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Once again, a legislator in Oklahoma introduced a bill that attempted to regulate home education freedom.
This year the attack on home education freedom may even have been greater than in past years. Many of you know that homeschooling is protected under the Oklahoma State Constitution as “other means of education.” House Bill 3099 attempted to add “adequate” into statute and then define what type of education homeschooling families would be required to provide.
It appears that the intent of House Bill 3099 was to modify the constitutional protection of the right of parents to provide other means of education to their children without going through the process of changing the consitution. While the legislature could certainly have added several different ways in which “other means of education” could be provided, we believe this bill would have violated the state constitution by restricting or prohibiting what is currently protected.
Due to the efforts of Oklahoma Christian Home Educators' Consociation (OCHEC), your phone calls, and a large turn out at the annual Home Education Capitol Day House Bill 3099 is effectively dead. OCHEC has received word from Representative Denney, the Chairman of the Appropriations and Budget Education Sub-Committee, that the bill will not be heard in committee. This will kill the bill.
HSLDA was opposed to House Bill 3099 as a threat to home education freedom in Oklahoma.
This bill died in committee.
Under House Bill 3099 the new language of “appropriate education by other means” would have required parents to provide “educationally appropriate and age or grade appropriate instruction.” The instruction required under this bill would have had to ensure that each child attained “at least a minimum level of competencies in a variety of core subject areas” for not less than the time public schools in the state are required to provide instruction.
Some of you may remember that in the 2007 and 2009 legislative session Senator Jim Wilson introduced a bill that would have added several requirements to the freedom that homeschoolers have in Oklahoma. Both times those bills were successfully defeated by the prayers and hard work of families all across Oklahoma. Outstanding attendance at the Oklahoma Home Educators’ Capitol Day also played a big part in the defeat of these bills.
While House Bill 3099 was a greater threat than prior bills to undermining the freedom that homeschoolers have in Oklahoma, once again homeschoolers were able to defeat this attempt to restrict the freedom of home education in Oklahoma. The freedom of the right to provide “other means of education” should remain free and not be undermined.
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