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Legislative Alert!


Legislative Alert! Please Act Quickly!

Regarding Oklahoma Senate Bill 958 Sen. Dave Rader

Dear Home Educator:

Sen. Dave Rader (Tulsa) has authored an equal access bill which would allow private schools and students educated by other means (homes educators) to participate in extracurricular activities within their local public school district.

This bill could be heard in committee as early as Monday, Feb. 12, so please read this information and see our ACTIONS REQUESTED at the end of this blog.

While this may appear on the surface as a benefit to home educators, this bill could have long-term,

negative consequences for home educators in our state.

In order to participate, the student must meet all requirements and specifications as applicable to the

public school student including, but not limited to, enrollment in the public school, physical exams, drug

testing, academic standards, immunization requirements, behavior, performance, academic testing, and

enrollment into the national database system.

This bill has the potential to do more harm to home educators than to help us. If it seems to you that participating in public school activities would be an easy solution for your family, we pray that you will weigh the benefits with the potential consequences for you and other families.

Once a home educated student is enrolled as a public school student, what will that look like? Who will

measure your student’s academic performance? For those choosing to not vaccinate, will you concede

to the 60+ vaccines required to allow your child to participate? How much of your freedom will you

forfeit to a school district for the sake of extracurricular activities? This bill does not protect against nor

provide answers to any of these questions.

What is the national database system? This isn’t as simple as providing your student’s social security

number. This is a longitudinal data base where over 400 points of information (including biometrics) will

be collected on your child from birth to age 20.

With the wide array of extracurricular activities already afforded to home educated students, there is

really no need for this bill to include our students. In fact, for those home educating students who are currently in homeschool band, choir, sports, robotics, theater, debate, or any other activity, this bill could severly jeopardize those programs. If students begin pulling out of the privatized extracurricular programs, they will eventuall cease to exist. We need to protect them for the hundreds of students who participate.

"This bill has the potential to do more harm to home educators than to help us."

Why Oppose SB958

Because of the way these types of bills are written and the vague language used, the regulations and requirements can easily evolve to encompass ALL home educators, not just those participating in public school extracurricular activities.

Here are a few specifics that cause concern about this bill, and why we are asking you to take action

against SB958.

Section 2: C8 only mentions required immunizations. The entire section 1210.191 of Title 70 which states that a parent may choose to opt their child out of immunizations also needs to also be stated clearly.

Section 2:C4 is confusing as to what organization or association is regulating the interscholastic activities of the school. Is it the OSSAA, the local school board, or the State Board of Education? At one point, Section M, it specifies the State School Board would have some kind of authority when it comes to testing. We are not comfortable with that simply because they have historically been in opposition to home education.

Section 2:C6 states that a student must enroll in "a" course that is "required" to participate in extracurricular activity. What will that course be? Is that left up to the individual district? In addition, how does this play into the Federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision denying homeschool students access to part-time public school enrollment? {Swanson vs. Guthrie Independent School District I-1. 942 F. Supp. 511(W.D. Okla. 1996), affd, 135 F. 3D 694 (10th Cir 1998) } One class is part-time.

Section 2:C7 fails to clarify what is considered the academic standard. What is the academic standard by which these students will be measured, and what might happen if the students do not perform to these expectations, other than not being allowed to participate in the actives?

Section 2:F attempts to add protection against regulatory authority of students educated “by other means.” However, if this bill is passed, the author would be unable to guarantee 100% that this section would not be redacted or altered in any way or at any point in the future. Amendments are made to legislation every day and this would be no exception if someone chose to do so. For example, in South Carolina only one year after passing an equal access bill, a bi-partisan bill was introduced to add additional regulations on all home education across the board.

In addition, every state which does have an equal access law has already had significant regulation in place. Oklahoma does not and we are not willing to risk the fallout which would inevitably happen.

Section 3:A requires the student’s enrollment into the national identification system, which is used for tracking.We believe parents should have the right to opt out of enrolling their student into this national tracking system.

Section 3:B indicates that the school district will receive full funding for the student who enrolls in a single class for the purpose of participating in extracurricular activities. That seems extravagant for one hour of instruction.

Section 4:M states that the BOE shall promulgate rules as necessary to make allowances within the accountability system....what I am hearing is that the OK BOE will be making some new rules that govern the state accountability system. It is impossible to say exactly what those rules will end up being. It would appear that if the course is subject to any statewide assessments then it is likely that their results will be reported to the state accountability system. It appears to me that there is nothing to stop a school from requiring that the course a home educated student has to take is part of the statewide assessments which determine the school grade. I would think that some struggling schools might want home educators to be counted in the statewide accountability system, if not now, it could very easily come to that later. We see this happening in a few other states (AZ and NM) because the rural schools want home educated student test scores to help boost their average. They know that home educated students typically score better and they want them to have to take those EOI's which are part of their accountability (i.e. Testing) program. We are also starting to see this happen in Indiana as the state athletic association just enabled home educated students to participate as long as they take a class along with the required testing.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please contact the sponsor, Senator Rader, and politely give him this message in your own

words:

I am very concerned about SB958. Home educators have a plethora of opportunities for extra-curricular activities without the aid of the public school system. (Include some of

the activities in which your students participate.) It is not worth the risk of regulation or freedom of the masses to implement such a blanket piece of legislation for the few who

might participate. Please withdraw this bill immediately.

