Head to head with the House
Another year, another legislative battle. Kentucky home schoolers are blessed with a good law, but a good law means that citizens must be ready to pay the price of liberty. For Kentucky home schoolers, "eternal vigilance" means the annual summons to write or call the House Education Committee to oppose bad legislation.
This session started off with House Bill 54, Barbara Ann Colter's latest home school regulation bill. This was no surprise: Representative Colter files a home school regulation bill every year. Although none of her past efforts have gotten very far, Representative Colter sits on the House Education Committee—she cannot be ignored. Home School Legal Defense Association Attorney Darren Jones met with leaders of the Christian Home Educators of Kentucky (CHEK) and the Kentucky Home Education Association (KHEA) to develop a common strategy for defending family freedom for another year.
The surprise came in the middle of the session, when H.B. 725 came out of nowhere. This bill would require every home school family on welfare to take a standardized test each year. Although one of the sponsors of the legislation was, once again, Barbara Ann Colter, word soon leaked that the secret author of the bill was Frank Rasche, the Chairman of the House Education Committee. Chairman Rasche told HSLDA Attorney Scott Somerville that he had decided to give Representative Colter a little help in getting some legislation enacted.
Kentucky's home schoolers responded by redoubling their efforts. Howard Cornett, the second sponsor of the new bill, soon found out that he had bitten off more than he could chew. Representative Cornett dropped his sponsorship within days, leaving Barbara Ann Colter as the sole sponsor of both home school bills. More calls and letters poured in as Kentucky's legislative season crept on, especially from Chairman Rasche's home district of Paducah. When the session ended, home school freedoms had survived again. Chairman Rasche never even put his own bill on the docket for a hearing in his own committee.
- Scott W. Somerville