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Your calls are needed immediately to Stop S3105

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    Stop State-Mandated Annual Medical Exams and Portfolios for Homeschoolers Dear HSLDA Members and Friends: Your calls are needed immediately to stop S3105, a
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2011
      Stop State-Mandated Annual Medical Exams and Portfolios for

      Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

      Your calls are needed immediately to stop S3105, a bill Senator
      Loretta Weinberg filed last week, despite many calls asking her not
      to. The bill treats every homeschool parent like a child abuser by
      requiring them to file documentation of annual medical exams.

      It would require parents to submit each child's name, birth date, and
      homeschool instructor's name every year by August 1. A mandatory
      portfolio would be due June 30. But what bureaucrats can require in a
      child's portfolio is virtually unlimited.

      The bill gives the State Board of Education dramatic new power over
      homeschool families by empowering it to regulate homeschooling. The
      Board could mandate exactly how all the bill's requirements would be
      enforced. It could define homeschooling itself.

      There is virtually no limit as to what the Board could require in the
      annual medical exam. No issue--no matter how personal, sensitive,
      unwelcome or intrusive--would be off limits.
      Lawmakers who act against the will of the people can be removed from
      office. But State Board of Education members are appointed, not
      elected. New Jersey homeschool families would be virtually at their

      This bill would turn New Jersey's current sensible legal framework
      into a morass of regulations and burdensome red tape. With three
      filings every year for 42,000 homeschooled children, overworked public
      school staff would have yet more burdens added to their shoulders.

      Taxpayers would pay the cost of filing, processing, checking,
      responding to, and storing 120,000 sets of paperwork each year. Taxes
      will inevitably go up to pay for it.

      The media carried reports recently about the Division of Youth and
      Family Services (DYFS) failing to protect an allegedly homeschooled
      child in danger--with tragic results. S3105 wrongly punishes parents
      for the failures of DYFS.

      Action Requested

      Please make three courteous phone calls by Thursday using the contact
      information below.

      1. Call Sen. Stephen Sweeney. He is the president of the New
      Jersey Senate, and he controls its business.

      2. Call Sen. Teresa Ruiz. She is the chair of the Senate Education
      Committee, to which S3105 was referred.

      3. If you are a constituent of the other four members of the
      committee (Sens. Jim Whelan, Diane Allen, Thomas Kean and Shirley
      Turner), call them. Use our legislative toolbox
      to see if you are a constituent of one of those senators.
      Your message can be as simple as "Please oppose S3105. Don't punish
      homeschoolers and public school staff for the failures of DYFS."

      Or you can frame your own message using information in this email,
      including material in the "background" section below.

      Contact Information

      Sen. Stephen Sweeney:
      (856) 251-9801 (West Deptford office)
      (856) 455-1011 (Bridgeton office)
      (856) 339-0808 (Salem office)

      Sen. Teresa Ruiz:
      (973) 484-1000

      Sen. Jim Whelan:
      (609) 383-1388

      Sen. Diane Allen:
      (609) 239-2800

      Sen. Thomas Kean:
      (732) 974-0400

      Sen. Shirley Turner:
      (609) 530-3277


      Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), Education Network of
      Christian Homeschoolers of New Jersey (ENOCH), Catholic Homeschoolers
      of New Jersey (CHNJ), and New Jersey Homeschool Association (NJHA),
      and others, are united as a task force in opposing S3105.

      To view the bill, go to http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=12962
      DYFS had numerous contacts with the family of the abused girl who was
      in the news this summer. A fresh report was called in just a few days
      before she died. DYFS did virtually nothing about the report and
      closed it. Fix DYFS. That's where the problem is.

      Complicated rules always foster needless conflicts, and this would
      become an everyday occurrence. After the state board adopts
      regulations, local school systems would adopt their own requirements,
      creating an additional layer of red tape.

      New Jersey would overnight have one of the worst homeschool laws in
      the nation. The New Jersey tax base and overall economy could suffer
      as homeschool families avoid (or leave) the state.

      The outstanding academic achievements of homeschool students has been
      documented by many studies. Homeschoolers typically score 30
      percentile points above others on standardized tests. Since
      homeschoolers score the same in states with heavy regulation and
      states with light regulation, adding new regulations is highly
      unlikely to help academic performance (source: Dr. Brian Ray, "Home
      Schooling Achievement," 1997).

      Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

      Sincerely yours,

      Scott Woodruff
      HSLDA Senior Counsel
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