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Senate Education Committee, Meet Illinois Homeschoolers

Susan Ryan 11 February 2011 No Comment
[This article was syndicated via RSS from Illinois Review. The views represented do not necessarily represent those of the Chicago Daily Observer.]

by Susan Ryan

Illinois homeschoolers have been busy, as have secretaries, aides and the Illinois Senators themselves in speaking with private school advocates or reading their concerns the last several days. 

Senator Maloney's bill SB 136 has been moved along to the Education Committee.  Oddly, the Education Committee issued the Hearing information in this manner:

97th General Assembly
Hearing Notice For Education
     
Members    Notice of Hearing    Bills     
 
Hearing Scheduled for Feb 15, 2011
Chairperson     James Meeks
Vice-Chairperson     Kimberly Lightford
Minority Spokesperson     David Luechtefeld
Scheduled Date:    Feb 15, 2011 10:45AM
Location:    212 Capitol
Springfield, IL
Posting Date:    Feb 09, 2011 2:26PM
Subject Matter:    Registration of Home Schooled Students in Illinois.

The Education Committee has changed the intent for this bill from this description copied below on the ilga.gov site to "Registration of Home Schooled Students in Illinois", as shown above. 

 "Amends the School Code. Requires the parents or legal guardians of children attending non-public schools, a defined term, or private or parochial schools to annually register their children with the State Board of Education, in conformance with procedures prescribed by the State Board of Education"

Very odd and doesn't seem appropriate to target homeschoolers within the private school community.  That would be like singling out Catholic private schools or  Montessori private schools from all the rest of us.  It shouldn't be applicable in considering the 1950 Illinois Supreme Court ruling that set the precedence of Illinois homeschools being private schools.  Balances of power or checks and balances should have some significance in the rule of law

It seems useful to send a nicely worded email or letter laying out the reasons why we don't like this bill and send it via email or fax to all the Education Committee members and your Senator.

I just received this in my email box from Laurie Bluedorn (see how busy we are) and this is great information to use in your letter :

From Cedra Crenshaw's Facebook Page and the Stop SB 136 Facebook Page
Full text of SB 136: http://ilga.gov/legislation/97/SB/PDF/09700SB0136lv.pdf
State Senator Edward Maloney (D-Chicago)  has introduced SB136 which would require non-public school students to register annually with the state. This would affect private and homeschool students.
When interviewed, Senator Maloney said, “We're not going for the private school students, we're going to change that [in the proposal].  What we want to know is where the homeschoolers are.  It's as simple as that,"
   * Call Senator Mahoney at 773-881-4180 or 217-782-5145 and demand he withdraw this unnecessary government overreach.
Talking Points:
   * Homeschoolers average 2009 ACT scores, 22.5, beat the national average of 21.1.
   * Homeschoolers are already required to comply with significant substantive state mandates.
   * Parents who choose to homeschool are taking the ultimate responsibility to educate their children.
   * Senator Mahoney should be focused on fixing the Chicago Public Schools which had a 2010 graduation rate of only 55.8% and spent over $11,000/student.
   * Requiring homeschool parents to register with the state will do nothing to positively impact their children’s education.
   * Annual reporting will add another opportunity for the state to unreasonably burden responsible parents.

Here's sponsor Senator Maloney's contact information: Office Phone:  (773) 881-4180(773) 881-4243 FAX  Email:  maloney@senatedem.state.il.us

Senate Education Committee 

James T. Meeks  Office Phone: (708) 862-1515 Fax: (708) 862-4745   Online email contact:  http://www.senatedem.ilga.gov/index.php/contact-me-meeks

Kimberly A. Lightford Office Phone: 708-343-7444 Fax: 708-343-7400 Email:  lightford@senatedem.state.il.us

Gary Forby Office Phone:  (618) 439-2504 FAX (618) 438-3704   Email:  forby@senatedem.state.il.us

Susan Garrett Office Phone: (847) 433-2002 Email:  susan@garrett98.com

Iris Y. Martinez  Office Phone: 773-489-2020  Fax: 773-489-2024Email:  martinez@senatedem.state.il.us

John G. Mulroe  Chicago Office Phone: (773) 763-3810(773) 763-3881 FAX  Springfield Office: (217) 782-1035(217) 782-2115 FAX

online email contact:  http://www.senatedem.ilga.gov/index.php/contact-me-mulroe

David Luechtefeld  Office Phone: (618) 243-9014(618) 243-5376 FAX  Email:  sendavel@midwest.net

Now here's the thing about these two great Senators listed below.  They have already stated they oppose this bill.  Send them a different letter and make it a thank you.  They deserve it.

Kyle McCarter  Decatur Phone: 217-428-4068 Fax: 217-428-4089 Greenville Phone: 618-664-9108 Fax: 618-664-9112   Email:  senatormccarter51@att.net

Suzi Schmidt  Office Phone: 847-377-2300 Fax: 847-356-9668 Email:  SSchmidt@co.lake.il.us

Now I'll put these email addresses in a nice line for you.  After you paste those in, go to Vote Smart and find your Senator's email address.  Stick that in there along with your lovely letter and hit Send.  We want our Senator friends and allies to have the opportunity for lots of email and fax waving going on to show the proponents of this bill.  (We'll recycle, we promise.)

forby@senatedem.state.il.us

lightford@senatedem.state.il.us

garrett@senatedem.state.il.us

martinez@senatedem.state.il.us

sendavel@midwest.net

Thank you:

senatormccarter51@att.net

SSchmidt@co.lake.il.us


Senator Meeks and Mulroe like online contact forms.  Don't forget about the Chairman and Senator Mulroe and make sure you get a copy sent to you.

Read the Full Story: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/typepad/bYHz/~3/CL9JSiL8aSw/education-committee-meet-homeschoolers.html

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