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Volume 9 Issue 1-2
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Legal News

 

The Link will host its Third Annual Homeschool Conference in Woodland Hills, California, May 19-21, 2000. They will also be sponsoring an additional conference in Chicago, (Bourbonnais) Illinois, July 21-23, 2000. Call toll-free to register for a conference at: 888/470-4513. Other phone calls: 805/492-1373 Fax: 805/493-9216 e-mail: MBL17@msn.com, 587 N. Ventu Park Road, Ste. F-911 Newbury Park, CA, 91320

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Separation of School and State Alliance will have their Fifth Annual National Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Arlington, VA Nov. 17-19, 2000. Registration information can be obtained from the Alliance website at http://www.sepschool.org or by contacting them directly at Separation of School & State Alliance 4578 N. First St. #310, Fresno, CA 93726 559-292-1776. Entire conference including banquets $159 per person. Speakers include Andrew Colson, John Gatto, Ezola Foster, Cathy Duffy, Doug Dewey, Joe Sobran, and Starr Parker

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June 17, 2000 Second-Annual Minnesota Catholic Home Education Conference Saturday, at Epiphany Church in Coon Rapids. A day of inspirational speakers and plenty of vendors. Information: dbnelson@compuserve.com or 1816 - 136th Ave. NE, Ham Lake, MN 55304-7007.

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May 18-20, 2000 Wisconsin (WCHEA) Christian Home Educators Association Conference. Brookfield (and Sept 28-30 in Greenlake). jang@execpc.com (414) 637-5127.

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11th Annual MassHOPE Christian Homeschool Convention will be held Friday & Saturday April 28-29, 2000. This conference is sponsored by Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators (MassHOPE) For more information, call (508) 892-1126 http://www.masshope.org

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New England 2000 Homeschool & Family Learning Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, July 7 & 8, 2000 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, Boxborough, MA (207) 657-2800. For more information email at info@HomeEducator.com or check their website at http://www.HomeEducator.com/conferences.htm

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Home Educators Encouragement Alliance will host their Southeast Homeschool & Educational Expo August 3rd - 5th, 2000 at Cobb County Civic Center Atlanta (Marietta), Georgia Foe more information contact them at HEEA, 885 Woodstock Rd, Ste. 430-142 Roswell, GA 30075. Voice: 770/594-1266, Fax: 770/594-0119 e-mail: ExpoHeea@aol.com

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On June 22-23, 2000 The 1999-2000 HSLDA National Debate Tournament will be held on June 22-23, 2000, at Point Loma Nazarene University, in San Diego, California. This is for all homeschoolers who are interested in participating. In addition to Team Cross-Ex Debate and Lincoln Douglas Debate, the National Tournament will be hosting a Speech Tournament with individual events of impromptu and interpretive dramatic or humorous, duo interpretation, and original oratory. Debate forums are listed on Crosswalk.com. Two forums with the heading DEBATE: HSLDA are currently posted. Be sure to check the forum out and add to the conversation: http://forums.crosswalk.com/

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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 83 cents of every public-education dollar goes to salary and benefits for education workers. The NEA is a labor union (not an education policy group as a sympathetic press has often painted it). The NEA wields a $200 million war chest filled by dues and assessments on more than 2 million members. In the last national convention, NEA retooled their plans to include five new items to crush school choice. Two reflected the union's growing alarm at the support for vouchers among minority families. NEA has also budgeted $2 million to fight vouchers. The NEA also budgeted $142,000 to beef up its own data finding efforts it conducts on activities of the "far right." The NEA Assembly's New Business Item 32 calls for the investigation of "organizations, corporations, and recognized individuals" that support vouchers. The NEA's data-mining efforts are military in their language and precision, says Mr. Mike Antonucci, who heads California-based research firm Education Intelligence Agency, adding that "right-wing intelligence briefings" are a standard agenda item at union executive meetings: "Whenever a voucher bill comes up in state legislature, NEA considers it an extremist act. One 1999-2000 resolution adopted by the Assembly reads like a paramilitary execution order: "The following programs and practices are detrimental to public education and must be eliminated." Three of the six "deleterious programs" listed-tax credits, vouchers, and privatization -- involve school choice.

