Thursday, May 14, 2015

SUPPORT HOUSE BILL 1156 - KEEP 8 THE COMPULSORY AGE


Positive legislation for home education which protects parental rights has been introduced and sent to the Pennsylvania House Education Committee. If passed and enacted, it will end one of the confusing problems faced by homeschoolers who have children who attended public or cyber school before turning 8 years old.

Dewitt Black of HSLDA says, "This bill would change the definition of 'compulsory school age' so that a child placed in kindergarten in public school would not be subject to the compulsory attendance law. If this child were to be removed from the public school, while in kindergarten, the parents would not be required to comply with the home education law until the child turned 8."  

Representative Will Tallman, elected official for parts of Adams and Cumberland Counties, stated in his memorandum on April 14, 2015 that:
 It has become necessary because of the recent Supreme Court Decision Commonwealth vs. Kerstetter, to put into even more plain English that even judges can read, that compulsory school age does not start until age 8. 
It has always been interpreted by both the Pennsylvania Department of Education and lower courts that compulsory school age started at age 8. The general public always assumed that the compulsory age began at age 8.
 I also believe that this decision will have a direct impact on parental rights. I believe most parents will know the appropriate age for their child to start school. It will not be the same for every child.
 Please join me in co-sponsoring this bill that protects parental rights and establishes for certainty, and has been practiced throughout the Commonwealth,  that the compulsory school age starts at age 8.
 If you have any questions regarding this legislation please contact Carol Hoffman at choffman@pahousegop.com or by phone at(717) 783-8875."


 ACTION ITEMS: 

1)  Call your local State Representative and ask him/her to sign on as co-sponsor of HB1156. 

If you don't know who your elected official is, enter your address on this site and find out.

If s/he is not in the Ed Com, s/he may say that it has to pass Ed Com first. If this happens, explain that as his/her constituent, it is important to you that s/he supports this and state your personal reason in a concise manner. 

2)  Call the House Education Committee asking them to support HB1156. Start with the majority party members and ask Ed Com Chair, Rep. Stan Saylor, to put this bill on the agenda.

3)  Share this information with all homeschoolers and advocates of home education and parental rights, asking them to take the same action steps.

4)  Keep watching for updates and let's work together to make this a state statute.

You may read the text of House Bill 1156 here.



TALKING POINTS: 

The following are great articles from HSLDA on why we need to pass HB1156 as it relates to lowering the compulsory school attendance:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

CHAP HELP DAY 2015 REPORT



Tuesday's CHAPHELP Day went very well - far better than we expected. PRAISE THE LORD! We had over 20 families participating and we were able to visit 65-70 legislators.

We thank Will Estrada, our own Pennsylvania homeschool graduate, now Federal Relations Director of HSLDA, for the inspiring message and talk about lobbying. He likened homeschoolers to modern day minutemen ready to step up to defend our liberties. Will's family also joined us lobbying their legislators.

Two homeschool Representatives, Mark Gillen and Jesse Topper, also spoke, encouraging us to keep up the good work and persevere in the tasks God entrusted us. To affirm our educational choice, Rep. Topper used his legislative position to prove that homeschooling works. Rep. Gillen acknowledged the kind of commitment necessary to privately finance the difficult task of customized homeschooling and thanked parents for their civic involvement.

It was very encouraging to see families coming from as far as Ulster, Wyoming, Dallas, Pittston, and Sayre. They drove hours with their baked goods, signs for the press event, and well-dressed children - ready to reach out and petition our government - to oppose bills that force vaccinations and lower the compulsory attendance age.

Providentially, as it was not in the plan, we started the ball rolling on a potential legislation: a state statute for Parents' Bill of Rights. Vicki Suarez, State Coordinator for ParentalRights.org, who also spoke to us, came with her 3 adopted girls from China and her 7 grandchildren and their parents - all from Sayre. Vicki has a compelling platform showing what happens when government usurps parental authority - the heartbreak and destruction it creates in people's lives and the society as a whole. LORD willing, and with your help, this statute would be a perfect follow-up to HB1013.  

UPDATE on HB1013: Representative Mark Gillen, sponsor of HB1013, has remained in contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, CHAP, and HSLDA. PDE has agreed that the optional signature of the school district superintendent and definitions on the State's downloadable diploma for homeschoolers is in conflict with Act 196 of 2014 so we are waiting for it to be reflected on the printable form online. The concern with the current format is that it gives back the authority to the superintendent that the change in the law just removed. We fought hard for more freedom and parental rights, so we will not give up any ground on these issues.

ALERT: We are looking into Act 153, a recent law that gravely affects homeschool co-ops, churches, children's ministries, and our parental authority and general liberties by requiring background checks of many people who come in contact with children who were not previously required to have background checks. Members of the General Assembly did not project the overwhelming unintended consequences it has created. Although we can't change the law we are trying to influence its implementation.

