House Bill 793: Protects Homeschool Records From Public Disclosure; Reasonable Suspicion Necessary to Demand Records; Recordkeeping Red Tape Reduced; Problematic Declaration of Enrollment Repealed

Missouri
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Last Updated: February 1, 2017
House Bill 793: Protects Homeschool Records From Public Disclosure; Reasonable Suspicion Necessary to Demand Records; Recordkeeping Red Tape Reduced; Problematic Declaration of Enrollment Repealed
Sponsors:
Representative Kurt Bahr
Summary:

There is currently no Missouri law that protects the confidentiality of any private information about homeschool students and parents that public schools obtain. One school system recently posted private information about homeschool families inside the public school building. HB 793 requires public schools to keep this information confidential.

Under current law, a prosecuting attorney can demand that homeschool parents show their records even if there is absolutely no ground for suspecting a parent violated any law. One school system recently instigated legal action against a family without any hint the family had broken any law. HB 793 will prevent intimidation from groundless investigations by requiring that a prosecutor have “reasonable suspicion” that the parent has violated the law before demanding to see homeschool records.

Missouri law currently “double dips” on record keeping requirements. It requires parents to keep two separate sets of records. One set is documentation that the family provided 1,000 hours of instruction to each child. The other set consists of work samples, evaluations, and a plan book or diary of activities and subjects taught. HB 793 simplifies the record keeping requirement and reduces red tape by allowing parents to choose to keep either one set of records or the other. Parents would no longer be required to keep two sets of records.

Missouri law currently allows parents to file a “declaration of enrollment.” It has always been optional. While its purpose was supposedly to prevent needless investigations, it has actually backfired completely and resulted in many groundless investigations when families choose to not file the declaration. It no longer serves any function and actually causes harm. HB 793 deletes the declaration of enrollment

HSLDA's Position:
Support.
Action Requested:
None at this time
Status:

1/31/2017 Introduced and Read First Time
2/01/2017 Read Second Time

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History