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Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. To be a winner . . . all you need to give is all you have.

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Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Sterling Scholar Award as the highest achievement for the National Environmental Stewardship Award's program. Two full four-year scholarships have been created for high school seniors who demonstrate a commitment to environmental service, who maintain consistently high academic performance and a 3.0 GPA, and who in spirit and action "Think Globally and Act Locally." This will include homeschool seniors as well. Sterling Scholar Awards are offered to one male and one female student each year who participate in the National Awards for Environmental Stewardship program. Sterling College, nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains of Vermont, integrates its academic programs in a genuine working rural community. The college offers a Bachelor's of Arts Degree with concentrations in Outdoor Education and Leadership, Wildlands Ecology and Management, and Sustainable Agriculture. Sterling also offers an Associate of Arts Degree in Resource Management. Nominations and applications for the Sterling Scholar Awards are to be submitted through the web sites at http://www.solarquest.com Additional information on Sterling College can be obtained by visiting http://www.sterlingcollege.edu

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Great achievers don't wait for the right opportunity...they make the right opportunity.

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Home-schoolers, like many Americans, find the long form of the 2000 census confusing and invasive. According to the Orange County, CA Register, more than 600,000 people have called the Census Bureau, mostly to complain about the invasiveness of the long form. American households subjected to the "long form" of the U.S. Census are being asked to answer to more than 53 personal questions -- 52 more than the Constitution requires. 1 out of 100 households receives an even more detailed questionnaire, "The American Community Survey." That form requires answers on "physical, mental, or emotional conditions lasting 6 months or more." Note that U.S. Code, Title 13, Section 221 states citizens must fully comply with the census or face a $100 fine. This editor suggests that you answer the one question required by the Constitution--the number of people in your household. I am sure some federal law requires the compilation of racial statistics, but we should ask ourselves, "What kind of a government compiles data on race?" The answer is clear: "One that intends to make decisions along racial lines." The only way we can ensure that we live in a colorblind society is to refuse to gather data about the race of Americans. I would suggest that you respond to the question about race -- under the "other" category as "human."

Earlier this month, Federal Judge Melinda Harmon ruled that the Census Bureau has no automatic right to ask questions felt to be personal or intrusive and that it cannot threaten or prosecute citizens who refuse to answer such questions. This ruling gives credibility to the right of privacy that we as Americans, are entitled to.

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Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you never will grow.

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A recent survey conducted by the National Center for Home Education found that of 513 public and private colleges and universities all but two of the institutions had policies in place to critique home-schooled applicants during the 1998-99 school year,. In the past, many colleges required that home-schooled students take a barrage of standardized tests and earn the General Educational Development credential in lieu of a high school diploma before applying for admission, Chris Klicka of Home School Legal Defense said. Other institutions required them to score far above the college average on the SAT or ACT, or had no policies at all on home-schooled students. A majority of institutions responding to the survey now consider the use of portfolios, a parent's transcript, and SAT and ACT results as legitimate methods of assessing such students' preparation, the report says.

Nearly one- third of the institutions surveyed require that home-schooled students seek a GED before being considered for admission, the report says. Another 3 percent of schools mandated that home-schooled students take several SAT II exams, which probe knowledge in specific subject areas, such as biology, history, and English. Requiring completion of the GED high school equivalency program or a battery of SAT II exams is discriminatory, Mr. Klicka contended. Many home-schooled students fear they'll be perceived as high school dropouts if they list the GED on their transcripts, he said.

