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May 11, 2009

House Bill 2144: Requiring Permission of School District to Homeschool

Rep. David Cook

This bill would require homeschooling parents to include proof of standardized testing with their notice of intent filed with the local school district in order to continue homeschooling. No exception would be made for missing a test for illness or other unavoidable reason. This bill would also require parents whose children are in public school to obtain permission of a three-person panel in order to begin homeschooling after the start of a semester.

3/6/2009 (House) Filed
3/9/2009(House) Read the first time, rules suspended, read the second time and referred to the House Education Committee
3/19/2009(House) Placed on second reading for the purpose of amendment
3/19/2009(House) Amendment No. 1 read and adopted and the bill ordered engrossed
3/19/2009(House) Reported correctly engrossed
5/1/2009(House) Died in House Committee at Sine Die adjournment

HSLDA's Position:
This bill should be opposed.

Action Requested:
Great news! House Bill 2144, the bad homeschool bill, is dead for this legislative season. Representative David Cook, the bill’s sponsor, has agreed to have it referred to an interim study committee for discussion over the next two years. The committee will make recommendations to the Arkansas General Assembly for its next legislative session in 2011.

Many thanks to all of you who were faithful to contact legislators about this bill. There is no question that your outcry against this terrible bill is what made the difference. I have no doubt that had you not contacted these legislators, this bill would have become unstoppable.

We especially appreciate the excellent lobbying done on this bill by Jerry Cox, Director of The Education Alliance, a division of the Family Council, and Martha Adcock, staff attorney. They were at the Capitol every day during this crisis talking with key legislators about the need to defeat this bill. Emails from Jerry and postings on The Education Alliance Blog kept homeschoolers advised of the current status of the bill and provided talking points for home educators to respond to proponents of this legislation. HSLDA encourages all of our members to financially support The Education Alliance with tax-deductable donations. With their skillful and effective lobbying, they were an invaluable part of the successful effort to stop this bad homeschool bill. They need your support to continue the good work they do for you. You can make a donation on their website.

 Other Resources

E-lert—3/10/2009—Arkansas: Calls Needed to Preserve Homeschool Freedom

E-lert—3/20/2009—Arkansas: Bad Homeschool Bill Defeated

Bill Text   (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History