HB 3408 was passed in the House today. So now what?
It moves over to the Senate. The Senate could take it up or ignore it completely. The Senate must pass it in order for it to progress toward becoming law. As it currently stands, HB 3408 is NOT law. It still needs Senate approval and the governor’s signature before it will change any laws.
(Before reading ahead, it will be helpful to remember that traditional, privately funded homeschoolers – as most of us are – normally use “Exemption c” in the current law.)
How would HB3408 change the our current law?
- IF HB3408 becomes law, yearly assessments would still be required by “Exemption c” homeschoolers, but assessment results would not have to be submitted to the county in grades 3, 5, 8 and 11.
- Otherwise, HB 3408 does not change the current “Exemption c” requirements in the law – except that it adds a new statement that “A child receiving home instruction pursuant to this section may also be referred to throughout this code as a ‘home school student’ or similar reference.”
- In the current law, “Exemption m” is the Hope Scholarship exemption. This bill keeps Exemption m in the law BUT it no longer references the Hope Scholarship. Instead, it provides for participation in “AIM” – an Assembled Instructional Module. A child participating in an AIM would come under very similar requirements as homeschoolers who use Exemption c, EXCEPT annual academic assessment results would need to be submitted to the county every year by June 8th. To be clear, annual submission would only be for Exemption m students, not Exemption c students. BOTH would still have to be assessed annually. (For an explanation of assessments, click here.)
- Exemption m (or Exemptions b, k or n) students can receive Hope Scholarship funds, if they choose to and they are eligible, but families using Exemption c cannot receive Hope scholarship funding. All homeschoolers using Exemption c remain privately-funded and under separate legal requirements from students receiving Hope funding.
In a nutshell, with the current version of HB 3408, if it becomes law:
- Hope students and privately-funded homeschoolers would remain in separate sections of the law – protecting both.
- Privately-funded homeschoolers would still be required to do an academic assessment each year and keep results on file, but they would not submit assessment results to the county.
- AIM students would do an academic assessment each year AND submit the results to the county each year – by June 8th.
- The current Exemption m would be changed significantly. The current IIP language (for Hope recipients) would be completely removed. AIM schooling would be created and could be used as a means of home instruction by Hope Scholarship recipients.
- Learning pod and micro school students, as well as AIM students, would have equal legal rights and privileges to homeschoolers, including such things as diploma fairness, votech access, and PROMISE scholarship access.
Remember, HB3408 is not yet law. It still has to pass the Senate and then go on to the governor for his approval. Also, the language of the bill could be changed in the Senate. Stay tuned for updates on the status of the bill.