March 13, 2009 | Posted in Legislation | By

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Yesterday we posted an email we intercepted from a school superintendent who supports HB 2144, Rep. Cook’s bad home school bill.  Today, we received another email from a school superintendent who does not like home schooling, and would also like to see HB 2144 take away families’ rights to home school.

There is still a very real need for people to call their Representatives.  Our opponents are sending emails like these to members of the House Education Committee, and they absolutely cannot go unanswered.

Today is the last day you will be able to reach Representatives at the Capitol Building in Little Rock before they go home this weekend.  You can reach them at home tomorrow and Sunday by calling them at the phone numbers listed here.  In the meantime, please call them at the Capitol before 4:00 PM today to ensure that they get your message before going home.  You can reach them at the Capitol by calling (501) 682-6211.

Below is a copy of the email we intercepted from another school superintendent.  Please keep it in mind as you call your Representative.

———-Original Email———-

I am in favor of HB 2144. As a school superintendent, I am working non-stop to ensure that each child intrusted to Mena Public Schools receives a quality education. This week, our principals sent letters to parents warning them that their children had reached the 12 day (since semester) absence limit. I have had parents in the office or on the phone since the letters were mailed trying to home school their children.

One parent said, “They don’t like lunches at school; they don’t like to get up in the mornings, and I don’t want to bring them to school (they ride buses and are on free lunches)–so I want to homeschool.” The boys were in grades 5 and 8. The mom had no idea what she was going to use to teach them, how she was going to help them like school, how she was going to discipline them as a teacher/mom. I tried to talk them out of leaving. They were determined, and mom basically let 10 and 13 year olds drop out.

I have many more stories just like these that convince me that homeschooling in Arkansas is promoting the very things that Gov. Beebe, Presidents Bush and Obama, and each of you are against. We are seeking to educate the children so that they are not left behind. We want to improve our number of graduates and students going to college. How are we going to do that when we allow children to leave our schools at the whim of a parent? There are some who do a good job, but the majority are perpetuating the low regard for education that has been the curse of Arkansas‘ progress. Our school district of 1954 has more than 130 students being home schooled. Many never come back and are added to the cycle of generational poverty. Please help us by passing HB 2144.

———-End Original Email———

Note: This superintendent must not be aware of the current Arkansas law that prohibits the transfer of public school students to a home school if they have excessive, unexcused absences.  The problem mentioned can be solved by simply enforcing current law.

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