Sen. sends homeschool participation, ed. overhaul bill to House, tell Reps to vote NO
Homeschool law overhaul is headed across the Capitol building hallway for debate and review.
Senators passed Senate Bill 177, which makes significant changes to alternative instruction, or homeschool laws, on a 21-14 vote.
ASBSD opposes the bill, which now heads to the House State Affairs committee for debate and review.
The bill creates several inequities between public school students and homeschool students as all testing requirements and instruction oversight are removed and it does not hold homeschool parents to an academic standard.
“Under this bill we say we don’t care,” Sen. David Wheeler told fellow Senators during the bill’s debate on the floor.
“We say there is no standard which we are going to hold you to. We have to provide some sort of accountability.
Sen. Wayne Steinhauer, the bill’s prime sponsor, cited the opening of participation for all homeschool students to participate in public school activities would “be inclusive” to more students.
SB 177 removes all decision making ability of public school boards by allowing homeschool students to participate in all extracurricular activities without local district oversight and permits a homeschool student to be eligible for activities without meeting local academic standards.
“By restricting access to these activities is that more harmful than the removal of accountability?” Sen. Steinhauer asked Senators.
Sen. Timothy Johns did not favor the removal of accountability.
“My problem with the bill is how do we verify they’re (homeschool student) academically eligible? We can’t,” Sen. Johns stated.
SB 177 also circumvents the local public school district in the homeschool application process and poses potential safety concerns for a student no longer connected to a public school district as there is no accountability for parents or guardians.
“This bill moves us in the wrong direction,” Sen. Wheeler noted.
ASBSD is requesting all school board members to contact their Representatives and ask them to vote NO on the bill.
“It’s absolutely necessary ALL school board members contact their Representatives and ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 177,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany requested.
“The contingent supporting this bill is outpacing our efforts in contacting House members and asking them to support the bill and we as public school and local control supporters need to make our voices heard in opposition to this bill.”
Click here to see which members of the House represent your school district and their email address and to email your Representatives, click the link above and then the email address located next to their name.
For updates on this bill, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.
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