From the Legislature: Quiet on the Surface

Today’s House Education Committee meeting at the Capitol passed rather uneventfully. Many legislators are using this period to shore up supporters and find people who will speak on behalf of their legislation, so some agenda items are being tabled or passed over for the time being.

The Legislature is quiet on the surface, but a lot seems to be brewing underneath.

On Monday, I wrote that no restrictive home school legislation is expected to be filed this week, and it appears that is going to be the case; the Senate will wrap up its business this afternoon, and the House of Representatives will likely use the remainder of to day and tomorrow to finalize its weekly agenda before going home for the weekend. However, next week could be a completely different story.

Right now, a number of lawmakers are discussing various possibilities for home school laws. We’re still fairly certain that bad legislation is going to be introduced, but it probably won’t be until sometime next week or the week after. When that happens, we will still likely have several days before making our case in the first committee meeting.

On a brighter note, there are also rumors of some home-school-friendly legislation that may come up in the near future. Rest assured that, good, bad, or ugly, we will keep you posted on all the home school bills filed at the Capitol.

We want to hear from you, though. What kind of home school laws do you want passed this session? Which laws could make Arkansas friendlier toward home school students? There’s a comment form below; please use it to express your thoughts and tell us how Arkansas could better benefit home schoolers throughout the state.

4 comments on this post.
  1. Maggie Barry:

    Thanks for being at the Capitol and for blogging to let us know what’s happening there!

    Thanks to The Education Alliance, the homeschool laws of Arkansas are good ones already. There isn’t anything I would change about them if I could. It’s no problem to file notice of intent forms, and if the law did not require testing our family would test anyway.

    Thank you so much for all of the time and work everyone at The Education Alliance and The Family Council is doing!

  2. David Cox:

    Maggie,

    Thanks for the kind words. We’re trying to keep the blog updated as much as possible, but feel free to let us know (and this goes for every one of our readers) which posts you like, what you would like to see more of, and what types of information is most helpful to you.

    Thanks!

  3. Heather:

    I am a little confused about this HB2144 because on the House Education Committee agenda for today it isn’t listed. Is the House Education Committee meeting again before they dismiss on Friday March 13th?

  4. admin:

    Heather,

    When a bill is filed, its title must be read by the clerk to the House of Representatives before it is assigned to a committee; additionally, in order for a bill to appear on the next day’s agenda, it must be read and referred at least 16 hours or so prior to the committee meeting so that there is ample time for the public to look over all agenda items for the next day’s meeting.

    All that is to say that they probably did not read the bill in the House soon enough, and that is why it does not appear on today’s agenda. The House Education Committee will meet again on Thursday at 10:00 AM. I don’t know if Rep. Cook plans to run his bill that day, but we need to prepare by contacting all the members of the House Education Committee and asking each one of them to vote against Rep. Cook’s bad home school bill, HB2144.