Senator Torpedoes Home School Legislation
The recommendation of the Joint Legislative Committee on Home Education, formed during the 1990-1991 legislative session, resulted in the introduction of House Bill 2075. Although not perfect, H.B.2075 would have removed the authority of the county superintendent to evaluate home school students’ test scores.
House Bill 2075 still mandated testing, but there was no requirement that the test results be provided to the county superintendent. This eliminated any jurisdictional claims of the county superintendents to evaluate reasonable educational progress in home school programs.
On March 25, 1992, H.B.2075 passed the House and proceeded to the Arizona Senate. At the Senate Education Committee hearing on April 28, 1992, Senator Lela Alston proposed an amendment which would have reintroduced superintendents’ authority to evaluate test scores and determine whether parents could continue to home school their children. Senator Alston’s amendment totally ignored the proposals of the joint legislative committee embodied in H.B.2075 and the fact that H.B.2075 was passed in the House by a vote of 47 to 4.
After hearing testimony from several home schoolers and school superintendents, the committee defeated Senator Alston’s amendment. In her position as chairperson, however, Senator Alston tabled the bill based on the understanding that she will work with the Arizona home school leaders and attempt to write an amendment satisfactory to both parties.
Home schoolers were incensed by the senator’s actions. On May 26, 1992, home schoolers from around the state arrived in Phoenix to protest Senator Alston’s attempt to rewrite H.B.2075 and by-pass the committee process.
It is absolutely critical that Arizona home schoolers unite against this attempt to usurp the proper legislative process and the will of the majority of home schoolers in their state. At the time of this writing, it is our understanding that the home schoolers have not been able to convince Ms. Alston to amend her position. Arizona home schoolers should contact their state or local home school organization for up-to-date information on involvement in this process.