We need you to continue helping CHAP in our ongoing efforts to protect the God-given right of parents to homeschool. Email chaphelpdayregister@gmail.com to receive regular legislative updates with your name, street address, email and (optional) phone number, plus legislative district numbers and legislators' names if you know them.


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Enjoy some of the pictures:




















Thursday, April 16, 2015

HB883 AND SB696 CHANGES VACCINE EXEMPTIONS

VACCINE EXEMPTIONS SHOULD NOT BE LIMITED BY THE GOVERNMENT 
Hyperlinked to help you find the information quickly


HB 883 - This bill would continue to recognize a religious exemption from immunization but would create a burdensome procedure in order for the parent to claim it. The parent would have to sign an affidavit that would also have to be signed by a health care practitioner, stating that the parent has been advised of the risks and benefits of immunizations. This bill would also prohibit a parent claiming a strong moral or ethical conviction as an exemption from immunization.
  

SB 696 would prevent parents from objecting to immunizations based on a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.

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WHY FORCED VACCINATIONS ARE NOT GOOD FOR PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL #883 AND SENATE BILL #696

·         These bills violate parental authority. All other medical procedures require parental consent. Even the American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Medical Ethics recommends “medical, religious, or philosophic” exemptions to immunizations[i].   The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also supports parental informed consent on vaccines[ii]. Because there is risk involved, there must be choice; parental choice.

·         There is misinformation that is being circulated that PA has low vaccination rates, and this is not true. We do not have a vaccination rate problem in PA. In 2014, 95.98% of 7th graders were up to date on both MMR shots and 96.21% had all 3 polio shots[iii], this is over the 95% needed for "herd immunity" ranking our adolescent rate in the top 5 in the country[iv].  PA also ranks in the top 10 states for vaccination rates for 19-35 mo olds[v]. Also, those just vaccinated, using a live virus, can spread the disease as much as any unvaccinated person.

·         Because the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, vaccine manufacturers and the doctors who administer vaccines are completely shielded from liability for vaccine injuries and deaths. It is the taxpayer who will pay the bill. Forced vaccinations will cost taxpayers even more. Already, there are millions of dollars being awarded every year to adults and children who have been permanently disabled from vaccines. See: http://www.mctlawyers.com/vaccine-injury/  and https://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/pace-study/

·         There is a lot of false information about the diseases that vaccines were created to prevent, as well as the reasons for their decline. In some cases the mortality rate of the disease is the same as the risk involved from vaccine injury.

Whooping cough (Pertussis): The CDC says the vaccine is only 80-90% effective. Only 1-2% of those who get it die. Even those who are vaccinated against it still get the disease. In 2014 California had over 620 cases and 85% of those people were up to date on their vaccinations.

Polio: When it was wide-spread, less than 1% who contract the disease get symptoms of paralysis. The disease has been on the decline since before the vaccine was developed. The vaccine has actually caused a rise in polio and has been known to cause the human body to be more open to other sicknesses. http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/02/18/the-polio-vaccine-myth-the-vaccine-stopped-polio/

Measles: Even during the early 1900’s during its peek measles had only a .015% mortality rate. The disease was drastically in decline and was nearly wiped out when the vaccine came out in 1968. In perspective, before the vaccine in 1963, although 450 people died from measles, 12,000 died from stomach ulcers, 43,000 died from car accidents, and over 700,000 died from heart disease. http://vaxtruth.org/2012/01/measles-perspective/

·         Vaccines are not safe. They contain neuro-toxins, harmful metals, and material from aborted fetuses. Vaccines are drugs and per the CDC “any vaccine can cause side effects.[vi]”  And again, “A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.[vii]”  

·         Some say we must protect those at risk, the “herd mentality”. The problem with this is it values one child’s life over another. Some legislators have even said some children will be harmed by the vaccines, but it is for the benefit of the whole. It is immoral to sentence one child to a life of mental disability, so another can be free of disease.

·         A parent’s right to control their children’s upbringing, including decisions regarding the care, custody, and control of their children is a “fundamental right” which has been upheld by the Supreme Court for over 100 years.  This includes medical care and decisions.

·         Informed medical consent is a basic human right, which is respected in almost every other country in the world[viii]. The Nuremberg Code,  prohibits forced medical treatments and procedures, of any kind, including vaccination. 







