Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Status of HB1013 Report

by Mark & Corie Moore

We sat down with Chairman Paul Clymer yesterday to get an update on where the Education Committee stands on our homeschool bill. Many of you are wondering if all the phone calls, emails, and CHAP's lobby efforts at the capitol are making a difference. Rest assured that "your labor is not in vain". We are deeply appreciative to all of you for working, praying and participating, even when it's a huge inconvenience.

Here is a brief overview of what Rep. Clymer and the Ed Com legislative staff had to say.

- Rep. Clymer is on our side and supports the bill, but he will not put it for a vote unless he's sure it will pass. If he schedules it and it does not pass, he says that it will be bad for our cause. The legislature has committees for the purpose of ironing out potential issues in the procedural steps with the goal of passing any given bill. He estimates that we only need maybe 2 more votes to pass it, although only 4 of the 25 members are actually signed on to the bill.

- The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators [PASA] does not want to give up the oversight. However, Rep. Clymer says that we can have all 3 benefits* (see below) of the bill if we can secure 13 or more votes from the 25-member committee regardless of what the supervisors want. Republicans have majority so the proportion is 15Reps/10Dems but some Republican Representatives are on the fence. If the Democrats get majority status after the November election, the numbers will be reversed between the 2 parties making it harder next time around.

- If we can't get the vote, we can still get 2 of the 3 changes we want, but Rep. Gillen, the prime sponsor of the bill, would need to give up or modify the superintendents' review of the portfolios.

- We're working towards passing it without amendments so that when it gets to the full House, we have something to bargain with.

- They plan to provide us Homeschool diplomas: downloadable and printable diploma to be signed by the parent and the senior year evaluator - via the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

- We can still pass this bill by the first week of June!!!

I hope that's encouraging to all of you as it is to us. This is a good step in the right direction. Lord willing, we can get more regulation chipped away from the heavy mandates in the next legislative year.

For now, here's what we need to do: A number of Ed Com members would say they support homeschooling. Call and ask them to show their support by signing on to House Bill 1013 in its current form (no amendments). Once we have the simple majority or greater, Chairman Clymer will have to schedule it for a vote.

The legislature is normally in session at the Capitol Monday to Wednesday, from 11:00 AM. They may have caucus or committee meetings earlier, but there's greater chance of reaching them in the morning or late afternoon. On Thursdays and Fridays, they are in their district offices. If you are able to successfully contact and get them to sign on to the bill, please email us at with the details of your conversation so we can track our progress.

If your last name begins with A-F, please contact:

Rep. Mike Carroll (D)
Email at
(717) 787-3589 

Hon. Jim Christiana (R)
Email at 
(717) 260-6144

Hon. Bernie O’Neill (R)
Email at 
(717) 705-7170

If your last name begins with G-K, please contact:

Hon. Kathy L. Rapp (R)
Email at 
(717) 787-1367

Hon. Joe Emrick (R)
Email at 
(717) 260-6159

Hon. Harold A. English (R)
Email at
(717) 260-6407

Hon. Mike Fleck (R)
Email at 
(717) 787-3335

If your last name begins with L-R, please contact:

Hon. Seth M. Grove (R)
Email at 
(717) 783-2655

Rep. Mark Longietti (D)
Email at
(717) 772-4035 

Hon. Mike Reese (R)
Email at
(717) 783-9311

If your last name begins with S-Z, please contact:

Hon. Justin J. Simmons (R)
Email at
(717) 783-1673

Hon. Dan Truitt (R)
Email at 
(717) 260-6164

Hon. Jake Wheatley Jr. (D)
Email at
(717) 783-3783

Check out our new video on CHAP's legislative efforts and share it with as many homeschoolers as you know.

Onward and forward. 

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* The 3 beneficial changes HB1013 will have to the current law are:

1) Eliminate the public school superintendent’s review of portfolios;
2) Ensure that the home education program may continue during the time of any appeal of an adverse ruling by a hearing examiner;
3) Require that a high school diploma issued by the supervisor of a home education program be recognized the same as a diploma issued by the commonwealth.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Important State Election Year for Pennsylvania

"God commands you to choose for rulers, 
‘just men who will rule 
in the fear of God.’” 

Noah Webster (1758-1843) Father of the Dictionary & American Patriot

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November 4, 2014 is a big State Election for Pennsylvania, with incumbent Governor, running for second term in office. We are also electing the composition of the full House, and some Senate members of  the General Assembly. Party leadership candidates and other offices will also be in the ballot, including federal legislative offices.

