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Oregon

April 23, 2007

House Bill 2629: Home Education Freedom Bill

Author:
Representatives Barker, Boquist, Bruun, Butler, Flores, Krieger, Whisnant

Senators Avakian, Kruse, Starr, Atkinson, Deckert, G. George, L. George

Summary:
Good News! The home education freedom bill, House Bill 2629, was heard by the House Education Subcommittee on Innovation on April 17. Several hundred people showed up in favor of the bill. Excellent testimony was provided in favor of the bill by OCEANetwork and others.

We need you to continue to contact the committee members listed below to encourage them to pass this bill which would bring greater freedom to homeschooling parents in Oregon.

House Bill 2629 has been jointly requested by OCEANetwork and the Oregon Home Education Network (OHEN) to make a number of positive steps forward in the cause of freedom for parents teaching their children at home.

Among other things, House Bill 2629 will repeal the testing requirements for homeschool students unless they seek to participate in interscholastic activities at the public school.

Your attendance at key legislative hearings in the past has had a positive impact on the Oregon Legislature. During the hearing on April 17, the hearing room was packed and the overflow room was nearly overflowing as well.

Please contact the legislators listed below as the committee could vote on the bill soon.

Status:

2/8/2007 (House) First reading. Referred to speaker’s desk.
4/12/2007 (House) Assigned to subcommittee on education innovation
4/17/2007 (House) Public hearing scheduled

HSLDA's Position:
Support.

Action Requested:
(1) Please email the members of the House Education Subcommittee on Innovation listed below with this message in your own words:

“Please vote for House Bill 2629, which will relieve homeschooling parents from unnecessary state oversight. Home educators have earned the right to more freedom after demonstrating their success under the law for the past 20-plus years.”

If your own representative is on this committee, please call instead of emailing and let him or her know that you are a constituent. To find the name of your representative, use HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox. Feel free to include additional reasons why you support this bill using the background information below or your own experience as a homeschooler.

House Education Innovation Subcommittee Members:

Representative Betty Komp (D), Chair
Phone: 503-986-1422
Email: rep.bettykomp@state.or.us

Representative Karen Minnis (R), Vice-Chair Phone: 503-986-1449
Email: rep.karenminnis@state.or.us

Representative Arnie Roblan (D), Vice-Chair
Phone: 503-986-1409
Email: rep.arnieroblan@state.or.us

Representative Peter Buckley (D) (Chair of the House Education Committee)
Phone: 503-986-1405
Email: rep.peterbuckley@state.or.us

Representative Ben Cannon (D)
Phone: 503-986-1446
Email: rep.bencannon@state.or.us

Representative John H Dallum (R)
Phone: 503-986-1459
Email: rep.johndallum@state.or.us

Representative Gene Whisnant (R)
Phone: 503-986-1453
Email: rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us

Background:

House Bill 2629 would make 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. Instead a parent can simply verify that their child is being taught at home.

Oregon first enacted a homeschool law in 1985, approximately 22 years ago. 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. House Bill 2629 represents a continuation of legislative efforts to gain total freedom for parents.

Additional reasons why House Bill 2629 should be supported:

  • Oregon does not regulate private schools but it currently regulates homeschoolers.
  • Home education works, with few home-educated students scoring low on standardized tests and many scoring high. (See Oregon Department of Education Homeschool Test Scores by Education Service District and Test Scores by Percentile.)
  • Additional regulation does not help home educators: Home-educated students’ test scores are the same in low-control, moderate-control and high-control states. (See .)

If House Bill 2629 is enacted, Oregon will join a growing majority of states requiring no standardized testing of homeschooled students. Further, 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 has the potential through this legislation to go from a state with a good homeschool law to a state with a great homeschool law. Let’s work hard together to get this done this year.

Please pray for favor with the committee and the Legislature on this bill and home education in general.

 Other Resources

Bill Text  ( requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History

Testimony at hearing (Fast forward about 1 hour) (Requires RealPlayer)