February 18, 2015
Nevada Senate Education Committee Members
401 South Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4707
Via Email to Committee Members
RE: SB 126 – Please Vote No, or Amend per request
Dear Chair Harris, Vice Chair Hammond, Senators Gustavson, Lipparelli, Woodhouse, Denis, and Segerblom;
By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for Nevada families who have chosen to direct the education of their children pursuant to NRS 392.070.
We are writing in regards to SB 126 – Revises provisions relating to education (BDR 34-408).
AN ACT relating to education; requiring the State Board of Education to prescribe quality and evaluation measures or early childhood education programs and prekindergarten programs provided at schools; requiring the State Board to prescribe surveys and assessments to identify certain pupils whose primary language is a language other than English or who are learning to speak two languages simultaneously; requiring certain pupils to be assessed and classified as limited English proficient or English proficient upon enrollment for kindergarten; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Senate Bill 126 would require the State Board of Education to regulate any early childhood education or prekindergarten program provided at a private, public or charter school in this state based on the recommendations of the Nevada Early Childhood Advisory Council. Senate Bill 126 would also require the State Board to prescribe surveys of pupils at the home in order to assess and classify the pupil as limited English proficient or English proficient.
SB 126 infringes upon the fundamental parental right and responsibility to direct the education of their child and increases governmental control of young children in this State. This bill also allows the government to invade the privacy of a citizen’s home in pursuit of information via an undefined survey. SB 126 is excessive in its scope, will adversely affect free-market PreK programs by offering free government “competition”, saddles private early childhood education programs with government regulation, and categorizes pupils unnecessarily.
We hold that:
1. Parents act in the best interest of the child with regards to choosing when, where and how their child is educated. In this bill private preschools would now be regulated by the State, abolishing the parental right to choose ECE programs that are not controlled by the State.
2. The Nevada Constitution (Article 11 Section 2) specifies the purpose of common schools is instruction but instruction in a school for very young children has been shown in many studies to have detrimental effects. Therefore, increasing State spending on pre-Kindergarten programs is not a wise use of tax-payer money. According to the Governor’s office, December 2014, the preschool population will increase by 58% over 4 years.
3. Early childhood programs for children birth through age 4 should solely be the parent’s responsibility.
4. Programs offered and regulated by the government that are at first “voluntary” often become “mandatory” in the future. NHN has testified against bills nearly every legislative session over the past decade, aimed to lower the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 6 or even 5 as was the case in 2013.
5. The Nevada Early Childhood Advisory Council is appointed by the Governor but does not include a single parent representative; clearly the input of parents regarding the early education of their child has been disregarded in this process and NRS 432A.076, adopted in 2013, is punitive to Nevada families.
6. Private early childhood education and preschool options should not be regulated by the K-12 public school system. Governor Jim Gibbons acknowledged that parents know what’s best for their children in his 2009 Veto of SB 378 that sought to establish provisions relating to certain early childhood education programs.
7. This bill also allows for government officials to invade private homes to identify children whose primary language is not English. The home is the sanctuary for the family. The state should not seek entrance to a home without warrant or probable cause of danger to a child or others in the home.
We’d again like to take this opportunity to direct your attention to a recent paper by Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association refuting the need for government sponsored ECE programs. No Lasting Gains from Early Education or Preschool extensively documents the failure of early childhood education efforts to produce “lasting gains” in the educational experience of a child which would include both ECE programs, pre-Kindergarten as well as all-day Kindergarten. The paper contains the results of many sources of research, with each item summarized very succinctly and footnoted.
Based on the above, it is our request that you vote NO on this bill to minimize the expansion of formal early childhood academics which are shown by research to be detrimental, costly without benefit, and contrary to parental right.
However, if the Legislature decides that this bill is still necessary for funding and regulation of public ECE and PreK programs, NHN requests that the Senate Education Committee amend SB 126 as follows;
1 Section 1. Chapter 385 of NRS is hereby amended by adding
2 thereto a new section to read as follows:
3 The State Board shall prescribe by regulation quality and
4 evaluation measures for any early childhood education program
5 and prekindergarten program provided at [
a private school or] a
6 public school, including, without limitation, a charter school. In
7 prescribing such measures by regulation, the State Board shall
8 consider the recommendations of the Nevada Early Childhood
9 Advisory Council made pursuant to subparagraph (4) of
10 paragraph (d) of subsection 2 of NRS 432A.076.
