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No. 4

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Bills Affecting Homeschoolers Die

All bills in the Alaska Legislature being tracked by Home School Legal Defense Association died at the end of the 2010 session. These included measures carried over from the 2009 legislative session. The bills are as follows:

  • House Bill 33 would have raised the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18, thereby expanding the state’s control over education and subjecting homeschoolers to two additional years of compliance.
  • HB 59 would have required the Alaska Department of Education to devise an early childhood education plan for children 3 and 4 years old. While the proposed program was described as “optional,” it was likely to become a mandatory program in future legislation.
  • HB 69 would have been known as the “Alaska Parents as Teachers Act.” It would have established 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 have been conducted at least once per month. The program would have involved monthly parent group meetings and annual developmental and health screenings of the children. Although this would have begun as a voluntary program, it was most likely the first step to a mandatory program.
  • HB 297 and Senate Bill 224 were companion bills that would have created the Governor’s Performance Scholarship for public, private, and homeschool high school graduates to attend college and technical school.
  • Senate Bill 102 would have raised the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 or graduation from high school.
  • SB 112 would have established a statewide early education plan for students 3 and 4 years of age.

We expect that some, if not all, of these legislative proposals will be considered again in the upcoming 2011 legislative session.

The Alaska Private and Home Educators Association played an active and vital role in monitoring and lobbying key legislators about these bills.

— by Dewitt T. Black