‘Home School Check. Please Give Us A Call’

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‘Home School Check. Please Give Us A Call’

PARIS, Ky. – Homeschooling families in one Kentucky school district were surprised to discover recently that school officials were conducting unannounced visits to homes – and if no one was there, leaving door hangers.

The February visits within the Paris Independent School District apparently violate a state-wide agreement, which is designed to protect a family’s constitutional right to privacy, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, which reported on the incident.

“I got the impression that district staff could become more difficult if I didn’t cooperate in answering their questions or bring out my child to meet them,” one parent, Jenny Griffith, reported. “I tried to handle the situation as civilly as possible, without adding any threat to them.”

Griffith said the two officials who visited her home said the district has plans to visit every homeschool family three times a year.

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“As part of their plan to help families, the school officials asked about attendance records and curriculum,” HSLDA attorney T.J. Schmidt wrote at the organization’s website. “Before leaving, one official asked Jenny about meeting her child.”

Families who were not at home got a doorhanger, reading, “Home school check. Please give us a call.” It was signed by the principal.

But the visits go against Kentucky state law, Schmidt said.

“Under Kentucky law, a homeschool program operates as a private school,” he wrote. “While private schools are required to keep attendance and scholarship records (i.e. report cards) in the same manner as the local public school, homeschooling parents do not need to open their homes and present these documents simply because a school official comes knocking.”

An agreement was reached more than 20 years ago between the homeschool organizations and the state that “unless school officials receive some report or have some evidence that the parents are not educating their children, no further inquiry should be made,’ Schmidt added.

HSLDA has contacted the school district about the law.

What is your reaction? Do you believe school districts should do “checkups” on homeschoolers? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Here Comes Random Audits For Homeschoolers

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Here Comes Random Audits For Homeschoolers

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A school district in one US state is preparing to conduct random audits of homeschool families in what one nationwide homeschool organization says is an unconstitutional move.

The audits by the Clinton County (Kentucky) school district will examine both academic and attendance records of homeschool families.

“As the number of homeschooled children in our county continues to increase, so does the need for the (school) district to ensure that all children in our county are getting a rigorous and effective education,” Julie York, the director of pupil personnel for the school district, was quoted as saying in the Clinton County News.

While families have “a Constitutional right” to homeschool, York said, “it is still the school district’s responsibility to make sure the student is educated.”

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The school board, in fact, has requested that York and the district conduct random audits. Each family will receive a letter.

“During the summer, Clinton County home schools will be audited to ensure that all children in Clinton County have access to the best education possible,” a verification letter obtained by the News states.

The Home School Legal Defense Association said it opposes “any such audits as unconstitutional.”

“We are also troubled by what appears to be the underlying motivation for this proposed meddling by school officials: money,” HSLA said.

Clinton County schools are losing around $300,000 a year in funding from the state due to the homeschool students not being in public school, district Finance Director Mike Reeves told the board. HSLDA said that figure is likely closer to $435,000.

“It is obvious that Clinton County sees the increase of homeschoolers as taking money away from the district, and this is likely a significant reason in officials’ desire to increase scrutiny of homeschool families,” HSLDA said.

Around 85 children are homeschooled in Clinton County, and the number is increasing.

HSLDA attorney TJ Schmidt sent a letter to York, arguing that under state law “school officials cannot simply show up at a homeschool family’s home and demand records as they might of a more traditional private school.”

“No records should be demanded unless the school district has evidence that parents are not educating their children,” HSLDA said in a news release.

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BREAKING: County Bans Composting Toilet For Off-Grid Family

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County Bans Composting Toilet For Off-Grid Family

Stock photo.

 

The off-grid Naugler family just can’t seem to catch a break.

Last year Kentucky authorities seized 10 of Joe and Nicole Naugler’s children only to return them weeks later. Now, county health inspectors are allegedly bullying them because their cabin lacks a modern toilet.

“They’ve gone after my home and my business life,” Nicole Naugler told WDRB. “Even have gone so far to make unsubstantiated allegations to government agencies to try to intimidate us in that manner.”

The Nauglers received a letter from the county attorney threatening criminal charges because they use a self-composting toilet. The county is alleging that the couple was dumping human waste on the ground, which is a violation of the law.

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“We’ve been singled out, we’re being harassed, we’re being intimidated by what they know to use most and that’s government force,” Nicole Naugler said.