And in Section 2, page 3 :
1 prescribed by the State Board pursuant to this [
3 (2) Prescribing a survey to be conducted [
at the home] at a public or charter school of a
4 pupil that provides for the identification of pupils whose primary
5 language is a language other than English;
6 (3) Requiring the use of an appropriate assessment for the
7 identification of pupils who are dual language learners in:
8 (I) An early childhood education program;
9 (II) A prekindergarten program;
10 (III) Kindergarten; and
11 (IV) Grades 1 to 12, inclusive; and
12 (4) Requiring any pupil in an early childhood education
13 program or a prekindergarten program at a public or charter school identified as a dual
14 language learner to be assessed and classified as limited English
15 proficient or English proficient upon enrollment for kindergarten.
Parents are the best early childhood educators and efforts should be made to support this vital component of every child’s life without government direction. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Frank D. Schnorbus, Chair Elissa M. Wahl, Vice-Chair
NHN Officers: Barbara Dragon, D. Raymond Poole, Kelley Millard Radow, Aaron Sutherland, Kristi Casaus
Internet address for:
Governor Gibbons’ Veto Message; https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/75th2009/Reports/VetoMessages/Veto_SB378_052809.pdf
No Lasting Gains from Early Education or Preschool; http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/S/State_Early_Education.asp
February 8, 2015 – IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION
NHN Opposes SB 25. By Tuesday morning, 2/10/15 please do one, two or all three things to block government “education” programs for children, birth to preschool… this a parental right and responsibility!
1. Leave your opinion on the Legislature Opinion Page by “voting” AGAINST SB 25 at https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/78th2015/A/
2. Let members of the Senate Education Committee know what you think, https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/78th2015/Committee/66/Overview
3. Attend the hearing on SB 25 in Carson City or Las Vegas at 3:30 p.m. Hearing location/agenda:https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/78th2015/Agendas/Senate/ED/Final/63.pdf
Here is NHN’s positon statement that is being emailed to the Senate Education Committee for more background information on why we are opposing SB 25:
February 9, 2015
RE: February 10, 2015 Senate Education Committee Hearing, SB 25
Nevada Senate Education Committee Members
401 South Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4707
Via Email to Committee Members
Dear Chair Harris, Vice Chair Hammond, Senators Gustavson, Lipparelli, Woodhouse, Denis, and Segerblom;
By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for Nevada families who have chosen to direct the education of their children pursuant to NRS 392.070.
We are writing today with regards to SB 25 – Revises provisions relating to public schools (BDR 34-316). Although there are many items of concern in this bill we would specifically like to address Section 2, Item 7 amending NRS 385.175 to add, “Coordinate educational programs for children from birth through prekindergarten” to the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s duties.
NHN opposes SB 25, Section 2 as it infringes upon the fundamental parental right and responsibility to direct the upbringing, education and care of their child. We do not support this new language because:
• NHN believes that parents act in the best interest of the child with regards to choosing when, where and how their child is educated. Free government programs force private schools (and day-care businesses) out of business thereby reducing parental choice, and collect data on the child and family.
• Kindergarten is offered by the public school system for 5 year olds (optional, not compulsory).
• NRS 385.175 clearly limits the Superintendent’s responsibilities to the system of K-12 public education.
• The Nevada Constitution (Article 11 Section 2) specifies the purpose of common schools is instruction but instruction for very young children has been shown in many studies to have detrimental effects. Therefore, educational programs for children from birth through age 4 do not, nor should they, fall under the superintendent’s purview.
• Participation in programs that at first are “voluntary” often become “mandatory” in the future. NHN and others have fought bills nearly every legislative session over the past decade, at least, to lower the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 6 or even 5 as was the case in 2013.
• At present, there are plenty of private options available to parents seeking to provide additional educational opportunities outside of the home for their children from birth to preschool. Governor Jim Gibbons acknowledged this in his 2009 Veto of SB 378 – Establishes provisions relating to certain early childhood education programs.
