July 20, 2007

Legislative Wrap-Up—Positive Developments

This year the Colorado legislature closed on May 9. Even though the House, Senate, and Governorship all transferred to Democratic leadership, homeschool freedom survived.

During this session, we tracked many bills and kept very busy. One of the most positive developments was passage of House Joint Resolution 1035, which recognized April 13, 2007, as Home Education Day in Colorado.

This resolution was especially exciting because the Christian Home Educators of Colorado held a rally on the steps of the capitol April 13 to commemorate the special day. At the last minute, the weather threatened to cancel the event, but a miracle intervened. God averted a blizzard, and legislators saw 1,500 people attend the rally to celebrate homeschool freedoms.

We also fought S.B. 80, which would have required female students to receive the new HPV vaccination. This vaccine seeks to prevent the four specific types of HPV (6, 11, 16, and 18) which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. There is currently no cure for these sexually transmitted viruses. Even the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control admit the only “cure” is abstinence before marriage and a monogamous relationship during marriage. Believing that this type of requirement should be left up to parents, we asked you to act, and you did! Thank you for your calls. This bill was stopped before it got out of the Senate committee.

Lastly, the other bill which we closely monitored was S.B. 16, which lowered the compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 6 but included a homeschool exception. Your lobbying efforts of last year to oppose the expansion of compulsory attendance made legislators very willing to keep the homeschool exemption in this year. Treon Goossen with Concerned Parents of Colorado has been a strong, articulate voice for homeschoolers at the capitol. She testified at committee hearings, and made sure that the homeschool exception remained intact. S.B. 16 passed both the Senate and the House with the homeschool exemption in place, and was then signed by Governor Bill Ritter.

After S.B. 16, the compulsory attendance age as of July 2008 will be from age 6 to 17. However, for those families operating under the homeschool statute, the compulsory attendance age will remain just 7 to 16.

We are grateful for your vigilance and involvement to support parental rights in Colorado and keep your ability to homeschool your children free from unreasonable governmental interference.