Dear CA Legislators: Thank You For Listening!
by Mike Smith • May 15, 2018
California homeschoolers are still grateful for their recent legislative defeat of two Assembly bills, AB 2756 and AB 2926, which would have placed new regulations on their homeschools.
As we reported earlier, AB 2926 faced sustained criticism and was ultimately withdrawn from consideration. Then on April 25, an estimated 1,300 homeschoolers and other interested citizens appeared before the Assembly Education Committee. For three hours they voiced their opposition to AB 2756. And to their credit, the committee listened—when the testimony ended, not one of the seven members moved to pass the bill.
To express our gratitude for the committee’s decision, I sent a letter to each of the committee members (see below), thanking them for having the patience to sit through three hours of testimony. It was quite a civics lesson for the many children who were in attendance!
In response, we received an email from one of the committee members that bears sharing: “Thank you for this letter. I believe every person should be heard. I’m glad we achieved the right outcome. Best Wishes, Marc Steinorth.”
Thank you again to all of our California members for your passionate, professional and principled outreach on these bills. Like you, we are grateful for this outstanding outcome.
Dear Chairman O’Donnell and Assembly Education Committee Members:
HSLDA’s Darren Jones appeared before your committee on April 25, along with approximately 1,300 witnesses on the above bill. We had previously provided our written opposition to the bill. It’s been estimated that 3,000 folks showed up to voice express their opposition to the bill. We thank you for listening to them.
What was especially impressive was the patience and respect you demonstrated in allowing all those that desired to voice their opposition to do so. I’m sure at some point, maybe at number 500, 800, or 1,000, you were thinking “enough is enough.” But you didn’t cut off the debate. Everyone that wanted to speak spoke!
This extraordinary demonstration of restraint and fairness, sent a strong message to everyone in attendance and to the entire homeschool community in California that the members of the Education Committee are fair minded people, and stand for the right of the citizens of the state to be able to express their convictions on legislation.
This was especially important due to the number of young people that participated in the process. Many of the families used this as an opportunity for a civics lesson. Your example speaks volumes and will be a lesson they will never forget. Thanks again for being an exemplary role model for all of us.
Assembly Member Kevin Kiley
Assembly Member Ash Kalra
Assembly Member Kevin McCarty
Assembly Member Marc Steinorth
Assembly Member Tony Thurmond
Assembly Member Shirley N. Weber