Rep. Cook’s HB 2144 Sent to Interim Study

Today, Rep. David Cook asked that his bill, HB 2144, be referred to an interim study.  This means that the bill is not going to be passed this session, and is no longer a threat.

Rep. Cook asks that HB 2144 be moved to an interim study

Rep. Cook, seated at the end of the table, asks that HB2144 be moved to an interim study.

I had the opportunity to join Rep. Cook as he referred the bill to an interim study.  The chairman of the House Education Committee asked me if Education Alliance is committeed to working with the legislature to ensure that everyone’s concerns are addressed by the interim study.  I told him that we are.

I realize that many people do not fully understand what it means to refer something to an interim study, so I’ll explain.  The goal behind every interim study is to use the time afforded between legislative sessions (i.e. between now and January of 2011) to review legislation, discuss appropriate courses of action, and determine what, if any, legislation should be introduced in the next session.

We plan to work with the interim study that will address HB 2144 to assess:

  1. 1. Whether or not existing laws dealing with truancy and excessive absences are being enforced. Many of the school superintendents’ concerns, we believe, can be addressed through enforcement of current laws.
  2. 2. Ensure that your right to home school is protected above all else. I know the vast majority of home school families educate their children legally and responsibly. We do not want to penalize any family who is responsibly exercising their right to home school. However, I also know the interim study will want to determine whether there are “home schoolers” who are disobeying the law or simply failing to make the effort to educate their children. I believe most of these concerns can be addressed through enforcement of existing laws, but we must actively participate in the interim study to ensure that the legislature does not try to penalize anyone other than those people who are breaking the law.  Please rest assured that your rights are our top priority.

We would like to thank Rep. Cook for his willingness to reach a compromise in refering the bill to interim study.  I believe that an interim study is the best way to address everyone’s concerns.  Despite our disagreements, Rep. Cook has remained very cordial and sincere in all his dealings with us. While we wish that this fight could have been avoided altogether, we are happy that it is now being resolved.

To everyone who took the time to call and email legislators on this issue: I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am. I know that many of you spent countless hours calling lawmakers, talking to your fellow home schoolers, and mobilizing local support groups to counter this bill. That takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. Thank you for your willingness to take a stand.

For the time being, this fight is over. We will continue to keep you updated as the session winds down, and we will let you know if anything notable unfolds as a result of HB 2144’s interim study.

About David Cox

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.
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One Response to Rep. Cook’s HB 2144 Sent to Interim Study

  1. Teresa says:

    Thank you, to all who spent countless hours as I did trying to stop this terrible bill.
    My daughters came out of the public school atmosphere, this past year, and it has no right to question the home school parents and children and try and hold them accountable to a standard, that they themselves do not even follow in public school. The public school system as a whole needs to step back and take a good hard look at themselves before they start making comments about home school and what we need to change or do differently in any way.
    I tried to work through all the process and the persons they tell you to talk to and no one wanted to take the time to listen to our problems and concerns. I got laughed at and my concerns dismissed and made to feel like I shouldn’t be there expressing my concerns, after trying their way we decided to pull the girls out and homeschool, and it’s the best decision ever made .
    I myself went to public school and so therefore know both sides of how it works.
    In regard to the public school that my daughters were in, they pushed the benchmark practice and testing but let them fall through the cracks on the everyday learning process that should have been enforced. Therefore their math and literacy skill, as well as most others suffered greatly. The teacher’s answer to a child’s questions ( mine or any other student) was go sit down and work it out, or we don’t have any more time to spend on that question.
    That is a shame, when you don’t understand you can’t learn, so most of them did not get anything from these classes, and if they asked again they were made to feel like an outcast or that they were not smart because they did not understand and needed help they did not get.
    Thank you for giving us as parents and our children a voice to be heard. Please keep up the good work and effort it takes to help us be free and keep homeschooling our children.
    Thank you again, and may God Bless each of you.
    Teresa & family