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

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