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A final word on SB 136

February 21st, 2011

SB 136 Follow-up (from ICHE):

Thank you again for your phone calls, e-mails, and presence at last week’s Homeschool Freedom Summit and SB 136 hearing.  Because of you, State Senator Maloney tabled SB 136 only two days after the “subject matter only” hearing.  The organizations we worked closely with to achieve this victory were Illinois Family Institute and the Home School Legal Defense Association.

In the process, Senator Maloney learned a great deal about the Illinois homeschool community that he had not previously known.  On February 17th, the day the bill was tabled, Senator Maloney released this statement:

Earlier today I tabled SB 136, which removes the bill from future consideration.  However, I would like to continue discussions with stakeholders as I further my efforts to ensure that certain parents do not simply use home schooling as an excuse for truancy.  I think that this week’s subject matter only hearing regarding the registration of home schooled students was a teachable moment for everyone involved.  It is my belief that every person who showed up at Tuesday’s hearing had a unique perspective to offer, from committee members and educators to parents and children.  We all place a huge stake in education and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to hear their voices.  The parents who attended the hearing obviously care deeply about their children’s education, and have made a large commitment to ensuring the success of their children’s future.  I look forward to working with everyone involved in the future.

Senator Maloney has now invited Illinois Christian Home Educators (ICHE), Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) to meet with him and the State Board of Education to further discuss truancy issues.  All of these groups are strong Christian organizations with proven track records.  We have all been serving homeschool families for many years in the State of Illinois.  You can rest assured that Senator Maloney will not be allowed to undermine homeschooling freedoms in Illinois without hearing our resolute objections.

There are some who are claiming that the battle is not over even after SB 136’s defeat.  There are those who want to capitalize politically on this controversy.  This is fine.  Lawmakers should be held accountable for their political decisions.  There is a time and place for that work to be done.

However, Senator Maloney has not introduced a new piece of legislation and is honestly seeking our input, advice and counsel.  It is our feeling that continued campaigns against Senator Maloney are unwarranted.

Please prayerfully join us in the hope that through his experience of working with Christian homeschool leaders, Senator Maloney will become one of home educators’ best allies and advocates.

Please continue to pray for the leaders of ICHE, HSLDA, and IFI as we remain vigilant for any developments that might require us to again alert Illinois homeschoolers of legislative threats.

Thank you again!

Blessings,

ICHE Board

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