Tidbits & Trivia
Chicago is home to the first aquarium, opened in 1893.
Home Schoolers Welcome at State Colleges
Governor George Ryan recently signed H.B. 1522, requiring all public colleges and universities to accept students who have graduated from nonrecognized schools if their ACT scores are acceptable. Most colleges and universities do not require home school students to take the GED before admission. A few Illinois state institutions of higher education, however, were imposing this requirement on home schoolers, and thus created the impetus for this legislation.
School Health Surveys
A number of home school families have received official-sounding letters and school health surveys. The letter attached to the survey states, My team has decided to assess how local school districts in Illinois are meeting the health needs of home schooled children. Although these letters appear to come from a local source, this may be part of a statewide effort aimed at reducing parental authority over medical decisions for children.
Question 4 on the survey asks, Does your school district have an established mechanism for locating and tracking home schooled children? Question 6B states, Is there . . . a collaborative health education curriculum for home schooled children? Question 9 says, Do all new students . . . have those needed physical and dental examinations, immunizations, and lead screening? Are these requirements the same for home schooled students?
During the last legislative session, a bill requiring all home schoolers to register died before coming to a vote. Whether that legislative effort and this current school health survey are connected remains to be seen. In the meantime, HSLDA recommends that members ignore the form.
Freeport Considers Truancy Ordinance
Freeport is considering a truancy ordinance that may be enforced in an unconstitutional manner, according to some ordinance proponents. Police ordinarily only have the right to stop and question a person on the street if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed or is committing a crime. With the rapid growth of the home school movement, more and more students do not attend school at the same hours as traditional students. It is not logical to assume, therefore, that a child is in violation of any truancy provision merely because he is not in school during traditional hours. If the truancy ordinance passes, and enforcers treat innocent home school children as suspected criminals, it is likely that constitutional rights will be violated.