[i] American Medical Association, Opinion 9.133 Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians, http://www.amaassn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion9133.page
[ii] http://www.nocirc.org/consent/bioethics.php
[iii]http://www.health.pa.gov/My%20Health/Immunizations/schoolimmunizationrates/Documents/2013-14%20Combined%20County%20Level.pdf
[iv] http://www.apha.org/~/media/files/pdf/pubs/ahr_2014.ashx
[v] http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/coverage/nis/child/data/tables-2013.html ; see also http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/01/29/which-states-are-the-best-and-worst-at-vaccinating-their-kids/ for an interactive map of vaccinate rate by state. 
[vi] http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm
[vii] http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mmr.pdf

Compiled by Mark Moore, CHAP Legislative Coordinator       

HB754 AND HB832 LOWERS COMPULSORY AGE

THESE BILLS LOWERING THE COMPULSORY AGE MUST BE OPPOSED
Hyperlinked to help you find the information quickly


HB 754 - This bill would lower compulsory attendance age from 8 to 6. It would also require all school districts to establish all-day kindergartens for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old, although attendance is not mandatory at this time.


HB 832 - This bill would lower the compulsory attendance age from 8 to 6. It would also require all school districts to establish kindergartens for children at ages to be determined by the local school board, though attendance would not be mandatory at this time.

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Reasons why lowering compulsory ages and more pre-school are not beneficial for Pennsylvania.   
Opposition to HB754 and HB832

·         There are no real educational benefits for young children attending preschool or head start programs. According to a comprehensive study (released October 2012) by the Department of Health and Human Services, they found that “ from the beginning of Head Start through 3rd grade, the evidence is clear that access to Head Start … had few impacts on children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.” 1


·         These types of bills will cost taxpayers millions if not billions of dollars with little to show for it. The call for whole day pre-kindergarten for 3-5 year olds, will require schools to hire new teachers as well as provide additional facilities. A national study concerning early education pilot programs discovered that fourth grade reading achievement scores in Oklahoma have declined. Georgia’s program was in place for 13 years before scores caught up to the national average. The Heritage Foundation determined that despite high state spending, “neither state has experienced significant, sustained improvement in students’ academic achievement as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.” 2

·         These types of bills violate parental rights to direct their own children’s education. This right is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The notion that parents are not adequate teachers and mentors for their children is empirically untrue. As found in a large study in the United Kingdom, children who are raised (especially at early ages) in their own homes by their own mothers and fathers fare significantly better developmentally than those placed in institutional environments at an early age.3

·         Young children are harmed and not developmentally ready for school. Boys tend to be two years behind in listening, speaking, and writing skills than girls. Children enrolled in day care are more likely to exhibit problematic behaviors, such as bullying and aggression, for several years afterwards.5  Long term vision problems from too much close visual work is another problem. Children do poorly, loose interest, and become discouraged by programs that push academics over physical activities.6  Youngsters need time at home to bond and interact with those closest to them to develop the trust, brain development, 4  and the social skills that they need to become healthy individual members of society.


Notes
1. Michael Puma Et Al., Office Of Planning, Research, & Evaluation, Third Grade Follow-Up To The Head Start Impact Study Final Report: Executive Summary iv-v (2012) available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/head_start_executive_summary.pdf.
2. Lindsay M. Bure, The Heritage Foundation, “Does Universal Preschool Improve Learning? Lessons from Georgia and Oklahoma 1” (2009), available at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/05/does-universal-preschool-improve-learning-lessons-from-georgia-and-oklahoma.
3. Yvonne Roberts, “Official: Babies do Best with Mother,” The Guardian: Observer, October 2, 2005, http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/oct/02/childrensservices.familyandrelationships.
4. Dr. Karyn Purvis is the Director of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas.
5.  “Early Child Care Linked to Increases in Vocabulary, Some Problem Behaviors in Fifth and Sixth Grades.” National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). NIH News. 26 March 2007. http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/mar2007/nichd-26.htm
Much of this information can be found on the Home School Legal Defense Association website:
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/S/State_Early_Education.asp




Compiled by Mark Moore, CHAP Legislative Coordinator

CHAP LOBBY DAY PRESS RELEASE



CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOL ASSOCIATION OF PENNSYLVANIA
231 N. Chestnut Street, Palmyra, PA 17078
717-838-0980 <> www.CHAPonline.com

CHAP HELP Day [Home Education Lobby Program]
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
10:00 AM
at the Main Rotunda of the Capitol

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: April 4, 2015                                                                       
Contact: Corie Moore
Email: chaphelpdayregister@gmail.com
Website: chaplegislativeaction.blogspot.com            

                                                                                             
HOMESCHOOLERS DEMAND
PROTECTION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

Homeschoolers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania celebrated the passage of HB1013 for validating the rights of parents in the education of their children. Act 196 of 2014 improved on the homeschool law by removing unnecessary and redundant oversight by the school district. It also allows parents to issue a high-school diploma to students who complete the required course work which gives graduates the same rights and privileges by the Commonwealth as public school graduates.

