Special ed students permitted to obtain services
Senate Bill 1269, sponsored by Senator Ruth Solomon, was signed by Governor Jane Dee Hull on May 7, 2001. This bill allows home schooled students to receive some special education related services through the local public school. Those services provided with federal funds would be open to both private school students and home school students on an equal basis.
In 2000, the Attorney General of Arizona issued a formal opinion that public school districts were not required to provide any services to home schooled special education students. S.B. 1269 does not solve all the problems created by this misguided opinion, but Home School Legal Defense Association believes it is a step in the right direction.
Compulsory attendance age increase defeated
House Bill 2153, introduced by Representative Marion Pickens (D-14th), was an attempt to lower the age when children must begin school. Current law mandates that a child must be enrolled in school beginning at age 6 but Representative Pickens' bill would have changed this to age 5. Thankfully, the Arizona legislature took no action on this bill and when the legislature adjourned on May 10, 2001, the bill died in committee.
Thanks to Arizona Families for Home Education and many home school parents for their important role in resisting this attempt to add more government control over parents' decisions on how to raise their children.
HSLDA believes that lowering the compulsory attendance age is wrong for several reasons. We believe that parents, not the government, can best decide when their children are ready to begin formal schooling. Many 5-year-old children are simply too young to be forced into a formal educational setting. Also, home schooling families would have to file their affidavit or waiver forms a full year earlier.
- Darren A. Jones