House Joint Resolution 92, proposed by Virginia Delegate Thomas Rust, would request the Virginia Department of Education to conduct a study of Virginia's religious exemption from compulsory education. We believe that Rust's call for a study of the application and efficacy of Virginia's religious exemption is a positive step in supporting and safeguarding the interests of homeschooled children.
Currently, parents in Virginia may claim a religious exemption that allows them to homeschool outside of the accountability of the state's homeschool statute. In recent years, reports and articles have noted that state and local officials are inconsistent in their application of the religious exemption and that some children who are homeschooled under the religious exemption law may fall through the cracks and be educationally neglected. Click here to read a full analysis by the Coalition for Responsible Home Education.
House Joint Resolution No. 92 is currently in the House Rules Committee, but is facing opposition from homeschool activists who oppose accountability for homeschooling. We would like Virginia lawmakers to know that there are voices that support research on how to best support the interests of homeschooled children, including those homeschooled under Virginia's religious exemption. We are current or former homeschool parents and graduates and interested community members, and we support House Joint Resolution No. 92.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION
Supporters of House Joint Resolution No. 92 are encouraged to take action. Opponents of the resolution are making their voices heard, and we must make our voices heard as well. Whether or not you have ever homeschooled or been homeschooled, and whether or not you live in Virginia, Virginia's homeschooled children need your support.
1. Sign this petition, pass it on to others, and spread the word! We believe that most Americans support homeschooled children's fair access to education, and that House Joint Resolution No. 92 will have a wide base of support as it becomes better known and news of it spreads.
2. Contact Delegate Rust and let him know that you support HJ 92. When you contact Rust or others, you may develop your own personal message or, if you prefer, use our template. Every phone call is important!
"Thank you for proposing HJ 92 and for your support for homeschooled children in Virginia. I believe that every homeschooled child, regardless of why they are homeschooled, should have fair access to education, and I support research to further that goal."
-- Thomas Rust, (804) 698-1086, firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Contact Delegates William Howell, Kirkland Cox, and R. Steven Landes and urge them to support HJ 92. Howell and Cox are chair and vice chair of the House Rules Committee, which will decide the fate of HJ 92. Landes is the chair of the subcommittee on studies, a subcommittee HJ 92 needs to make it through.
-- William Howell, (804) 698-1028, email@example.com
-- Kirkland Cox, (804) 698-1066, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- R. Steven Landes, (804) 698-1025, email@example.com
4. Contact additional delegates in the House Rules Committee with your support. The contact information for the remaining delegates on the House Rules Committee is as follows:
-- R. Lee Ware, Jr., (804) 698-1065, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Riley E. Ingram, (804) 698-1062, email@example.com
-- Kenneth R. Plum, (804) 698-1036, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- S. Chris Jones, (804) 698-1076, email@example.com
-- James P. (Jimmie) Massie, III, (804) 698-1072, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Algie T. Howell, Jr., (804) 698-1090, email@example.com
-- Robert D. Orrock, (804) 698-1054, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Gregory D. Habeeb, (804) 698-1008, email@example.com
-- David J. Toscano, (804) 698-1057, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Terry G. Kilgore, (804) 698-1001, email@example.com
-- Barry D. Knight, (804) 698-1081, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Johnny S. Joannou, (804) 698-1079, email@example.com