On Thursday, May 12, home schoolers scored another tremendous victory for parental rights when Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee unanimously agreed to include language in the text of S. 1513 which will protect home schoolers from regulation or control under the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The precise language of the home school amendments offered in the House was added to the text of S. 1513 in order to prevent the language of the Armey and Ford/Kildee amendments from being deleted or altered when the House and Senate bills go to the Conference Committee for reconciliation.
The language as included in S. 1513 reads:
Nothing in this act shall be construed to permit, allow, encourage, or authorize any Federal control over any aspect of any private, religious, or home school, whether or not a home school is treated as a private school or home school under state law. This section shall not be construed to bar private, religious, or home schools from participation in programs or services under the Act.
At this point, the only way that the language of the Home School/Private School Freedom Amendment can be dropped is if someone offers a motion to strike the language on the floor of the Senate. Even if such a motion were offered, it would have a limited chance of success.
Home schoolers scored a stunning victory with the inclusion of the Armey and Ford/Kildee amendments into H.R. 6. However, without accompanying language in the Senate companion bill, there would have been a strong likelihood that the Armey and Ford/Kildee language would be removed when the bill got to Conference Committee. The decision by the members of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources which oversees the S. 1513, secured the victory for home schoolers.