Home School Legal Defense Association

P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134



For Immediate Release Contact: Ian Slatter
May 19, 2003 (540)338-8663

MAINE ENACTS SWEEPING CHANGES TO HOME SCHOOL LAW



Washington, D.C. - Governor Baldacci signed LD 160 last Friday. The bill passed the Senate by 31-0 and the House of Representatives by 121-2. The new law dramatically reduces the regulatory burden on families who homeschool. "This is a great day for freedom," said Scott Woodruff, Staff Attorney for Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). "It has been shown that heavier regulation does not improve the results achieved by homeschooled children. The modern trend is toward reducing the regulatory burden. With this bill, Maine joins the modern trend," he added.

Under a law enacted in 1989, the Maine legislature gave nearly unlimited power to the Commissioner of Education to regulate homeschooling. The Commissioner adopted multiple pages of regulations and required parents to fill out an application form so lengthy and complicated that a member of the legislature's Joint Education and Cultural Affairs Committee opined that it would take a "Harvard graduate" to figure it out. Even then, parents were expected to wait for approval to home school, which sometimes never came because of paperwork errors within the bureaucracy.

A year ago Commissioner Albanese made one final turn of the regulatory screw. He adopted a regulation that relaxed the requirement that the government act on applications to homeschool within 60 days. With Albanese turning them a deaf ear, homeschoolers went to the legislature for relief. The Joint Committee approved the bill unanimously. The bill dramatically curtails the Commissioner's power to regulate. It abolishes the need for prior approval, a relic of an era when homeschooling was not well understood, now required in only 3 states.

"The old regulations were a waste of taxpayer money and parent's time," said Woodruff. "Maine has made the right choice for educational freedom," he added.

If your organization would like to schedule an interview with Scott Woodruff, (Staff Attorney for HSLDA) please contact Ian Slatter, Director of Media Relations at (540) 338 8663 or via e-mail Ian@hslda.org.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 20 year old, 75,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children. For more information visit our website www.hslda.org.

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