The current Pennsylvania legislative session has presented multiple new assaults on parental authority. A new law threatens to close homeschool co-ops with the burdensome requirement for background checks for every participant.  Not one, but two legislations would lower the compulsory attendance age of school attendance from 8 to 6.  Two other proposed bills would remove moral and ethical exemptions for vaccinations which is similar to a religious belief. In essence, this would force parents to have children vaccinated against their will.

We lobby on this day to uphold our parental rights and authority.

Presenters invited are:

Vicki Suarez, Homeschool Mom, State Coordinator for ParentalRights.com

Representative Jesse Topper, District 78, Homeschool Graduate

Representative Mark Gillen, District 128, Homeschool Dad

Will Estrada, Director of Federal Relations of HSLDA



The interests of children are best served when parents are free to make child-rearing decisions about education, health, religion and other areas of a child's life without state interference.


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

HB883 - A THREAT TO PARENTS, A STATE OVERREACH

by Debbie Nelson


PA House Bill 883 is a serious threat to parental rights and an overreach of the State on human liberty. 

Mandating vaccines would be a violation of the informed consent principle, which states that we have a right to be given complete and accurate information about the benefits and risks of a medical procedure or pharmaceutical product, the right to make voluntary decisions about whether or not to take the risk, and not be subject to harassment, coercion, or sanctions for our decision.

At the heart of this debate is our essential  human rights to life, liberty, and bodily integrity.  By denying free and informed consent to parents in their choices about vaccinations,  the government violates these fundamental rights.

Nuremberg code (1946) begins by stating: “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential...”.  Even the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against doctors forcing vaccines on children against the will of the parent. 

Vaccines carry risks and it can be difficult to predict who is at the most risk of a vaccine injury. Some of our elected officials may believe it is acceptable to sacrifice the health or life of a “few” for the “greater good” of society. But this is a humanistic principle and certainly not what the Bible teaches. Every life is valuable and made in the image of God and should be protected.

In addition, parents who are troubled by the use of aborted fetal tissue in the manufacturing of vaccines should have a right to refuse those vaccines.  

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Feb. 2011 that vaccine manufacturers are not liable for vaccine induced injury or death.   These same manufacturers are required to conduct pre-licensure safety and efficacy studies before a vaccine can be approved by the FDA.  And these same manufacturers are the ones who will profit from the sale of vaccines.  The potential for corruption and financial conflict of interest should be obvious.  Who will hold them accountable?  Who but parents will protect their own children?


The Bible gives to the parent the authority and responsibility to direct the upbringing of their children. Therefore, it is parents who should make medical and other decisions in the best interest of their children, NOT the state.  Our liberty will certainly be threatened when the state usurps parental authority. We must limit those in power from imposing rules about what they think is in the best interest of our families, which includes what is injected into our children’s bodies.

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PA Senate Bill 696 is another legislation to watch. 

We encourage you to watch a speech from a mother in California where they are facing similar bills. Click here to watch.


Be heard.

Join us for CHAP HELP Day [Home Education Lobby Program] on Tuesday.





Wednesday, April 8, 2015

House Bill 883 - VACCINE EXEMPTIONS


There is some new legislation proposed that everyone should be aware about. 

In the law, the homeschool affidavit requirements include "evidence that the child has been immunized in accordance with the provisions of section 1303(a) ...."

The new legislation does not change this at all - but it does change the parts of the law about immunization, which the law says homeschoolers must follow. Therefore, it will affect some homeschoolers.

Specifically, the changes will affect homeschoolers who file vaccination exemptions. Under current law and policy, parents have been able to get three types of exemptions - medical, religious, or philosophical. The new law proposes changes to each of these exemptions.

For medical exemptions, the change would allow a "health care provider" to give medical exemptions, rather than limiting this to a physician. This change would mean anyone who is legally able to administer vaccines would be able to certify a medical exemption.

The religious exemptions have the most changes. 

Change #1 - The religious exemption must now be "requested." 

Change #2 - Religious exemptions must be "applied" for via an affidavit. The affidavit must include a list of required vaccines. 

Change #3 - The application process for a religious exemption requires parents to meet with a "health care provider" who will be required to tell parents the medical benefits of vaccinating and the medical risks of not vaccinating. [Note: The law does NOT require the health care provider to tell parents the risks of vaccinating, i.e. which vaccines cannot be given if there is an egg allergy]. 

Change #4 - The aforementioned health care provider must sign the religious exemption affidavit, and provide the date the information was given to the parent. 

Change #5 - Parents will have to specify on the affidavit which vaccines they are requesting to be exempt from based on the list (parents can chose all the vaccines listed). 

The philosophical exemption is eliminated entirely.