May 20 Primary Election participation is more important, however, as we vote for the final candidates on the ballot in the General Election. Registration is due 30 days prior, which is April 22, and a copy of the form is downloadable at

Register to vote: 

1 - If you have been a citizen for at least a month. 

2 - If you will turn 18 years old on or before election day OR just have not voted before. 

3 - If you have changed your name (e.g., by marriage). 

4 - If you moved to a new election district and have had residency for at least 30 days. 

5 - If your registration has expired (such as from inactive voting). 

6 - If you wish to switch your party affiliation. 
[Note: Only those in the 2 main parties can vote for a candidate during the Primary.]

If you are unable to physically vote on the day of election, you may vote by Absentee Ballot. The deadline for submission of this application is one week before election day. Wait for a ballot to be mailed to you. For all other voting questions in Pennsylvania, go to VotesPAcom. 

Learn what office positions will be voted on and who the candidates are by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of State website.

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“A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox
as an honest Man without the fear of God.
Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations binds,
can have any real good will towards men?
Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct,
is undermining the very bonds of society? ...
The Scriptures tell us ‘righteousness exalteth a nation.’”

 Abigail Adams (1744-1818) Wife of John Adams, Mother & Patriot

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Education Committee's Voting Meeting

by Mark and Corie Moore

To get straight to the point and answer everybody's question, the House Ed Com had their voting meeting yesterday morning but HB1013 was not in the agenda.

Understandably, that conjures up a gamut of thoughts and emotions but for our part, we are encouraged by each of you participating. Thank you for calling and emailing members of the Ed Com, and coming to lobby with us during CHAP HELP Day

Despite our best efforts, we had hoped that the bill would have already been out of committee and on the full House floor. It seems that Chairman Clymer has personal reservations about moving ahead with the bill since the Superintendents Association does not like giving up their oversight. So the Ed Com leadership is looking for some type of compromise before it will even be voted upon in the Committee. We are frustrated by this decision because Chairman Clymer is not allowing our elected representatives to have an up or down vote on the bill. He is trying to make sure that HB1013 is amended in such a way that it will be passed unanimously. This leaves us with two options listed below. The first is absolutely critical to keep the bill moving along and not get bogged down with potential compromises. The second may be a more diplomatic approach, but will take much more time and effort with perhaps, minimal results, but it can help in the big scheme of things.

First, we need to inundate Rep. Clymer's office with hundreds of calls (717-783-3154) and emails ( expressing our displeasure with the fact that he's allowing a paid employee, (i.e., your local school superintendent) to have an equal voice, if not more than your elected representative in Harrisburg. Then, insist that the bill be put on the calendar for an up or down vote by the committee (your elected officials). It is not right that one man should have the power to hold up the process.

If you need additional talking points try using any of the following:

>    Legislators represent taxpayers, not other government employees. Rep. Clymer needs to remember that he is supposed to listen to taxpayers, not school superintendents who are also employed by the taxpayers. 

>    School superintendents in 48 other states don't have any problem with giving up their ability to see portfolios. Only PA and NY do this.

>    Superintendents seem so concerned about the .5%  (1/2 of 1%) of homeschool children out of compliance if we lower the law under HB1013, yet 25% of public school students are behind in math and reading. If they can't keep their own student population from failing, how could they possibly argue that homeschoolers success rate under the current law is because of their oversight?

>    Encourage Rep. Clymer to bring closure to his 34 years of public service by passing this bill and leave behind a lasting legacy for homeschoolers in our state since he is not running for re-election.

Secondly, if your school superintendent is homeschool friendly and favors HB1013 appeal for their support. You may have to print them a copy of the bill and to calm their concerns, show them page 3, starting at line 21 in particular. Then, ask them to call Rep. Clymer [717-783-3154] telling him that he or she is a school superintendent who approves the passage of HB1013. Rep. Clymer needs to hear from superintendents who support the bill.

Please pray for wisdom and direction for Representative Mark Gillen as he works to bring passage of HB1013 to the finish line. Praise God for growing homeschool advocacy at the Capitol.  

