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This year, home school statutes or regulations were adopted in Michigan
(Non-HSLDA cases are marked with an “ * ”)

January 9 — Michigan: As a result of the Michigan v. DeJonge case won by HSLDA in 1993, Governor John Engler signed into law Senate Bill 679, Amendment A. This new law freed all home schooling families from teacher certification and reporting requirements, transforming the state into one of the most favorable for home schooling.

January 9 — Michigan: Governor Engler signed Act No. 289, which designated as “fundamental” the right of parents to direct the education of their children.

February — New Mexico: Alerted by HSLDA, New Mexico families organized a successful emergency phone campaign against House Bill 337. The bill contained language which could be used by public school officials to regulate home schools.

February — Virginia: HSLDA worked with member families to defeat Senate Bill 621, legislation which would have lowered the standard of proof in child abuse investigations.

March 4 — South Dakota: Governor William J. Janklow signed into law two excellent pieces of legislation, drafted for home schoolers by HSLDA. The first, House Bill 1286, freed home schoolers to use any type of national achievement test they choose. The second, H.B. 1279, provided safeguards against false and malicious reports of abuse or neglect.

March 17-23 — Delaware: This week was declared “Delaware Home Education Week” by Governor Thomas R. Carper.

March 19 — Hawaii: Legislation that would ultimately result in criminalizing corporal punishment was introduced and sent before the Committee on Human Services. Michael Farris and other HSLDA attorneys prepared a memorandum of law analyzing the legislative proposal and its unconstitutionality. With the help of the memorandum, Hawaii families demonstrated strong opposition to the legislation, resulting in its defeat at the final committee vote.

May — Washington, D.C.: After several nationwide alerts and intensive lobbying, a major threat against the right to privacy is averted. Pressure from home schoolers and HSLDA convince Congress to amend S. 269, The Immigration Act, removing its mandatory tracking provisions and preventing the establishment of a national I.D. card for every employee in America. June 23-28 — Connecticut: Governor John Rowland declared June 23-28 as “Connecticut Home Education Week.”

June — Virginia: Representatives of HSLDA and the Virginia Home Education Association joined with hundreds of Warren County citizens to protest a proposed daytime curfew ordinance. After hearing the public outcry, the sponsor withdrew the proposed curfew.

September 10 — Virginia: HSLDA accepted its 50,000th member family, Timothy and Lorri Reese of Travis Air Force Base, California.

October 13-19 — Alaska: The Alaska State Legislature declared “Alaska Home Education Week.”

October — West Virginia: Legal action by HSLDA forced the Mercer County school superintendent to grant West Virginia’s first “religious exemption,” enabling the Minton family to continue home schooling. October—Indiana: H.B. 1259 died in committee after home schoolers alerted by HSLDA flooded their legislators with calls and letters opposing the bill. H.B. 1259 would have required home schoolers to take the statewide IPASS testing, which is based on OBE skills and politically correct ideas.

October 2 — Georgia: Five days before the Gaskin trial date, the defendants agreed to settle the case by paying Debbie Gaskin $13,750 for her malicious prosecution and false arrest.

October 25 — Maryland: In State of Maryland v. Cheryl Ann Battles, Mrs. Battles was acquitted in criminal court of the charge of violating the state’s compulsory attendance act. This home school mother had been prosecuted for refusing to sign the Maryland assurance of consent home school form because of her sincerely-held religious convictions. The judge ruled that failure to comply with Maryland’s regulations was not a crime because Mrs. Battles provided enough evidence to satisfy the court that she was providing her daughter with the “regular and thorough instruction” required by state statute.

November — South Carolina: The Department of Social Services wrongly pursued intrusive investigations of two home school families for child abuse and truancy allegations. As a result of intervention by HSLDA attorneys, the allegations against one family were declared unfounded and the investigation of the other family was dropped.

November — Alaska: Organized resistance from home schooling parents and legal arguments from HSLDA led the Anchorage assembly to remove all curfew provisions from a proposed truancy prevention ordinance.

Now read about the year 1997.