Senate Action for HB 4175

by | Feb 12, 2016 | News

Homeschool Modernization at Stake in Senate Committee!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

As you know, last week the West Virginia House overwhelmingly voted to modernize West Virginia’s homeschool law with the passage of H.B. 4175. On Tuesday, February 16, we expect the Senate Education Committee to take up the bill. I plan to be there to answer any questions that may come up.

HSLDA’s position is that reporting test results to the school authorities is unnecessary, but we are supporting the House’s version of the bill that will require homeschooling families to submit four assessments in grades 3, 5, 8, and 11 over the course of a student’s career.

H.B. 4175 will move West Virginia’s homeschool law closer to the norm in our country. Many states have acted in the past 10 years to modernize their homeschool regulations to ease unnecessary bureaucracy for families and school districts.

Members of the Senate Education Committee need to hear from you this weekend! Please ask them to pass H.B. 4175 without amendment. Here are their email addresses:
dave.sypolt@wvsenate.gov
donnaboley@suddenlink.net
bob.beach@wvsenate.gov
Mitch.Carmichael@wvsenate.gov
sue.cline@wvsenate.gov
robert.karnes@wvsenate.gov
william.laird@wvsenate.gov
mike.hall@wvsenate.gov
robert.plymale@wvsenate.gov
mike.romano@wvsenate.gov
ron.stollings@wvsenate.gov
drtomtakubo@gmail.com
charles.trump@wvsenate.gov
john.unger@wvsenate.gov

Please send them this message in your own words:

Dear Senator,

I am asking you to pass H.B. 4175 out of the Education Committee without further amendment. H.B. 4175 makes common-sense reforms to West Virginia’s homeschool law by eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy faced by families as well as school districts. Homeschooling parents have demonstrated that they are able to produce exceptional academic and social results without state oversight. More than a dozen other states have passed similar legislation recognizing home education achievement over the past 30 years.

As a parent it is my responsibility to decide how my children are educated. H.B. 4175 was amended to address reporting requirements and should be passed without further amendment. West Virginia parents can and should be trusted to make educational decisions for their children without intrusive or unwarranted bureaucratic obstacles. H.B. 4175 is step in that direction.

Please vote for H.B. 4175. Thank you for your service to the families of West Virginia.

To get additional contact information for these committee members click here.

Background:

H.B. 4175 modernizes West Virginia’s homeschool law and brings it more in line with the trend in homeschooling regulation in the past decade. Over a dozen states have made common-sense reforms to remove unnecessary and unwarranted burdens from parents who choose home education for their children.

The bill reduces bureaucracy by requiring a one-time notification and submission of assessment results four times over the course of a student’s career. The law clarifies that testing may be administered by anyone qualified by the test publisher and does not exclude the child’s primary instructor from administering the tests (e.g. the student’s parent in most cases).

The bill also clarifies a common misunderstanding that children who are starting home education, as long as they have filed the proper paperwork, are not “truant”—nor are they status offenders under the abuse and neglect code. The bill thus reduces the amount of paperwork that must be submitted to the school district.

Parents who are unable to provide evidence of their high school diploma or GED (either because they lost it or because they were homeschooled and were never issued one) would not be prohibited from home education.

I am also very pleased that the law would remove the unconstitutional 14-day waiting period that has been a significant barrier for parents seeking to start homeschooling—especially when there are problems with the school their child is attending. No parent should have to wait 14 days to exercise their constitutional rights to homeschool.

 

Standing with you for Liberty,

Mike Donnelly

Staff Attorney

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support for our work enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling freedom for all.

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