The Nauglers allege that Health Department official Jeramy Hinton filed a complaint against them without coming to their property to investigate.

WDRB acquired a tape of a conversation between Hinton and Joe Naugler. Here is part of the conversation on that recording:

“What factual evidence have you acquired to investigate the claims?” Naugler asked.

“Other than the claims, I have not been on your property,” Hinton admitted.

Nicole Naugler said the toilet is “cost-effective because you’re not using the water, and it’s great for composting.”

She told WAVE, “We’ve been using it for three years. It’s maintained. It’s taken care of. It follows all the guidelines.” She added. “If there was something that we were in violation of, if there was an error that we made along the way, we have no idea how to fix it because we don’t know exactly what’s wrong.”

The Nauglers say they simply want to be left alone.

“People should be able to live as they want without the interference of other people using intimidation tactics to try to get them to conform,” Nicole said.

Joe said the situation with the state regarding their children has been fully cleared.

“We got full custody back, and as a matter of fact, the piece of paper we got from the state … CPS … all they found was that we didn’t register as home schoolers with the county school board,” he said.

Related:

All 10 Children Returned To Off-Grid Naugler Family

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Off-Grid Congressman

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Thomas Massie is a right wing libertarian

Massie with Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie lives off the grid with his family, on a cattle farm in a solar-powered home he built himself. He commutes to Washington, where he serves on three committees.

Massie was born in Huntington, West Virginia. He grew up in Vanceburg, Kentucky, and met his future wife, Rhonda. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3]

In 1993, at MIT, he and his wife started a company called SensAble Devices Inc.[4][5] Massie was the winner in 1995 of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventors.[3] The company was re-incorporated as SensAble Technologies, Inc., in 1996 after partner Bill Aulet joined the company.[4] They raised $32 million of venture capital, had 24 different patents, and 70 other employees.[6]

Massie sold the company, and he and his wife moved back to their hometown in Lewis County.

Last year and the year before, he forced a vote on an appropriations bill to prevent government forcing companies to install back doors in their products. He’s most pessimistic about the national debt and the fact that when interest rates return to normal levels, the country will be paying up to a trillion dollars a year to service its debt. That’s bigger than the military budget.

Second-term RepublicAn congressman Massie may be the staunchest defender of liberty most people have never heard of. The Massachusetts institute of Technology grad recently gave an interview to Reason TV:

Q: What makes you optimistic?

A: Technology and innovation and the human spirit to improve our own lives. You know my background as an engineer. I have 29 patents. I’ve invented things. And when people say, “Will our children be better off than we were?”…I say, “Yes, but it’s going to be due to the engineers, not the politicians.”

Q: What are the most important votes coming up for a libertarian-leaning Republican?

A: I think we can force some votes on the privacy issue. Last year and the year before, I forced a vote on an appropriations bill to shut down government forcing companies to install back doors in their products. That amendment was attached to an appropriations bill that got thrown away and then an omnibus was later done. But it’s important to get the votes, because then you can see where the congressmen stand.

Q: In a recent Republican debate, all the candidates were like, “Apple should unlock that phone [belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists] and be done with it.” What did you think of that?

A: I’m sad. Now that Rand is out of the race, the libertarian voice is gone. And I think it’s also untethered some of [the remaining] candidates to become more neocon-ish.

Q: In terms of the presidential race, what’s the best outcome?

A: I’m really pessimistic. I don’t think there is a good outcome in 2016. The one argument for libertarians to vote Republican that still remains is the Supreme Court nominees.

Q: What was the most important issue for you in your student days and is it still a big deal for you?

A: My gateway issue into liberty was gun rights, because I grew up in a rural area where everybody had guns. And then I went to college and realized people in college wanted to ban these things.

Q: Over the past 20 or 30 years, Second Amendment rights have really seen an enormous increase in their legal standing as well as their popularity, don’t you think?

A: The gun rights political effort is probably something everyone should study, because they’re fighting above their weight class. When I was young, if you wanted to carry a concealed weapon, you had to be a sheriffs deputy. And now you can do that in most states with minimal hoops to jump through.

Q: What makes you pessimistic these days?

A: I’m most pessimistic about the national debt and the fact that when interest rates return to normal levels, 5 percent interest on $20 trillion is a trillion dollars a year. That’s bigger than our military budget, it’s actually our entire discretionary spending combined.

