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Pennsylvania

November 21, 2002

House Bill 2560: Significant Improvements for Pennsylvania Home School Law

Author:
Rep Sam Rohrer

Summary:
Pennsylvania has one of the most restrictive homeschooling laws in the country. If it had passed, H.B. 2560 would have eliminated many of the administrative burdens homeschoolers are forced to follow.

Status:

The House Education Committee met on Wednesday, November 13, 2002, to consider H.B. 2560. Both Representative Sam Rohrer, the sponsor of the bill, and Representative Fred McIlhattan urged the Committee members to vote for the bill. However, the Chairman of the Committee, Representative Jess Stairs, offered an amendment requiring a year-end evaluation and removing the clause in the bill ensuring that homeschool graduates were given the same rights, benefits, and privileges as all other high school graduates. The amendment would have also required a certified teacher, with at least three years of experience and Department of Education approval, to conduct the evaluations. These evaluators would have been required to send their evaluations directly to the Department of Education. Unfortunately, the Committee adopted Chairman Stairs' amendment.

Those who voted in favor of this restrictive amendment:

Rep. Jess Stairs, Chairman
Rep. Paul Clymer
Rep. Lawrence Curry
Rep. Richard Grucela
Rep. Lynn Herman
Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland
Rep. Edward Krebs
Rep. Beverly Mackereth
Rep. Ronald Miller
Rep. Phyllis Mundy
Rep. Jerry Nailor
Rep. William Robinson
Rep. James Roebuck, Jr.
Rep. Jere Schuler
Rep. Sara Steelman
Rep. Thomas Stevenson
Rep. P. Michael Sturla

Those who vote against the amendment (pro-homeschool freedom):

Rep. Bob Bastian
Rep. Patrick Fleagle
Rep. Fred McIlhattan
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
Rep. Samuel Rohrer, Sponsor of the original bill
Rep. Thomas Yewcic

After the amendment passed, Representative Rohrer moved to table the bill to prevent these unfavorable amendments from passing out of the House Education Committee. The Committee then voted in favor of tabling the bill, meaning that H.B. 2560 is effectively dead for this legislative session. In any case, we would not have supported the bill as amended due to Representative Stairs' restrictive amendment.

It is likely that a new bill will be introduced in the upcoming legislative session next year. At this point, we do not know whether it will contain the same language as H.B. 2560 or some different

provisions.

HSLDA's Position:
This bill was enthusiastically supported.

It is extremely unfortunate that we lost this battle to make homeschooling easier in Pennsylvania. Many of you worked long and hard over the last year to support H.B. 2560, and we thank you very much for your labors. Please don't be discouraged. It is our hope that this year's effort will lay the groundwork for legislative victory in the 2003 legislative session.

 Other Resources

Pennsylvania-Homeschool Legislation Officially Dead for 2002

Pennsylvania--Committee Vote Scheduled on Home Schooling Bill

Pennsylvania--Calls needed for House Bill 2560

Pennsylvania Home Schoolers Rally to Support Freedom.

Pennsylvania--Hearing Scheduled on House Bill 2560, June 13

Response by Dee Black, Senior Counsel at HSLDA, to objections to this bill raised by its opponents.

Bill Text

Bill History