|HSLDA Media Release||March 26, 2001|
Voice of state organization guards home school freedom in Minnesota
For immediate release
March 26, 2001
Contact: Rich Jefferson
(540) 338-8663 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA — A state home school organization made its voice heard last week in the capitol, as the Minnesota Senate Education Committee voted down provisions in an omnibus education bill that troubled the state's home schoolers.
The Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE), through effective organization and communication with its members, was able to stop parts of a bill that would have increased regulation of home schools in a state already highly regulated.
MACHE spokesmen attribute their effective lobbying to the willingness of their organization's members to speak out, to join the right organizations, and to visit their legislators.
Roger Schurke, chairman of the MACHE board, said, "Legislators listen to their constituents. Phone calls are better than e-mail messages, but a visit, in person or in big numbers, is better than phoning. Last week, we had big numbers."
Hundreds of home school families converged on the Senate Education Committee last week and successfully killed sections of Senate Bill 866 that would have imposed additional requirements on home schoolers.
Another MACHE board member said that coordination between home school groups benefits all home schoolers. "It's vital for Minnesota home schoolers to join MACHE and the Home School Legal Defense Association," said Mac Bryant. "Minnesota has a good working relationship with HSLDA, and we have been able to help each other in tremendous ways."
According to current Minnesota law, parents are already required to submit annual notices of intent, meet certain teacher qualifications or file quarterly reports, and administer annual standardized tests to their children. Under one portion of Senate Bill 866, home schooling parents who are already providing effective home education, would have been required to prove they have a high school diploma.
By the time the Senate Education Committee voted last week on the troublesome parts of S.B. 866, committee members heard the message.
"Because of MACHE's dedicated leadership, these attempts to put even more burdens on Minnesota home schoolers were defeated," said Chris Klicka, senior counsel with HSLDA. "Studies reveal that home schoolers can do a great job teaching their children in their own homes. MACHE made the voice of Minnesota home schoolers heard in the legislature, and that's what made all the difference."
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