Tuesday, September 16, 2014

An Attendee's Post Lobby Day Email

Dear Friends & Family,

My apologies for this long email …

I just wanted to let you know what a great day we had at the Capitol today.  When we arrived, there was some sort of event going on in the Rotunda organized by a group called CeaseFirePa.  The Rotunda was full of people involved with this event.  I was hoping and praying that the turnout for our CHAP HELP Day would have equaled or exceeded that.  That, unfortunately,  was not the case.  I need to be honest, I was really disappointed to see only a handful of homeschool families represented there today (don’t get me wrong, I was really thankful for the 12 or 13 families represented there -maybe there were more families there that I wasn’t aware of).  I have no idea how many homeschool families there are in PA or in Central PA, but I know there are a lot.

We had an opportunity to talk to Senate staff about HB1013.  Of course, many of them were not familiar with the bill that is currently sitting in the Senate Education Committee, but they took the time to listen as we shared what the bill was about.  It was a very educational experience for us; however, I was shocked to hear , from what I understand, that there are only 8 more session days for this calendar year.  If this bill does not get out of committee and brought up for a vote on one of the next 8 session days, we will have to start the bill all over again in the House in January 2015.

I cannot stress the urgency of your action on this – we need to flood the phone lines of every Senator in Pennsylvania (especially the Senate Education Committee and especially Senator Mike Folmer who is the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee) and ask them to move it out of the education committee and bring this bill up for a vote or, better yet, take a field trip to the capitol this week or next and visit our 50 Senators, especially the 11 on the Senate Education Committee (see link below for talking points about the bill, HB1013).

http://www.chaponline.com/2014/07/how-to-talk-to-your-legislator/ - see this link to get the names and phone numbers of those Senators on the Senate Education Committee.

The two main benefits of the bill would be:

1.        Eliminate double evalutions (i.e., remove requirement to submit portfolio to the school district superintendent).  Would save tax-payer money.

2.       Recognize parent-issued diplomas the same as those issued from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  I know of a family that had a student who was going to continue their education, but the college would not accept the diploma.  Student would have had to take the GED test to be admitted into a particular program at the college.

Please, please make your voices heard this week.  Please commit to pray for the members of this committee – that they would see the benefits of moving this bill forward.  CHAP staff, State Representatives, and so many others have worked so hard to bring this bill this far and it would be a shame to have to start all over again.  We have the opportunity to change the course of history here in Pennsylvania related to homeschooling.  Let’s not waste it.  So what’s going to get our Senators’ attention – legalizing marijuana, gun control, … or HB1013? As the old saying goes, The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease.

I guess we need to get better at lobbying.  When a group are people are really passionate about what they believe in, they are ready to take a stand and work hard at letting people know what they believe.  For example, take a look at how the marijuana-supporters (rally just took place yesterday, but it could be any group) are moving their bill through:

http://www.abc27.com/story/26530824/rally-for-medical-marijuana-held-at-pa-capitol - The chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Mike Folmer, is also co-sponsor of this marijuana bill.  Here’s a quote from him to the marijuana supporters:  "You all have done a fantastic job in lobbying this," Folmer said. "It is because of the work you all have done that we are at this point. We are very close. I think it is looking good."

Please feel free to forward this on to every home school-supportive friend or family member that you know and ask if they could make calls to Senators this week as well.  Thank you.

May the Lord say of us “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

Cindy Aurand
Harrisburg, PA

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