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Recent Communications Concerning a Tax Credit for Homeschoolers

Sent on 7/4/05

Dear WPA Members,

Urgent! Your phone calls are needed NOW to prevent increased opportunity for state regulation of homeschooling. Oppose the surprise amendment that the Wisconsin Senate added to the state budget bill at 5:05 AM on July 1 that would give homeschoolers (and other private school students) a tax credit of $100 per child per year. If the Assembly approves this amendment in the vote scheduled for this week, or if the budget bill goes to a conference committee which adopts this amendment, it will be included in the final bill.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Education tax credits for homeschoolers would lead to increased pressure for more information on our PI-1206 forms (such as children's names, birth dates, and social security numbers), review of our homeschools by school officials, and state-mandated tests (so homeschoolers would need to adopt the principles and beliefs of public schools). Such requirements would apply to all homeschoolers; families could not refuse the tax credit and avoid the increased requirements. Tax credits would also increase resentment of and opposition to homeschooling, especially from special interest groups whose funds are being cut in the state budget squeeze. (For more information, see recent WPA newsletters and the handbook, p. 192.)

Your phone calls will (1) help prevent this tax credit for homeschoolers from becoming law, (2) educate legislators and help prevent future legislation, and (3) maintain our reputation in the Legislature as educated, committed, responsible families who take action.

Call as many of the legislators listed below (or their aides) as you can. (If it's easier for you to email than call, do so, making sure that you include your full name and street address. However, calls are more effective.) Identify yourself as a homeschooler. Ask them to vote against the Senate amendment to the budget bill that would give homeschoolers $100 in tax credits per child per year. Explain that homeschoolers oppose education tax credits because they will inevitably lead to increased regulation of homeschooling. They are also an added expense to taxpayers.

• Assembly Speaker, John Gard (608) 266-3387, email: rep.gard@legis.state.wi.us

• Assembly Minority Leader, James Kreuser (608) 266-5504, email: rep.kreuser@legis.state.wi.us

• Senate Leader, Dale Schultz (608) 266-0703, email: sen.schultz@legis.state.wi.us

• Senate Minority Leader Judith Robson (608) 266-2253, email: sen.robson@legis.state.wi.us

• Your assembly representative and senator (For names and phone numbers, go to http://165.189.139.210/WAML/ or call your library or the Legislative Hotline: 800-362-9472.)

Inform other homeschoolers, your support group, and anyone else you know. We need as many calls as possible; your calls matter.

Thank you for your work to maintain our homeschooling freedoms!

Sincerely,
The WPA Board

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