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Homeschooling: All Things

How to Keep a Strong Voice for Homeschooling in Sacramento

Most of you are probably saying where is NutBugs Heart of Dakota Weekly Update this week. Well, Our schedule is that we school for 5 weeks on and then we take a week off. This allows us MANY breaks through out the year, especially since we school (for the most part) year round. So instead I want to post an email that came to me this morning from HSLDA.

I know there are many homeschoolers who have hemmed and hawed about purchasing a membership to HSLDA. I know because I was one of those for the first 3 years of homeschooling. It was either the money or the thought that I was not harassed about it so why do I need it?!?! But I finally realized that not only does having a membership to HSLDA help me in case I get in trouble, but it helps the other homeschoolers too. By supporting HSLDA either with my own membership or by giving extra to them, we are supporting one of the few networks of lawyers out there who are looking out for ALL us homeschoolers. Yes ALL, Christian, Secular, Catholic or whatever. All homeschoolers. One thing we all must agree on no matter what our point of view on God, curriculum or style of teaching etc. is that we all have a right to raise our children the way we see fit and teach them in our own homes. HSLDA helps us keep those rights.

I am very lucky in that I live in a state that requires very little from us homeschoolers. We file an affidavit and that is all. Praise God! But that could change any moment. With HSLDA on our sides, I feel confident that there is someone fighting for us who will help to keep the rules the same. I am just pleading to all homeschoolers out there to save up $100 and get your membership not only to help yourselves, but to continue the fight for all homeschoolers to be free to homeschool. HSLDA says it much more eloquently then I do. Please read the letter from them below!

 

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Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The purpose of this email is to get as many families in California as possible supporting Family Protection Ministries (FPM). It is critical to the freedom of homeschooling in California that FPM remains strong in their advocacy before the legislature for all of us. Please read the entire email as it is important for you to understand the full scope and import of the advocacy role FPM plays in California. Like most donation-driven organizations, FPM is struggling to make ends meet because of decreased support. Without a large outpouring of financial support as a result of this email, FPM will not be able to meet their current expenses and payroll. Believe me, there is no room to cut expenses and payroll without diminishing the effectiveness of the organization.

Let me explain why your prayer and financial support is absolutely essential for California homeschoolers. Despite reduced levels of giving and the fact that California has perhaps the most liberal legislature in America and is busy year-round, FPM not only protects our freedom to homeschool, but works zealously to continue to advance our freedom. The most recent victory is perhaps their greatest victory and was achieved without asking you to make one phone call or write a letter to your representative.

AB 717, just signed by the governor, drastically overhauls the procedures surrounding neglect and abuse investigations of parents in California. Parents used to be reported to the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) in Sacramento for simply “failing to cooperate” with child protective services investigations. This is forbidden under new legislation. Only “substantiated” reports of child abuse shall be reported to the CACI and, after January 1, all reports other than “substantiated” reports will be purged from the system. FPM, in conjunction with HSLDA, has been working on this major change for over ten years. It came about as a result of FPM’s zealous advocacy on behalf of you and all parents in California. This major victory follows numerous successes over the years by FPM by defeating bad bills that would have:

  1. Sent parents to jail for homeschooling;
  2. Sent good parents to prison for non-abusive spanking;
  3. Added “educational neglect” as a category of child abuse thereby giving social workers the power to investigate the “quality” of your homeschool program, along with the threat of the removal of your child;
  4. Mandated mental health examinations for every Californian every three years;
  5. Required at-risk screening and intrusive home visits following child birth;
  6. Added a statewide daytime curfew;
  7. Lowered the compulsory attendance age to 5 and introduce mandatory kindergarten;
  8. Added habitual truancy as a new category of child abuse resulting in Child Protective Services (CPS) investigations of homeschoolers; and
  9. Required regular inspections of bathrooms of all schools, including homeschools.

These victories all took place in the midst of monitoring over 5,000 bills each legislative session to make sure your freedoms are protected. This amounts to more bills than are introduced into the U.S. Congress. There is no doubt that God has supernaturally blessed FPM and will continue to do so as long as we keep them in Sacramento.

HSLDA has been partnering with FPM since they began, and they are the only full-time presence in Sacramento dedicated to protecting freedoms for private homeschoolers and parental rights in the California Legislature. I know Roy Hanson, Nathan Pierce and Jim Davis personally and work closely with them on a regular basis. Their professionalism, expertise and experience are unparalleled in the legislative lobbying arena. They are your eyes, ears and advocates on the front lines in Sacramento. However, the number of bills they are able to work on will be limited by the resources they have on hand.

I am asking you to give sacrificially and generously today to ensure that homeschoolers will continue to operate in freedom under the current law. Many would seek to regulate homeschoolers in California. To make sure that doesn’t happen, we need a significant outpouring of large, medium and small single gifts, and an increase in monthly support as well. For those of you who are already giving regularly to FPM, I thank you and ask you to please consider giving an extra amount at this time. Also, please consider forwarding this email to other homeschoolers in California.

FPM is funded solely by tax-deductible donations from homeschool families in California. For those of you who give $40 or more each calendar year, you will receive FPM’s newsletter on a complimentary basis.

Make your tax-deductible gift payable to FPM, and mail it today to:

FPM
P.O. Box 730
Lincoln, CA 95648-0730

In anticipation of your generous response to this request, I thank you on behalf of Roy, Nathan and Jim. Your freedoms as you know them today depend upon having a strong voice in Sacramento to keep the liberal legislature from imposing their radical views on home education and families.

God Bless,

Mike Smith
President, HSLDA

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