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Oregon

August 19, 2005

House Bill 2733: Home Education Equity Bill

Authors:
Representatives Linda Flores and Brad Avakian, Senator Bruce Starr

Co-Sponsors in the House
Representative Gordon Anderson, DDS
Representative Jeff Barker
Representative Brian Boquist
Representative Alan Brown
Representative Scott Bruun
Representative Tom R Butler
Representative Kevin Cameron
Representative John H Dallum
Representative Larry Galizio
Representative Bill Garrard
Representative Wayne Krieger
Representative Jeff Kropf
Representative Donna G Nelson
Representative Dennis Richardson
Representative Greg Smith
Representative Gene Whisnant

Co-Sponsors in the Senate
Senator Jason Atkinson
Senator Roger Beyer
Senator Ryan Deckert
Senator Ted Ferrioli
Senator Gary George
Senator Jeff Kruse
Senator Frank Morse
Senator David Nelson
Senator Charlie Ringo
Senator Charles Starr
Senator Ben Westlund
Senator Jackie Winters

Summary:
Thank you for all your calls this year. The Oregon Home Education Equity Bill passed the House on May 24, 2005, by a vote of 37 to 22. This margin of victory is even greater than the vote last session when it passed 34 to 25. Without your calls this would not have been possible!

This bill would remove the requirement that homeschool families notify the local Education Service District (ESD) when they decide to teach their children at home. Additionally, parents would no longer be required to test their children in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. House Bill 2733 represents significant freedom for homeschool families in Oregon.

This bill would have removed the requirement that homeschool families notify the local Education Service District (ESD) when they decide to teach their children at home. Additionally, parents would have no longer been required to test their children in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. House Bill 2733 represented significant freedom for homeschool families in Oregon.

As you may know Home School Legal Defense Association, OCEANetwork, and Oregon Home Educators Network have been working to introduce the Home Education Equity Bill to further homeschool freedom in Oregon. Thanks to your calls eighteen Representatives and thirteen Senators are sponsoring House Bill 2733.

Status:

03/02/05Introduction and first reading. Referred to Speaker's desk.
03/03/05Referred to House Education Committee.
05/04/05Public Hearing Held
05/09/05Work Session Cancelled.
05/13/05Public Hearing and Work Session Held.
05/20/05Recommendation: Do pass.
05/23/05Second reading.
05/24/05Third reading. Passed. Ayes, 37; Nays, 22--Ackerman, Barnhart, Beyer, Buckley, Dingfelder, Greenlick, Hansen, Holvey, Hunt, Jenson, Komp, Lim, Macpherson, March, Merkley, Nolan, Riley, Roblan, Rosenbaum, Schaufler, Shields, Witt; Excused, 1--Tomei.
05/25/05Sent to Senate. First reading. Referred to President's desk.
05/27/05Referred to Senate Rules Committee.
08/08/05In committee upon adjournment.

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA strongly supported this bill.

Requested Action:
No action required since the Oregon Legislature Adjourned Sine Die on August 5, 2005 and this bill is dead.

Reasons We Support this Legislation:

Hosue Bill 2733 would have made the following changes in the current law:

- expand the educational options for homeschoolers by providing that a child may be educated by the parent or legal guardian or "at the direction of" a parent or legal guardian, thereby permitting parents or guardians to appoint someone else to conduct some or all of the instruction;

- repeal the requirement that parents notify the public school officials of their decision to homeschool;

- repeal the testing requirements of the homeschool law, except for students participating in interscholastic activities at a public school; and

- remove the requirement that the education service district or school district determine that a child under 18 is being homeschooled in order to get a driver's license.

Background:

At the work session on May 13, 2005 the House Education Committee voted 4-2 in favor of House Bill 2733, the Home Education Equity Bill. Voting was as follows:

In favor:
Chair Linda Flores (R)
Vice Chair John Dallum (R)
Rep. Debbie Farr (R)
Rep. John Lim (R)

Against:
Vice Chair Steve March (D)
Rep. Chip Shields (D)

Absent:
Rep. Arnie Roblan (D)

As reported by Oregon Home Education Network (OHEN) a few of the Representatives who voted in favor of the bill do have a few reservations. Representative Lim believes that the state should continue to monitor the academic progress of homeschoolers. Representative Farr would like to continue to have the notification requirement but is supportive of eliminating the testing requirements. Representative Dallum was very supportive of home education.

Of those opposed to the bill on the Committee, Representative Shields believes that it is not burdensome for homeschoolers to test their children 4 times over their lifetime. Representative March, in an attempt to argue for regulation of homeschoolers raised the point that in Lane County, 24% of the homeschoolers scored below the 50th percentile in the last reported testing (1999). However, the percentile ratings of the nationally-normed standardized achievement tests are based upon the average public school student. Therefore, 50% of the public school students score below the 50th percentile. While I'm sure that this was not his intent, Representative March's comments actually point out the benefits of home education!

A similar bill was introduced in the last legislative session to bring greater freedom to homeschool families in Oregon. While this previous legislation passed both the House and Senate the Governor vetoed the bill. Our goal with H.B. 2733 was to obtain a sufficient margin in the legislature to override a potential veto from the Governor. Like the widow at the judge's door in Luke 18 we will continue to bring our petition before the Governor to persuade him to sign the Home Education Equity Bill.

Oregon first enacted a homeschool law in 1985. Since that time, numerous efforts have been made to enact amendments providing more freedom to parents. The most recent change in the law occurred in 1999 when significant progress was made in reducing state oversight of homeschooling. H.B. 2733 represents a continuation of legislative efforts to gain more freedom for parents.

If H.B. 2733 has been enacted, Oregon would have joined a growing majority of states requiring no standardized testing of homeschooled students. Furthermore, public school officials will have no record of children being homeschooled, because parents will not be required to even notify public school officials of their decision to conduct home instruction. Oregon had the potential through this legislation to go from a state with an average homeschool law to a state with a great homeschool law.

 Other Resources

Apr-05-2005 — Oregon--E-Mails Needed to Support Home Education Equity Bill

Mar-15-2005 — Oregon--Please Write to the Governor in Support of the Home Education Equity Bill

HSLDA's legislative toolbox

Oregon State Legislature - Find Your Legislator

Home Education Week

Bill Text  

Bill History