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No. 3

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Homeschool Freedom Bill Introduced

In Nevada, homeschoolers are excited about a bill that has been introduced by Senator Maurice Washington, chairman of the Committee on Human Resources and Education. Senate Bill 404 will eliminate nearly all of the regulation homeschoolers currently face in Nevada.

The bill was written by Frank Schnorbus and Barbara Dragon, state homeschool leaders who worked closely with Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka to develop the best language possible. The bill states that, if a parent wishes to homeschool a child, he or she must file a notice of intent with the superintendent of public instruction within 30 days of beginning the homeschool. The parent must use a form developed by the department that requires only the name, age, and gender of the child; the name and address of the parent filing the notice; and a statement signed by the parent declaring that full responsibility is assumed for the education of the child. The form also offers an optional statement that the parent may sign which would “expressly prohibit the release of any information contained in this document [the notice of intent].”

The superintendent shall then provide a copy of the signed notice to the local school district only upon written request. That is all the new law will require! If it passes as expected, S.B. 404 will make Nevada one of the best states in the country for homeschooling.

The new bill also provides that “a school organization may not discriminate in any manner against a child who is homeschooled,” and it requires school districts to allow homeschoolers to participate in all college entrance exams offered in the state, including the SAT, ACT, and PSAT/NMSQT.

Lastly, a section from a religious freedom act that was introduced in Nevada this year partly due to the urging of Christopher Klicka, was added to the end of S.B. 404, using the following wording: “No regulation or policy of the State Board or any school district may infringe upon the right of a parent to educate his child based on religious preference unless it is: (a) Essential to further a compelling governmental interest; and (b) The least restrictive means to furthering that compelling governmental interest.” If the language passes, S.B. 404 will be the first homeschool bill with this religious freedom protection.

We are very thankful for this opportunity to increase homeschool freedom in Nevada, and we are grateful for the efforts of Nevada homeschoolers, who are working hard to get this bill passed by the end of the session.

— by Christopher J. Klicka