Today a group of us went to lobby members of the House Education Committee in regards to HB 2144, Rep. Cook’s bad home school bill. While the bill did not come up today, I can tell you honestly that I believe we are making headway.
Representatives told us they have received calls and emails from home schoolers all over Arkansas; they are hearing our side of this story, but we cannot afford to let up.
I know there are home school families reading this email who have not called their representatives; I’m sure you know a home schooler who has not done so either. Please understand: We need everyone to call their Representative and the members of the House Education Committee. You can reach your Representative by calling (501) 682-6211. You can contact members of the Education Committee using information provided here.
If you have not called your legislators yet, please call them ASAP. If someone you know has not called, please encourage them to get in touch with their lawmakers right away. We cannot afford to stay silent on this issue.
Many Representatives have not made up their mind. That’s why we need to encourage all of them to vote against HB 2144, Rep. Cook’s bad home school bill.
Below is a copy of the latest email we’ve intercepted from a school superintendent who supports this bad bill. These are the arguments our lawmakers are hearing from the other side of this issue; please keep them in mind as you communicate with your Representative.
These arguments—and the others being touted by school superintendents—have been addressed here.
Please support Representative Cook’s HB 2144 dealing with amending the Home School Law.
In an ideal world home school can be a good thing for some students. Unfortunately the world is not ideal and as result of the current Home School Law
the REAL educational needs of many students are not being met.
If parents are sincere about home schooling their child/children, it is certainly not an unreasonable burden placed on them to submit the required paperwork prior
to the beginning of each semester based on the deadline dates identified in HB 2144. Therefore; there are very few legitimate reasons to allow submission of
paperwork to begin home schooling anytime during the semester. The committee as proposed in this bill is a good thing and is certainly a step forward to make
sure that the reason(s) to request home schooling during a semester is/are legitimate.
From what I’ve seen over the years, the REAL reason(s) that most parents file home school paperwork to begin during a semester is because their
child/children have gotten themselves into attendance problems, disciplinary problems, or they simply do not want to conform to rules or perform the required
school work. I have also found in most instances it is the child that wants to file the home school paperwork and not necessarily the parent, but the parent does
not have the stamina (backbone) to stand up to their child/children in this matter.
Some form of policing home school participants to insure that home schooling is truly taking place should be implemented. In many cases, once the paperwork
is completed and filed there is no more contact between the school and the home schooled child or parent. Many of these students are not taking the required
test(s) as set forth in the Home School Law. Many of these parents are not filing home school paperwork each year as required by the Home School Law. Many
of these allegedly home school students are spending the day running up and down the roads in their trucks or cars, riding ATVs, hunting, fishing, etc. Public
schools do not have the time nor the resources to perform this policing.
I feel reasonably sure that you will encounter many home school parents lobbying you to vote against this bill. The parents that will take the time to come to the
Capitol for this purpose in many cases are the parents that are sincerely trying to abide by the true intent of the Home School Law. I feel confident there are many
more home school parents out in rural and in urban Arkansas that will never contact you because they are not sincerely trying to abide by the true intent of the Home School Law.
Thank you for everything you do for the public schools of Arkansas.
Spring Hill School District
—–End Original Email—–
David is a former home school student. In 2007 he graduated from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, with a bachelors degree in Business Administration. He currently works as Education Alliance's primary IT employee, webmaster, and blogger. David and his wife live in Little Rock.