative Shirley Richard, joint committee chairs. Please convey your appreciation to all members of the Education and Cultural Affairs committee.
No one who was present at the February 21 hearing will ever forget the spontaneous applause that erupted after 12-year-old Rebecca Wakefield's short, powerful speech. With clear eye and fearless, unwavering voice, Rebecca made a superbly compelling statement against the bill that probably did as much good as all the other witnesses---lawyers, legislators, experts and parents---put together.
Thank you for every phone call to the committee and for each of you who sacrificed your time to attend the hearing. Without you, this victory could not have been accomplished.
Senate Bill 129 (L.D. 405) would require home schooled students to take the Maine Educational Assessment Exams. It would also include home schoolers in the funding formula for public schools. For every home schooled student living in the district, the public school could collect 25 percent of the amount it receives for each public school student.
Bill killed in committee on February 27, 2001.
HSLDA is opposed to this bill.
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2/14/2001 Maine--Calls urgently needed on LD 405