Federal Legislation
October 9, 2008

H.R. 2343—‘Education Begins at Home’ Act

Action Requested
As Congress went on recess before voting for the bill, no action is requested at this time. HSLDA will continue to monitor H.R. 2343 and will send out an action elert when the bill is back up for a vote.

Background:
When H.R. 2343 was initially introduced, HSLDA opposed this bill because many of the provisions in H.R. 2343 were similar to provisions in the now-dead Goals 2000 (more information is available under the “Goals 2000” link below).

H.R. 2343 expands programs of early childhood home visitation, child abuse and neglect prevention, and early identification of developmental and health delays including potential mental health concerns, and for other purposes. Many of these provisions would increase the federal government’s role in these programs as well as increase government funding to these programs.

HSLDA was especially concerned with parts of this bill that further expand the Head Start program as well as create voluntary home visits. Additionally, the bill could lead to policies similar to the controversial “Parents as Teachers” program. Section 9 of this bill, entitled “Supporting new parents through hospital education,” sets up detailed government training of parents. This could be interpreted as mandating parenting classes for new parents.

On Wednesday, June 11, 2008, William Estrada, HSLDA Director of Federal Relations, testified before the House Committee on Education and Labor in opposition to this legislation. Following his testimony, HSLDA was able to work with Committee Chairman George Miller to amend H.R. 2343 so that parents would not be forced to sign a document indicating their decision to opt out of government-approved parenting classes. The amendment is a substantial improvement to the legislation, as the government will now have significantly less leverage to coerce parents into taking their classes. HSLDA will continue to track this legislation as it moves into the House.

Introduced:
5/16/2007 Introduced in the House

Status:

5/16/2007Referred to House Education and Labor and the House Armed Services committees
6/28/2007Referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel
7/17/2007Referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education
8/1/2008House Committee on Armed Services Granted an extension for further consideration
9/19/2008Discharged from the Armed Services Committee to the Committee on Education and Labor
9/19/2008Placed on the House Calendar and will be coming up for a vote
10/2/2008Congress went on recess without voting on the bill

Sponsor:
Congressman Danny Davis

Cosponsors: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HR02343:@@@P

Bill Summary and Status: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.r.02343:

HSLDA's Position:
Opposed.

 Other Resources

E-lert—Sept. 25, 2008—Act Now to Stop Costly Federal Early Education Spending Bill

Smother Mother Strikes Again: Why Government Should Stay out of Pre-K

Education Begins at Home Act (H.R. 2343): Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

S. 667—‘Education Begins at Home’ Act

“Goals 2000”

Education Begins at Home Act (S. 667): Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Amendment No. 1 to H.R. 2343 by Rep. Miller (CA)

Testimony concerning H.R. 2343 by William Estrada