If no news is good news, I suppose we could skip this months update! We have had some good successes to warrant a summer break! Be that as it may, we will remain at the edge of our seats until House Bill 1013 reaches the finish line and we're not quite there yet.
There are many who still do not know the level of disparity some of us are experiencing from our school districts under our current archaic and burdensome law. The gamut of emotions I heard from a number of friends while they submitted their portfolio attest to this. May we ask you to continue to share the video of our efforts to make homeschooling better in Pennsylvania? Share it with everybody you know who may not understand where our State stands towards parent-led, home-based, privately-funded education.
We also need to significantly grow the support to petition the Governor insisting that the General Assembly put the bill on his desk before October 15. Families who don't think they can handle the burden of our current homeschool laws are watching our progress to help them make a decision about moving to Pennsylvania, or whether to pull their children from the brick and mortar school. They're signing the petition. Your freedom loving friends and loved ones can sign the petition too.
HB1013 is now in the Senate Education Committee (Senate Ed Com). We thought the General Assembly went into recess but later learned that the Senate continued to meet. So last Tuesday, July 8, four moms and I decided to go and make a touchstone effort before summer break and before Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and other opponents lobby against HB1013. In keeping with our practice of showing our appreciation, we brought home baked goodies: pies and cookies for all 11 members of the Senate Ed Com. Laying some important groundwork, we gave them each a copy of CHAP's informational folder which includes Dr. Brian Ray's newest pamphlet on homeschooling success. We did the same at the Governor's office. They all mentioned that they have been getting calls and emails and we just need to keep contacting and educating them, after all "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." They need to hear us louder than our opponents. We know that granting freedom is always good legislation!
Our current work is to get the Senate Ed Com to do 3 things:
- Tell them to CONCUR HB1013 (a Senate version will prolong the process)
- Ask the Senate for NO AMENDMENTS (an amendment will send the bill back to the House)
- Urge them to put it on the agenda AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
As soon as we have the Senate's session calendar, we will schedule another Home Education Lobby Program (CHAP HELP Day) at the Capitol, probably in September. The two big ones we've had recently have been great learning opportunities.
In the meantime, your legislators are at their district offices this summer. Pay them a visit. It is good for them to meet real homeschoolers and see that we are normal families dedicated and invested in our children's future with neither government dependence nor interference.
So... just keep squeaking... just keep squeaking! :-)