Date:  
From:  
Subject:  
2/26/01 1:18:00 PM
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., Staff Attorney of HSLDA
Maine--CRUCIAL VOTE ON L.D. 405 TOMORROWóCALLS URGENTLY NEEDED

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From the HSLDA@Capitol Hill E-lert Service...
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February 26, 2001

CRUCIAL VOTE ON L.D. 405 TOMORROWóCALLS URGENTLY NEEDED

Dear Maine Members and Friends

Tomorrow, the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee will hold a
work session and vote on L.D. 405. This vote will determine whether
the bill dies, goes forward as Senator Peter Mills originally
submitted it (requiring home school students to take the MEA), or
goes forward as a resolution to create a study commission. Under
Maine rules, the bill will go forward to the Senate floor if even one
committee member votes in favor of it.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call the committee members below today. Your call is
especially important if you live in one of the committee membersí
districts. Committee members value input from citizens who live in
their district most.

You may give a message such as this:
"Please do not let L.D. 405 go forward in any form. A study
commission is not necessary. Maine already has some of the strictest
home school regulations in the country."

If the bill passes the committee tomorrow, it could be acted on
quickly in the Senate. In addition to contacting committee members,
please call your own senator with a similar message.

BACKGROUND

Last week's L.D. 405 hearing went extremely well. Over 500 home
schoolers attended, in addition to the press. Many prominent Maine
home school and private school leaders testified against L.D. 405. I
also had the opportunity to testify against the bill, emphasizing
that a study commission is not needed. This bill is now receiving
national attention. Home schoolers across the country are shocked and
outraged that a state would even consider compelling home schoolers
to take the criterion-based test the state devised to test knowledge
of the state's public school curriculum.

However, the sponsor, Senator Peter Mills, has changed his strategy
somewhat. He testified that he still thinks home schoolers should be
required to take the MEA, but will not push for it this year.
Instead, he wants a study commission. This could simply lay the
groundwork for another attempt to impose the MEA or otherwise
increase the regulatory burden on Maine home schoolersówho already
operate under some of the strictest regulations in the country. It is
of the utmost importance that no study commission is created.
Formation of a commission would create months, or years, of
uncertainty and turmoil, and create pressure to add new laws or
regulations.

Home schooling has already been studied in depth. At the last weekís
hearing, I provided the committee with over 150 citations of
scholarly research. If the committee wants to know more about home
schooling, the members need only read available studies.

Please continue to pray and encourage others you know to also call
their senators and the members of the Educational and Cultural
Affairs Committee.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO CALL:

Senator Betty Lou Mitchell, Chair - Etna --- 279-2071
Senator John Nutting - Leeds --- 524-3941
Rep. James Skoglund - St. George --- 372-8893
Rep. Vaughn Stedman --- 938-4890
Senator Margaret Rotundo - Lewiston --- 784-3529
Rep. Shirley Richard, Chair - Madison --- 696-3049
Rep. Mabel Desmond - Mapleton --- 764-1011
Rep. Elizabeth Watson - Farmingdale --- 582-7047
Rep. Stephen Estes - Kittery --- 439-3479
Rep. Glen Cummings - Portland --- 775-2560
Rep. Mary Black Andrews - York --- 363-414
Rep. Mary Ellen Ledwin - Holden --- 989-4627
Rep. Donald Soctomah - Princeton --- 372-8893

Or you can leave a message at: (800) 423-2900.

If you do not know who your senator is, you can call:
207.287.1692 or 800.301.3178
or go to the website: http://janus.state.me.us/house/townlist.htm

Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.

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Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
540-338-5600
www.hslda.org
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