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May 3, 2010

Bills Affecting Homeschoolers Die

All bills in the Alaska Legislature being tracked by Home School Legal Defense Association died at the end of the 2010 session. These included bills carried over from the 2009 legislative session. The bills are as follows:

House Bill 33: This bill would have raised the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18, thereby expanding the state’s control over education and subjecting homeschoolers to two additional years of compliance.

House Bill 59: This bill would have required the Alaska Department of Education to devise an early childhood education plan for children 3 and 4 years old. While the proposed program was described as “optional,” it was likely to become a mandatory program in future legislation.

House Bill 69: This bill would have been known as the “Alaska Parents as Teachers Act.” It would have established a voluntary parent education home visiting program for children from birth to age 5 administered by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. These visits would have been conducted at least once per month. The program would have involved monthly parent group meetings and annual developmental and health screenings of the children. Although this would have begun as a voluntary program, it was most likely the first step to a mandatory program.

House Bill 297: This bill would have created the Governor’s Performance Scholarship for public, private, and homeschool high school graduates to attend college and technical school.

Senate Bill 102: This bill would have raised the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 or graduation from high school.

Senate Bill 112: This bill would have established a statewide early education plan for students 3 and 4 years of age.

Senate Bill 224: This bill was the same as House Bill 297, which would have created the Governor’s Performance Scholarship.

We expect that some, if not all, of these legislative proposals will be considered again in the upcoming 2011 legislative session.

The Alaska Private and Home Educators Association played an active and vital role in monitoring and lobbying key legislators about these bills.