Home School Court Report
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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



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Legislature considers redefining "home school"

Under current Tennessee law, a "home school" is defined as "a school conducted by a parent(s) or legal guardian(s) for their own children." Senate Bill 1909 and House Bill 1982, companion bills introduced by Senator Jim Bryson and Representative Bobby Wood, respectively, would expand the definition of "home school" to "a school conducted by a parent or parents, a legal guardian or legal guardians or other designated adult family members for their family, extended family or those children residing in their household." Thus, a child could be instructed by not only a parent or guardian but by other adult family members who may or may not reside within the home. It is unclear precisely whom the term "family" is intended to include regarding who may serve as the instructor, but since the term "extended family" is used in contrast to describe children who may be taught, it appears that the instructor would have to be a member of the immediate family. The homeschool could be conducted not only for children in the immediate family but also for children in the extended family and even children unrelated to the family but living in the family's household.

Home School Legal Defense Association supports this legislation, which would expand homeschooling opportunities to more children.

Changes to compulsory attendance age considered

House Bill 1661 introduced by Representative Harry Brooks and S.B. 1734 introduced by Senator Tim Burchett would lower the compulsory attendance age from 17 to 16. HSLDA favors this legislation reducing the extent of state oversight of education. If this legislation is enacted, Tennessee would join the majority of states requiring school attendance to age 16. Statistics indicate that lowering the compulsory attendance age has no significant effect on the dropout rate in a state. From the standpoint of homeschooling, enactment of this legislation would mean one less year that Tennessee home educators have to comply with state law governing their programs.

HSLDA encourages our member families in Tennessee to contact their legislators and express support for these bills.

Dewitt T. Black