The Arkansas Legislature passed several good laws related to home schooling this year.
These laws are set to take effect in the spring and summer of 2017.
When 12-year-old Garrett Stephens reeled in a 26.5 inch catfish, he was thrilled at the prospect of winning first place in the Hooked on Fishing competition sponsored by Mountain View Middle School. Garrett’s hopes were dashed, however, when school principal Robert Ross told him that he was not eligible to win because he was a home schooler. Garrett’s mother, Amanda Stephens, said that Coach Randal Story had given permission for Garrett to fish. “Garrett was embarrassed,” she said.
On Tuesday the House Education Committee failed to pass HB1789, the “Tim Tebow Home School Law.” This law would have allowed home schooled students to participate in public school extracurricular activities. The bill received only 7 votes from the 20-member committee. Rep. Mark Lowery (R-Maumelle) is planning to present the bill again on Thursday. The Arkansas Education Association, the Arkansas School Board Association, the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, and the Arkansas Activities Association testified against the bill in committee today, and all are trying to kill it.
Anyone who wants to see this bill pass should contact members of the committee listed below. Below is a list of the members of the House Education Committee and how they voted on HB1789 today.