Home School Court Report
Current Issue | Archives | Advertising | About | Search
- disclaimer -
May / June 2003

A season to encourage

Burnt toast & sticky cards

A letter to my parents

The spiritual power of a mother
National Center hosts 2003 Summit
Farris addresses social workers

Along the way

Homeschool litigation: preparing the way
Freedom Watch

What's ahead in 2003?
From the heart
Across the states
Active Cases
Members only
About Campus
President's page

Good judges make good decisions


Prayer & Praise

a contrario sensu (on the other hand)

HSLDA legal contacts for November/December 2002



AR · CA · FL · IL · IN · KY · LA · MD · MO · MT · ND · NM · NY · OH · OK · OR · TN · TX · VA · WY


Threatening bill defeated

Following a "do not pass" recommendation from the House Education Committee, the full North Dakota House of Representatives voted down House Bill 1182 on January 30, 2003. This bill would have required homeschool students to meet the state content and achievement standards on state tests required of public school students in mathematics, reading, and science. Since the state standards are derived from the public school curriculum, parents conducting home instruction would have been forced to use public school textbooks in order to teach the same content on which their children were to be tested. Home education in North Dakota would have essentially become public school at home.

At the hearing before the House Education Committee on January 15, 2003, Home School Legal Defense Association Attorney Dewitt Black testified in opposition to this bill, citing two reasons to justify its defeat. First, it was a direct violation of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which would have placed North Dakota in jeopardy of losing all federal funding for education. Last year, HSLDA successfully lobbied Congress to add a provision that prohibited states from mandating that homeschoolers take the state assessments. Second, this legislation was unconstitutional because it is fundamentally unfair for the state to test students on course content they have not been taught. This bill would have effectively eliminated the right of parents in North Dakota to direct the education of their children.

This victory would not have been possible without the hard work of the North Dakota Home School Association and opposition expressed by North Dakota homeschooling families, many of whom attended the committee meeting. The hearing room was packed to overflowing with more than 250 homeschoolers in attendance.

Dewitt T. Black