Q: And we only spend $4 trillion a year, so that’s 25 percent off the top.

A: Well, of the four trillion, three of that is for entitlements. There’s a trillion that funds the things people think about, like roads and bridges, NASA, the military. That trillion [in interest payments] will wipe out all of the things that Congress actually votes on.

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Severe Weather To Threaten Louisiana To Kentucky On Tuesday

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Survival World News

By Renee Duff –AccuWeather

A storm system tracking across the Midwest will trigger thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds and flash flooding over the lower Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio valleys into Tuesday night.

Thunderstorms that first initiated over Oklahoma during Monday night began to develop into a squall line during Tuesday morning.

A squall line is a continuous band of thunderstorms that can produce damaging wind gusts, flooding downpours and hail. Brief tornadoes are also possible along the leading edge of this line.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Severe Weather To Threaten Louisiana To Kentucky On Tuesday

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Florida: People vs. Utilities

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If you are in Florida - Register for Solar

If you are in Florida – Register for Solar Choice

A battle is developing in Florida between the solar power movement, and some of the most venal and vindictive utility companies in America.

At stake is the economic viability of Solar power in the state.  Florida is one of  four states — along with North Carolina, Kentucky and Oklahoma — that prevents citizens from purchasing electricity from sellers other than utility companies.

Both sides are proposing constitutional amendments for the 2016 ballot, either to allow solar panel owners to sell on their surplus energy, or (from the Utility companies)  to force solar panel owners to keep paying towards the costs of the Grid even if they no longer use it. And the Utilities, with a $6m war-chest, are winning hands down with only a few weeks left to garner the vital signatures that will place the proposed amendments on the ballot paper.

Initiatives need 683,149 signatures — roughly 10 percent of voters in the last general election — by Feb. 1 to qualify for the ballot and allow a public vote on a proposed statute or constitutional amendment.

And once they’re on the ballot, at least 60 percent of voters must approve constitutional amendments.

It’s an expensive and complicated feat, and even some of the stronger contenders for a spot on next year’s ballot appear to be faltering.

One of the most popular proposals came from Floridians for Solar Choice Inc., a group of Tea Party supporters and environmentalists working to allow individuals and businesses, not just Florida’s utility companies, to sell solar electricity.

This group collected 273,280 verified signatures as of Dec. 22 to get its proposed amendment on the ballot. It has another 212,000 signatures awaiting verification by the Florida Department of Elections, which has 30 days from the date of receipt to complete the process.

But it seems unlikely Solar Choice Inc. will collect the nearly 198,000 verified signatures still needed by Feb. 1 to get its initiative on the November ballot. In light of the shortfall, group leaders told The Associated Press they were exploring options to get on the 2018 ballot, instead of November’s.

Opponents, meanwhile, say the proposal would shift millions of dollars in costs to consumers who remain with utility companies.

The James Madison Institute, a nonpartisan economic think-tank based in Tallahassee, published a policy brief arguing against providing a constitutional carveout for solar energy.

It said Florida law requires traditional utility companies to maintain a network that provides for all households with their operating area, regardless of whether or not these households are connected to their grid. As households increasingly move off the grid and switch to solar energy, it would be up to the remaining consumers to cover fixed maintenance costs, which could pass $1 billion within three years, the institute argues.

“We felt very strongly that the issue at hand is a public policy question, not an issue for the Florida Constitution,” said James Madison Institute vice president of policy Sal Nuzzo. “The makeup of Florida’s energy portfolio is not something that should be determined by the Constitution. That’s a matter for legislators and elected officials to determine.”

Meanwhile, a rival proposal backed by utility companies is working its way through the approval process with a $6 million war chest and 479,050 verified signatures.

The initiative, misleadingly named Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice, has support from energy companies like Florida Power and Light Co., Tampa Electric Co. and Duke Energy based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It now needs approval from the Florida Supreme Court, which must determine whether the proposed ballot complies with state law.

But the latest notice from the high court suggests that part of the process would run precariously close to the Feb. 1 deadline for qualifying ballot initiatives.

On Dec. 1, the Florida Supreme Court ordered parties to file briefs by Jan. 11 and answer briefs by Feb. 1, leaving supporters of the Rights of Electricity Consumers initiative to continue gathering public support without knowing whether the measure will pass the legal test.

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