It's become obvious to even the most hopeful among us that Rep. G. A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) is not a man of his word. Despite assuring the public, Special Initiatives sub-committee members and the Chair of the House Education Committee that he would communicate with them and the homeschooling community regarding changes he was making to HB2795 he still hasn't done so. He has ignored phone calls and personal contacts. The result is we're just a day away from the next scheduled sub-committee hearing for this bill and the new wording is not public information. He fully expects us to get a copy of this legislation cold and deal with it immediately. Well, we shall.
You are, again, encouraged to call the Special Initiatives sub-committee members and voice your concerns regarding this bill. Most of them have expressed surprise at Hardaway's actions and do not see the need for the state to test all children in this manner. They, and their staffs, are also frustrated but the process must run its course.
If you can make the trip to Nashville come. The committee meets at 11:45 a.m. in the Legislative Plaza. This committee usually meets in Room 29, however, it may be moved to Room 16 again to accommodate a larger crowd. HB2795 is early on a short agenda so don't be late. If there is no way you can make it to Nashville you can watch streaming video via the Internet from the legislative website here. In the meantime, make phone calls, send faxes, contact their district offices. Focus on Rep. Hardaway, the bill sponsor, and Reps. Brown and Towns who enabled this legislation to even be heard three weeks ago.
I believe we need an even bigger turn out than we had three weeks ago. If our effort is smaller, it will give the appearance that we're already tired of the battle and don't have the stomach for a full scale assault. Let's ensure that's not the case.
If you pray this is certainly the time for that.
ALERT: Mandatory testing legislation info: http://tnhomeed.com/HB2795-SB3412.html
Numbers provided by HSLDA---At this time we are requesting that you continue to contact onlyRepresentatives Hardaway, Brown, and Towns to express your oppositionto House Bill 2795. They appear to be the only legislators present atthe hearing who are supportive of this legislation, but they have beenable to keep it alive. They need to hear from you some more!
(1) Please call or write (both would be better) RepresentativesHardaway, Brown, and Towns with this message:"Please oppose House Bill 2795, which would impose public schooltesting on non-public school students. This bill would effectivelydestroy non-public education in Tennessee by requiring privateschools, church-related schools, and homeschools to adopt the publicschool curriculum for their instruction programs.
"The contact information for these Representatives is set forth below.
Representative G. A. Hardaway
Nashville Office (615) 741 5625
Memphis Office (901)949-1000
Representative Tommie Brown(615) 741-4374
Representative Joe Towns, Jr.(615) 741-2189