Utah State Senator Aaron Osmond proposes fundamental changes in education policies and trying to get rid of the “ cookie-cutter approach”. Part of his 3-part proposal in SB 39 are homeschooling amendments. Bill opponents say he’s writing legislation comparable to the American Legislative Exchange Council lead with controversial Common Core State Standards proposals. Osmond denies the accusation.
Flagged Bill: SB 39 – Home School Amendments, Sen. Osmond By Curtis Haring
Senator Aaron Osmond (Republican – South Jordan) has been in the education spotlight over the past six months, with his plans to fundamentally alter the way compulsory education is treated in the state of Utah. In December, Osmond told Utah Political Capitol that he will propose legislation that would allow school districts to decide how many hours of class time are necessary, create a sort of parental bill of rights, eliminate the requirement private or home-schooled students be taught by state educational standards, and place strict penalties on parents who are unable to attend parent-teacher conferences.
The Utah Political Capitol also reports other opposition concerns with this bill:
Moderates and liberals, on the other hand, argue that though parents have the right to choose whether their children will attend public, private, or home schools, there is a compelling state interest to ensure that every child’s education reach a set standard, ensuring they have an established set of skills that could be used in the workforce or to enter college once children become adults. To that end, they argue, State Board of Education standards must be made and adhered to.
As long as the playing field is even where public schools ensure an “established set of skills” for high school graduates in their future careers and learning, that seems fair. It doesn’t seem to be the case so far.
Here is part of Senator Osmond’s plan in his own words on Utah Policy:
Bill 1 – Parental Right to Educational Freedom
New Legal Obligation to Choose an Educational Option for each Child
In this bill, I reinforce that the citizens of Utah believe that education is a societal necessity to ensure the preservation of our freedom and to enable future economic prosperity. As such, under this bill all parents/guardians will be required by law to formally choose an educational pathway for each child upon 6 years of age. At that time they must indicate by affidavit to their local district their choice of Home School, Private School, or Public School for their child.
Full Exemption from State Educational Requirements for Home School and Private School Students
To balance the parent’s legal obligation to make this educational choice for their child, those parents who choose Home School or Private School will now be formally exempt from any and all state educational requirements such as classroom time, curriculum standards, testing, or reporting. The formal affidavit of educational choice will be required only when a child enters first grade or when the child moves to a new school district. If a parent/guardian fails to submit an affidavit, current compulsory education law may be appropriately used by the local district to require the parent to make that one-time, affirmative educational choice.