We are blessed by the perseverance we see in many of you and the degree of respect you show in the way you communicate with our elected officials. We are confident that what we don't see are the same, but many times over. A consoling promise from Scripture came to mind this morning that I trust we all take courage from: 

"When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, 
he causes their enemies to make peace with them."- Proverbs 16:7

Sunday, April 6, 2014


[Updated on June 4, 2014]

The current homeschool law was passed in 1988, 25 years ago, at a time when there was a great deal of skepticism about the viability of homeschooling as an educational option. As a result, Pennsylvania’s law remains one of the most restrictive in the nation, second only to New York. Homeschoolers in Pennsylvania have tried for over 10 years to get relief from the oppressive requirements of the current law. It is time for Pennsylvania to join the majority of states that have enacted laws that do not demand unreasonable and unnecessary government oversight of parents teaching their children at home.

On March 15, 2013, Rep. Mark Gillen introduced House Bill 1013, legislation that would:

Eliminate the public school superintendent’s review of portfolios;

Require superintendents to accept an evaluator’s determination that 
an appropriate education is occurring in the home education program;

• Provide for an administrative procedure to resolve any claim by 
the superintendent that the parent has failed to comply with 
any aspect of the homeschool law;

• Ensure that the home education program may continue during the time 
of any appeal of an adverse ruling by a hearing examiner; and

• Require that a high school diploma issued by the supervisor 
of a home education program be recognized the same as a diploma 
issued by the commonwealth.

To help homeschoolers know who among our representatives support home education, we will keep an updated list of the bill's supporters on this link.

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Rep. Mark M. Gillen - PRIME SPONSOR
District 128
Republican, serving Berks County (Part) 

Rep. Ryan P. Aument
District 41
Republican, serving Lancaster County (Part)

Rep. Jim Cox
District 129 Map
Republican, serving Berks County (Part) 

Rep. Gordon Denlinger
District 99
Republican, serving Lancaster County (Part)

Rep. Jaret Gibbons
District 10
Democrat, serving Beaver County (Part), 
Butler County (Part), Lawrence County (Part)

Rep. Mauree Gingrich
District 101
Republican, serving Lebanon County (Part)

Rep. Rob Kauffman
District 89
Republican, serving Cumberland County (Part),
Franklin County (Part)

Rep. John Lawrence
District 13
Republican, serving Chester County (Part)

Rep. Kurt Masser
District 107
Republican, serving Columbia County (Part), 
Montour County, Northumberland County (Part)

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
District 12
Republican, serving Butler County (Part)

Rep. David R. Millard
District 109
Republican, serving Columbia County (Part)

Rep. Harry Readshaw
District 36
Democrat, serving Allegheny County (Part)

Rep. Will Tallman
District 193
Republican, serving Adams County (Part), York County (Part)

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Rep. Tim Mahoney
District 51
Democrat, serving Fayette County (Part)

Rep. Todd Rock
District 90
Republican, serving Franklin County (Part)

Rep. Jerry Stern
District 80
Republican, serving Blair County (Part)

Rep. Kerry Benninghoff
District 171
Republican, serving Centre County (Part), Mifflin County (Part)

Rep. Stephen Bloom
District 199
Republican, serving Cumberland County (Part)

Rep. Susan Helm
District 104
Republican, serving Dauphin County (Part)

Rep. Jesse Topper
District 78
Republican, serving Bedford County (Part), 
Fulton County, Huntingdon County (Part)

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Added, June 4, 2014

Rep. Mike Carroll
District 118
Democrat, serving Luzerne County (Part), Monroe County (Part)

District 15
Republican, serving Beaver County (Part)

District 179
Democrat, serving Philadelphia

Rep. Paul Clymer
District 145
Republican, serving Bucks County (Part) 

District 137 
Republican, serving Northampton County (Part)

District 30
Republican, serving Allegheny County (Part)

District 196
Republican, serving York County (Part)

District 29
Republican, serving Bucks County (Part)

District 65
Republican, serving Forest County, McKean County (Part), Warren County

District 59
Republican, serving in Fayette County (Part), Westmoreland County (Part)

District 131
Republican, serving Lehigh County (Part), Northampton County (Part)

District 156
Republican, serving Chester County (Part)

District 19
Democrat, serving Allegheny County (Part)

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[The sequence is as they come]

Rep. Marcy Toepel
District 147
Republican, serving Montgomery County (Part)

District 17

Republican, serving Crawford County (Part), Lawrence County (Part), Mercer County (Part)

Rep. Richard R. Stevenson
District 08
Republican, serving Butler County (Part), Mercer County (Part)

District 100
Republican, serving Lancaster County (Part)

Rep. Michael P. McGeehan
District 173
Democrat, serving Philadelphia County (Part)