You can reach Senator Rader by phone at: (405) 521-5620 or by email at: rader@oksenate.gov.

It appears that this bill has been double assigned to the Education Committee and then to Appropriations. When a bill is double assigned it usually goes to the main Approriations Committee. Please contact as many of the Education Committee and Appropriations Committee (which is the entire Senate!) members as possible and let them know

your concerns about SB958.

EDUCATION COMMITTEE:

Senator Gary Stanislawski, Chair: stanislawski@oksenate.gov

Senator Ron Sharp - Vice Chair - sharp@oksenate.gov

Senator Mark Allen - allen@oksenate.gov

Senator Micheal Bergstrom - bergstrom@oksenate.gov

Senator Josh Brecheen - brecheen@oksenate.gov

Senator J.J. Dossett - dossett@oksenate.gov

Senator Tom Dugger - dugger@oksenate.gov

Senator Eddie Fields - efields@oksenate.gov

Senator Allison Ikley-Freeman - ikley-freeman@oksenate.gov

Senator Dewayne Pemberton - pemberton@oksenate.gov

Senator Paul Scott - paul.scott@oksenate.gov

Senator Jason Smalley - smalley@oksenate.gov

Senator Anthony Sykes - lewis@oksenate.gov

Senator Roger Thompson - thompson@oksenate.gov

APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:

Senator Kim David, Chair - david@oksenate.gov

Senator Eddie Fields, Vice Chair - fields@oksenate.gov

Senator Mark Allen - allen@oksenate.gov

Senator Randy Bass - bass@oksenate.gov

Senator Micheal Bergstrom - bergstrom@oksenate.gov

Senator Stephanie Bice - bice@oksenate.gov

Senator Larry Boggs - boggs@oksenate.gov

Senator Josh Brecheen - brecheen@oksenate.gov

Senator Bill Brown - brownb@oksenate.gov

Senator Nathan Dahm - dahm@oksenate.gov

Senator Julie Daniels - daniels@oksenate.gov

Senator J.J. Dossett - dossett@oksenate.gov

Senator Tom Dugger dugger@oksenate.gov

Senator Kay Floyd - floyd@oksenate.gov

Senator Jack Fry - fry@oksenate.gov

Senator AJ Griffin - griffin@oksenate.gov

Senator David Holt - holt@oksenate.gov

Senator Darcy Jech - jech@oksenate.gov

Senator Chris Kidd - kidd@oksenate.gov

Senator James Leewright- leewright@oksenate.gov

Senator Kevin Matthews - matthews@oksenate.gov

Senator Greg McCortney - mccortney@oksenate.gov

Senator Dan Newberry - newberry@oksenate.gov

Senator Joe Newhouse - newhouse@oksenate.gov

Senator Lonnie Paxton - paxton@oksenate.gov

Senator Roland Pederson - pederson@oksenate.gov

Senator Dewayne Pemberton - pemberton@oksenate.gov

Senator Anastasia Pittman - pittman@oksenate.gov

Senator Adam Pugh - pugh@oksenate.gov

Senator Marty Quinn - quinn@oksenate.gov

Senator Dave Rader - rader@oksenate.gov

Senator Paul Scott - paul.scott@oksenate.gov

Senator Ron Sharp - sharp@oksenate.gov

Senator Wayne Shaw - shaw@oksenate.gov

Senator Joseph Silk - silk@oksenate.gov

Senator Frank Simpson - simpson@oksenate.gov

Senator Jason Smalley - smalley@oksenate.gov

Senator John Sparks - sparks@oksenate.gov

Senator Rob Standridge - standridge@oksenate.gov

Senator Gary Stanislawski - stanislawski@oksenate.gov

Senator Anthony Sykes - lewis@oksenate.gov

Senator Roger Thompson - thompson@oksenate.gov

Senator Ervin Yen - yen@oksenate.gov

Please contact your own state Senator and ask him or her to oppose SB958.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this bill! For more information on this or other bills, please visitconstitutionalhomeeducators.org, or post questions to our FB page:

Constitutional Home Educators

Alliance

JOIN US for our second annual Legislative Impact Day on March 6th!

www.constitutionalhomeeducators.org

info@constitutionalhomeeducators.org

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