Members of the House Education Committee Stuck in the Past!
Update: Rescue Attempt Successful!
Some legislators have been rescued. More help will be needed.
The Home School Modernization Bill, HB 4175, was passed on a voice vote yesterday in the House Education Committee. Your calls and emails made a big difference. Several Delegates, who on Monday were active in opposition to many of the provisions of HB 4175, voted on Wednesday to support it and even pulled their support from amendments that would have seriously harmed the legislation.
The bill was reported to the House floor with recommendation that it “do pass.” It advances to First Reading on Friday, Second Reading (the amendment stage) Monday, and third reading on Tuesday when it will be decided if it passes and moves on to the Senate.
There were only two changes made to the bill. First, technical changes were made clarifying the original purpose; and second, the committee reinserted the requirement that a parent report their test or portfolio results in the 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th grades. Testing or a portfolio assessment will still be required each year (but does not have to be reported in the “off” years).
Many home schooling families learned of the Hornbuckle and Purdue Amendment on Wednesday evening through Heritage Communications of West Virginia’s Facebook page. These families responded immediately with many emails expressing their opposition to the amendment and the concepts expressed in it.
The amendment was as follows:
The State board shall develop guidelines for diversity instruction for homeschooled children which provides the child either through social interactions through public school visits or other activities or social interactions that facilitate exposure to other races, religions or belief systems that permits the child to become exposed to the cultural diversity of his or her community, to enhance social skills and tolerance for others with different beliefs or backgrounds..
Only two delegates voted for the amendment: Delegate Hornbuckle and Delegate Blackwell. (This amendment did NOT pass.)
This story needs to be discussed further, especially in light of the fact that the Charleston Gazette has picked up Delegate Hornbuckle’s theme on the editorial page of the paper 1/28/16.
Please keep your stories of success coming into your legislators. Ask them to support HB 4175. The bill will be on the Amendment Stage on Monday and up for a final vote on Tuesday. If the Modernization bill passes on Tuesday, the next stop will be the Senate Education Committee.
The Home School Promise Bill (HB 4215) is expected to be discussed in House Education early next week.
The full text of these bills can be read on the WV Legislative website.
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