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April 13, 2009

Senate Bill 1017: Adding Homeschool Provision in Idaho Code

Senate Education Committee

Relating to attendance at schools; amending section 161602, Idaho code, to further define a term; amending section 33202, Idaho Code, to revise a provision relating to school attendance requirements; and amending section 33207, Idaho Code, to revise a provision relating to proceedings against parents or guardians.

The bill will add the statement that “children privately instructed at home by their parent or guardian” are in compliance with Idaho’s compulsory education law. In addition, the bill will add virtual charter schools to the list of options for parents to teach their children.

This bill is being introduced primarily to avoid a crisis like the one that California experienced this past year. In March 2008, the California Court of Appeals ruled that all homeschooled students had to be instructed by certified licensed teachers. However, when HSLDA entered into the case and helped the family to file for a rehearing, the court granted a rehearing and ended up reversing its original decision. This occurred after six excruciating months of concern and fear that homeschooling was essentially outlawed in California. God was gracious to deliver us all from that legal catastrophe.

The three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeals reversed its original ruling and decided to affirm that homeschools are private schools in California because the word “homeschool” is mentioned in the California code.

The Idaho Code does not mention the word “homeschool,” and thus it is possible that Idaho courts could make a decision similar to the California court’s first ruling. To ensure that we are not blindsided by another such ruling, Barry Peters of Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE) and Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State (CHOIS), together with HSLDA, have decided to move forward with this bill.

1/22/2009(Senate) First Reading—to printing
2/5/2009(Senate) Second reading—to third reading
2/10/2009(Senate) Third reading
2/16/2009(Senate) To 14th Ord
2/23/2009(Senate) Report out amendment; to engross
2/24/2009(Senate) Report engrossed; first reading; to second reading as amended
2/24/2009(Senate) to 14th Ord
2/25/2009(Senate) Report out amended; to engross
2/26/2009(Senate) Report engrossed; first reading; to second reading as amended
2/26/2009(Senate) Second reading; to third reading as amended
3/3/2009(Senate) Third reading as amended; passed unanonimously; Title approved; to House
3/4/2009(House) Introduced; first reading; to Education Committee
3/12/2009(House) Reported out; received to second reading
3/13/2009(House) Second reading to third reading
3/26/2009(House) Third Reading; passed, 67-0-3; Title Approved—to Senate
3/27/2009(House) To enrollment
3/30/2009(House) Report Enrolled, Pres signed
3/31/2009(Senate) Sp Signed signed
4/1/2009(Senate) To Governor
4/3/2009Governor signed into law—effective 7/1/09

HSLDA's Position:

Action Requested:
No action requested at this time.

 Other Resources

E-lert—January 13, 2009—Idaho: Bill to be Introduced to Maintain Homeschool Freedoms

E-lert—March 5, 2009—Idaho: Update on Homeschool Freedom Bill

E-lert—April 1, 2009—Idaho: Victory for Homeschool Freedom Bill

E-lert—4/16/2009—Idaho: Governor Signs Homeschool Freedom Bill

Bill Text (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History