The number of students homeschooled in grades K-12 has grown from approximately 800,000 in 1990 to 1.7 million in 1998, the National Center for Home Education estimates. More than 200,000 students who participated in home schooling are enrolled in college, a number that will likely grow to more than 1 million in the next decade, the center predicts. A total of some 14.5 million U.S. undergraduate students were enrolled in colleges and universities in 1998, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

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Californians are faced with new trouble as Bill AB 25 Mandatory Kindergarten, (Mazzoni) Amended 3/6/2000 comes to the floor. This bill would change current law to state that "each child shall attend public or private kindergarten prior to entering first grade." Although the bill does not lower compulsory school age, adding a mandatory kindergarten is a move toward the agenda of cradle-to-grave government control over families. This bill would affect all families with young children. Try to call your own State Senator first at the Capitol Office. A second choice would be to call at the district office. State Capitol Switchboard: (916) 322-9900 Find the phone number to any state senator at this website: http:www.sen.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp. Follow up your phone call with a brief written letter or fax. Mail your letter to your State Senator's Capitol office as soon as possible. Write to your State Senator at this address: State Senator XXX, California State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. AB 25 is set for hearing in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, March 29.

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Richmond County VA home schooling couple, Gerald and Angela Balderson were arrested Friday, March 17, 2000, after truancy charges were filed against them by Bryan Almasion, assistant principal at Richmond County Elementary School. Charges were dropped Wednesday, March 22, 2000, when Richmond County Assistant School Superintendent Bob Luttrell determined that the Baldersons were legally home schooling their son.

Virginia law requires home schoolers to notify the superintendent of their intention to home school. The Baldersons provided their notice on Feb. 25, 2000. Virginia law also stipulates that school superintendents, not other school administrators, are to file truancy charges. The Balderson's suffered public humiliation for a short time, leaving their child in public school could have caused much more long term problems than personal embarrassment. This news editor would like to know if anyone can give a good reason to notify the public school system of any personal intention!

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Status: SB 2020 was amended on 3/30/2000, (Author: CA State Senator Jackie Speier) and has been rescheduled. It is now due to be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, April 12. This bill affects all families with minor children and requires all schools, including private schools based at home, to monitor student's health insurance and have specially trained personnel to handle health insurance issues. Previously, the bill required private schools to exclude students who did not prove they have health insurance which meets all the government requirements, or request a waiver from the county health department. The current version of the bill requires that "the governing board of the school district ... [or] a private full-time day school... as part of the process for updating parental and pupil information, shall request from the parent or legal guardian of each new and returning pupil evidence of health insurance coverage for the pupil. Each governing board of a school district [or the private school] shall have a designated person or persons who are trained to assist parents and legal guardians in both determining the pupil's eligibility for available health insurance programs for children and in applying for those programs. For each parent or legal guardian of a pupil who does not provide the requested evidence of health insurance coverage for the pupil, a designated person shall contact the parent or legal guardian to offer his or her services in determining eligibility for and in applying for available health insurance programs for the pupil. "Previously, the bill required that all public or private licensed health care facilities enroll eligible newborns in either the Healthy Families Program or Medi-Cal prior to discharge. The current version of the bill requires that all public or private licensed health care facilities "offer to enroll a newborn child in either the Healthy Families Program or Medi-Cal prior to discharge of the newborn child if the child is eligible for either program."

There are several reasons this bill should be opposed by California families. SB 2020 would force private schools to be agents of the state by requiring all private schools to monitor the health insurance coverage of each student in their schools. Private schools should not be forced to be involved in health insurance issues for their pupils. Health care coverage is and should remain a private family matter. This bill imposes an inappropriate financial burden on private schools and their students' families by requiring a specialized staff person trained in order to monitor each family's health care coverage and to provide follow-up services as specified.

The Legislature has consistently and carefully maintained very narrow limits prescribing how and when the state should become involved in the private affairs of families and private schools. SB 2020 would violate these limits by inappropriately mandating government-controlled monitoring of health care coverage for children. Parents should not be held accountable to any private or public person, agency or organization concerning the manner in which they provide for or raise their own children. Children are the responsibility of the parents, and parents generally make decisions supportive of the well-being of their children.

News Editor's Comment: I went to the county welfare department to register my homebirth 18 months ago. Not only was I treated like I was guilty of trying to hide something because I chose a homebirth, I was patronized because I would not apply for these government monitoring programs. It was assumed by the staff that anyone choosing a homebirth must need welfare as well.

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Lori Harris is a veteran homeschooling mother of seven, ranging in age from newborn - 18. She and her husband, Alan, homeschool using the Principle Approach and can be reached at their website: http://worldzone.net/health/landmark

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