June 29, 2007

Legislative Wrap-up—New Homeschool Guidelines Thwarted

The 2007 legislative session in Indiana was only four months long, but it certainly was busy. The most serious attack on homeschool freedom was a resolution that could have brought new homeschool guidelines to Indiana. Home School Legal Defense Association also actively opposed a bill that would have required any girl entering the sixth grade to receive the human papilomavirus (HPV) vaccine. This year the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and a state constitutional amendment to define marriage were also introduced.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 would have created a committee to examine the need to establish homeschool guidelines. After learning of the bill, HSLDA contacted the sponsor and strongly urged him to drop the resolution. The resolution never was considered in committee.

Through the hard work of many homeschool families, the HPV bill was amended to no longer require mandatory vaccination. Instead the bill turned into a program to educate the public on HPV. While public schools are required to report who is and isn’t vaccinated, homeschool students are exempt.

While the marriage amendment passed the Senate by nearly a 4 to 1 margin, it failed to make it out of committee in the House. The Rules Committee voted to keep the people of Indiana from voting on the marriage issue, even after a majority of the Committee members had supported the amendment during previous elections.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was not able to make it out of committee, but HSLDA will continue to work to see that greater protection for religious freedom is adopted in Indiana.