Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tips for Calling Rep.Clymer

by Melissa Eyler
York County, PA

A recent conversation with Rep. Clymer revealed that he feels there may be a few minor glitches with HB1013. He said they were working on how to keep the oversight with the school; specifically, how to balance homeschooling oversight while relieving some of the burden from the superintendent. Rep. Clymer was very open to hearing my thoughts on that and took the time to hear my concerns. Keeping that in mind, it would be very beneficial when calling his office and speaking with him to remember a few things.

First, please be very familiar with the bill. You can go to this link and read about the bill. Being confident and prepared shows our determination in getting the law changed. Remind him that we can easily remove that burden from the superintendent by passing this bill as is!

Urge Rep. Clymer to eliminate the double evaluation and accept the evaluations that our homeschooled children receive from a paid, professional evaluator. In reviewing your child's portfolio all an evaluator or superintendent should be looking for according to the existing law is that an appropriate education has occurred.

Many superintendents either do not know or do not understand what their responsibilities are under the current homeschool law.  When reviewing a portfolio, a common mistake they make is comparing homeschool curriculum to the public school's curriculum. This "discrepancy" can create much strife for all involved. This oversight and double evaluation will make no positive difference in our children's education. Ask him what he feels will happen if this oversight is removed!

Pennsylvania’s current homeschool law sends the message that the state knows what is best for our children and not us, the parent.  Rep. Clymer's insistence on keeping the oversight within the public school system only amplifies that message.  Let him know that as the parent YOU are responsible for your child's education, not the state or the school.

Homeschooled children are less likely to fall through the cracks of education than public schooled children. They often have a more stable home life, where both parents live in the home and one is able to be home to teach. Any facts about the advantages of homeschooling would enhance the conversation in favor of the bill.

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