North Dakota House Bill 1171 passed in the Senate with a 27-20 vote, after amendments to the House version. The passed House version (61 to 33) had no state supervision of homeschooling families. The Senate version requires that parents have at least a high school diploma or GED in order to homeschool with no state supervision. Currently, all homeschool families must have school monitoring.
A related bill concerning mandated kindergarten, (also reducing the compulsory attendance age to 6), came into the discussion about homeschooling regulations in the North Dakota legislature. House Education Chair Kelsch, SB 2202 sponsor, noted that since HB 1171 was likely to pass the House; then homeschoolers notify at 6, and could “be free to start actual instruction under whatever schedule they think best, [so] it should not be a burden”. Her bill failed. It could have been ugly if her advice had been taken and the bill lowering compulsory attendance age passed, while homeschool regulations had not been relaxed.
Home-schoolers oppose kindergarten bill INFORUM Published: 03/11/2009
By: Craig McEwen
Sen. JoNell Bakke, D-Grand Forks, a special education teacher when she is not at the Legislature, sponsored the bill because she believes now that all schools must offer full-day kindergarten, all children should get kindergarten.
James Bartlett, executive director of the North Dakota Home School Association, said it would be a burden for North Dakotans who intend to home school their children to have to file the required statement of intent a year earlier.
Many home educators do not want to begin formal academics at age 6 because research and home educating experience demonstrates that children forced into academics before their brains are physically ready lose the love of learning, he said.
But House Education Chairwoman Rep. Rae Ann Kelsch, R-Mandan, noted that the Legislature likely will pass House Bill 1171, which removes mandatory state supervision of home-schoolers. The bill has passed the House and is being considered in the Senate.
Home school law relaxed Grand Forks Herald Published: 4/06/2009
By: Janell Cole
Opponents of SB1171 included Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, and Sen. Tracy Potter, D-Bismarck, who called it a “radical change” that could cause a bad result for the nearly 1,500 children in the state who are home-schooled.
I would think homeschooling results from other states with no state supervision, would have quelled those worries. Sometimes people ‘hear’ what they want to hear.
An AP article had a different sort of spin about “standards”.
ND Senate reduces home-schooling standards The Associated Press 4/07/2009
By DALE WETZEL
Other lawmakers were dubious of the change, saying it ran counter to efforts to build up North Dakota’s educational standards.
“We have professional oversight for massage therapists, barbers, the medical profession … dog training, well drillers and the like,” said Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo. “Shouldn’t we have oversight for our children?”
Homeschool family standards are different than the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction Standards. Different, but the distinction is not in negating the value of learning.
The options now are: the North Dakota House will have to approve the Senate version or the bill goes into the conference committee.