Homeschool Information Library
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HEM's HR 2732/ SB 1562 Issue Sheet

The publishers of Home Education Magazine are concerned about HR 2732 and SB 1562. These two bills represent the continuation of a dangerous political strategy which abandons the first and best line of defense for homeschooling - the free exercise of rights and responsibilities - in favor of government intervention. This political strategy has unpredictable short term outcomes and fundamental long term consequences.

HEM's publishers encourage you to inform yourself about these bills and to take action to preserve homeschooling freedoms.

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HEM's HR 2732/ SB 1562 Issue Sheet

1. HR 2732 was introduced in the House of Representatives on July 15, 2003. The companion bill SB 1562 was introduced in the Senate on August 1. (These bills are sometimes referred to as HONDA.)

2. The expressed purpose of this legislation, written by attorneys of the Home School Legal Defense Association, is to fix problems in several different federal laws identified by HSLDA as possibly discriminatory against homeschoolers.

3. The laws addressed in this legislation include:
• Higher Education Act of 1965
• Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - Child Find
• Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
• Family Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA)
• Fair Labor Standards Act

4. There is little evidence that a significant number of individuals have petitioned for relief from "discrimination against homeschoolers." Hard cases make bad law.

5. The "Findings" and "Sense of Congress" in sections 1 and 2 include language referring to federal "encouragement" of home education, performance on standardized tests and socialization, none of which fall under the purview of the federal government.

6. Due to the unique regulatory environment in each state and because of the legislative process this bill would have varied and unpredictable consequences at the state level.

7. There was little, if any, consultation with other national, state or local homeschooling groups in drafting this legislation.

8. The legislation ignores hard work of state groups while circumventing possible remedies initiated at the state level.

9. Specific issues raised by homeschoolers who have analyzed the legislation include:

• Initiates federal authority over homeschooling
• Invites federal regulatory definitions of "homeschooling" and "secondary education standards"
• State level homeschool activism better serves efforts to maintain homeschooling freedoms
• "Child Find" provisions of IDEA are already being reworked in its reauthorization bill
• Proposed changes in Coverdell Education Savings Accounts raises questions about possible IRS definitions of "acceptable homeschooling expenses"
• Conflicts with state laws could lead to unwelcome changes at the state level
• Grants special favors making homeschoolers yet another special interest group
• Gains HR 2732 and SB 1562 seek to secure for homeschoolers do not justify the risks to homeschoolers inherent in this legislation

(Compiled by Sandi Chelan, Washington State)


Bill Information

To access the full text, summary, status, sponsor and cosponsors information of these bills go to http://thomas.loc.gov and use the bill number "HR 2732"/ "SB1562" in the search utility.

To Contact Your legislator:

http://www.house.gov
http://www.senate.gov

Expanded Analysis of the Issues

Say No To The Federal Homeschooling Legislation
Taking Charge column, by Larry and Susan Kaseman
http://www.home-ed-magazine.com/HEM/205/sotch.html

CT Homeschool Network - HONDA ANALYSIS
by Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson
http://www.CTHomeschoolNetwork.org/HONDA.htm

Foundations of our Homeschooling Freedoms
Taking Charge column, by Larry and Susan Kaseman
http://www.home-ed-magazine.com/HEM/185/sotch.html

Ongoing Efforts: HEM is working with individuals and groups researching the impact of this bill specifically and federalization in general.

Mark and Helen Hegener