The right to home school, 16 March 2008, Danbury News Times, Danbury, Connecticut
Deborah Stevenson, an education attorney who represents Hughes, said her family is one of more than 40 in the past year who found DCF investigators at their doorsteps statewide after removing children from their local district to be home schooled.
School districts often notify DCF after children are removed, she said.
“In all of the cases DCF has found the complaints unsubstantiated because parents have the right to remove their children,” Stevenson said.
State Rep. Arthur O’Neill, R-Southbury, a supporter of home schooling, urged lawmakers on the Legislature’s Select Committee on Children to hold a public hearing on a bill to address the matter.
The legislation would require school districts to accept a student’s withdrawal immediately upon receiving a registered letter from the parents.
“The purpose is to streamline and simplify the process,” O’Neill said. “Currently the process is different in every district.”
The lawmaker added that the only state law on the matter is a statute that has changed little since its inception in the 1680s.
The new legislation, Senate Bill 162, was voted on favorably by the committee and moved forward to the Education Committee for further action.
Stevenson said state Sen. Thomas Gaffey, D-Meriden, chairman of the committee, has refused to hold public hearings on similar legislation proposed in recent years — essentially preventing the bill from moving forward for consideration by the legislature.
Commentary from Consent of the Governed: CT – SB162 – Education Committee To Place Withdrawal Bill On Their Agenda
If the bill is not placed on the agenda before March 19, 2008, it “dies” in committee and there will be no vote on it on the floor of the House or Senate.
Therefore, we are asking anyone who can attend the Education Committee meetings [for a vote at its meeting either on Monday, March 17, 2008 or Tuesday, March 18, 2008], to please do so. You will not have an opportunity to speak – but your presence will speak for you.
posted by Valerie