January 23, 2009

Texas Legislature is in Session

I got an update from HSLDA in my email box today that listed a few bills that Texas is looking at right now in the legislature. I thought I would pass them on to you in case you are a homeschool parent or just a parent trying to make your voice heard so that things don't get WORSE, but BETTER. Apparently we are going to be dealing with a new speaker that isn't very strong in favor of the things we are concerned about. In this current social, political and economic climate, we should all be praying about and for our leaders - even the local ones.

Here it is:

January 23, 2009

Texas--2009 Legislative Session Begins

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

We are beginning a new legislative session in Texas. HSLDA is analyzing many bills that are currently being introduced. We have our legislative counsel Tom Sanders in Austin already visiting legislators and lobbying on your behalf on several pieces of legislation. Using his reports concerning the progress of the legislation and our analysis of the potential harm or benefit, we will alert you to any need for action.

The biggest change for this year is that 11 Democrats joined 64 Republicans to oust House Speaker Tom Craddick. This change will likely result in many different committee chairs. The new speaker is Representative Joe Straus (R) from San Antonio who has a poor record on the social issues that many of us are most concerned about.

Below is a short summary of some of the initial bills we are tracking so that you are aware of them. You can obtain more information at:

House Bill 316: Lowers the compulsory school attendance age from 6 to
5 years of age.

House Bill 188: Establishes a list of children's rights and mandates that parents be educated about their duties under the law as the primary protectors of their children.

House Bill 351: Allows students, including homeschoolers, to qualify for a tuition refund for high academic performance at a general academic teaching institution (including, but not limited to the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, and Texas Tech University).

House Bill 319: Allows for an exemption from jury duty for persons who have legal custody of a child younger than 15 years of age when serving on a jury would require leaving the child without adequate supervision. (Effectively allows homeschoolers to obtain an

Senate Bill 466: Allows a parent or guardian to exclude a child from the immunization registry.

Thank you for your willingness to stand ready to act!


Chris Klicka
Senior Counsel

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