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Proposed Amendment a Danger to Private Education—Stay Tuned

by Peter Kamakawiwoole • January 10, 2020

There is a legislative proposal to amend Article X, Section 1 of the Utah Constitution.

The current language states that the legislature “shall provide for the establishment and maintenance of the state’s education systems, including … a public education system, which shall be open to all children of the state … .”

The proposal would alter this to say that the legislature “shall provide sufficient funding for the establishment and maintenance of the state’s education systems, including … a public education system, which shall provide an adequate education to all children of the state … .”

The change in language could be read to require all children in the state to receive an adequate education through the public education system. This would pose a significant danger to all forms of non-public education in Utah, including homeschools.

HSLDA has been in contact with local homeschool leaders in Utah who are working with the resolution’s sponsor to correct the language in a way that will eliminate this issue.

While we hope to have positive developments to report soon, at the present time you can rest assured that the resolution is not going to result in any sudden changes to homeschooling in Utah. The proposal still has to work its way through both houses of the legislature before going to voters for final approval.

In addition, any reading that eliminates the homeschool option would almost certainly run afoul of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects your right as parents to direct the education of your children by choosing an alterative to public school instruction, including homeschooling.

We will keep you abreast of developments as they occur. In the meantime, we encourage you to support your local homeschool leadership teams as they work with the legislature to ensure that homeschooling in Utah remains free.


Peter Kamakawiwoole

Staff Attorney

Peter has been an HSLDA staff attorney since 2011, assisting member families in Connecticut, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and his home state of Hawaii. Read more.


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