Across the States
2009 Legislative Wrap-up
At the close of the 2009 session of the Alaska State Legislature, Home School Legal Defense Association was tracking a number of bills affecting homeschooling families. The legislature enacted none of the bills but carried all of them over to the 2010 session beginning on January 19. The bills are as follows:
- House Bill 33 would raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18. HSLDA opposes any expansion of state control over education. This bill should be opposed.
HB 59 would require the Alaska Department of Education to devise an early childhood education plan for children 3 and 4 years old.
While the proposed program is described as “optional,” it is likely to become a mandatory program in future legislation. Parents, not state officials, are in the best position to determine when a child’s formal education should begin. This bill should be opposed.
- HB 69 would be known as the “Alaska Parents as Teachers Act.” It would establish a voluntary parent education home visiting program for children from birth to age 5 administered by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. These visits would be at least once per month. The program would involve monthly parent group meetings and annual developmental and health screenings of the children. Although this would begin as a voluntary program, it is most likely the first step to a mandatory program. HSLDA believes that parents, not state officials, are best qualified to determine what is best for their children. This bill should be opposed.
- Senate Bill 102 would raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 or graduation from high school. This bill should be opposed.
- SB 112 would establish a statewide early education plan for students 3 and 4 years of age. This bill represents an unnecessary expansion of state control over education. This bill should be opposed.
HSLDA encourages homeschoolers to contact their state legislators and express their opposition to these bills, which threaten parental rights in the education and upbringing of children.
— by Dewitt T. Black