We’d also like to direct your attention to a recent paper by Scott A. Woodruff, Esq., an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association refuting the need for government sponsored ECE programs. “No Lasting Gains from Early Education or Preschool” extensively documents the failure of early childhood education efforts to produce “lasting gains” in the educational experience of a child which would include both ECE programs as well as all-day Kindergarten. The paper contains the results of many sources of research, with each item summarized very succinctly and footnoted.
NHN requests that the Senate Education Committee delete Section 2, Item 7 of SB 25, allowing parents to continue to maintain full responsibility for the education of their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Parents are the best early childhood educators and efforts should be made to support this vital component of every child’s life without government direction.
Frank D. Schnorbus, Chair
Elissa M. Wahl, Vice-Chair
NHN Officers: Barbara Dragon, D. Raymond Poole, Kelley Millard Radow, Aaron Sutherland, Kristi Casaus
Internet address for:
Governor Gibbons’ Veto of SB 378 in 2009, https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/75th2009/Reports/VetoMessages/Veto_SB378_052809.pdf
“No Lasting Gains from Early Education or Preschool”; http://nevadahomeschoolnetwork.com/related-legislative-issues/Woodruff.ECE.SKMBT_36113050615120.pdf-1/
The first two bills of concern to Nevada parents have reached committee. Please take a moment to review these bills and then “vote” on the bill on the Legislature website, write your State Senator (be sure to tell him/her that you live in the district they represent) and members of the Senate Education to give them your opinion on these bills (links provided below).
SB 25 – has been sent to the Senate Education Committee.
Section 2 of this bill authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to, “Coordinate educational programs for children from birth through prekindergarten.”
This sentence needs to be removed from this bill. PARENTS not the government are responsible for education programs for their children from birth through preschool, this is not the role of the K-12 education system. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/78th2015/Reports/history.cfm?ID=37
SB 117 – is also in Senate Education Committee.
Legislative Counsel’s Digest:
Existing law provides a list of diseases for which a child must obtain an immunization as a condition to enrollment in a school or admittance to a child care facility in this State, unless the child is excused because of religious belief or a medical condition. (NRS 392.435, 394.192, 432A.230) This bill adds human papillomavirus (HPV) and meningococcal disease to that list of diseases. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/78th2015/Reports/history.cfm?ID=257
Please take a moment to leave your opinion on the Legislature Opinion Page by “voting” on these bills at https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/78th2015/A/
Write you state Senator and let them know what you think.
Let members of the Senate Education Committee know what you think, https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/78th2015/Committee/66/Overview
We appreciate your participation in making our government work for us!
January 18, 2015 – NHN warns of possible government control of homeschooling in Nevada
By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) has advocated for Nevada families who have chosen to direct the education of their children since 2002.
Whereas, the mission of NHN is to advocate for the parental right to direct the education of their child, free from governmental oversight; and
Whereas, NHN believes that it is the duty of our government officials to be accountable to tax payers for money spent, and this governmental oversight includes auditing, the purchase of government approved materials, and performance based outcomes that meet state educational standards; and
Whereas, the term “homeschool” is legally defined in Nevada whereby parents take full responsibility for the education of the child, without provision of governmental services or materials; and
Whereas, homeschooling is an alternative to government controlled school choice; and
Whereas, NHN is concerned that alternative education funding programs intending to benefit a student with a government controlled “choice in education” will jeopardize homeschool autonomy from government oversight; now, therefore,
NHN is opposed to adoption of any alternative education program in this state that utilizes tax-payer funding, either directly or indirectly, on behalf of a child who is being homeschooled pursuant to NRS 392.070, including government controlled voucher programs and Education Savings Accounts.
NHN supports Scholarship Organization plans that do not utilize or require governmental funding or control.
Frank Schnorbus, Chairman
Elissa Wahl, Vice-Chair
D. Raymond Poole, Secretary
Barbara Dragon, Treasurer
Kelley Millard Radow, Officer
Aaron Sutherland, Officer
What about homeschools and…
Vouchers? No, government regulations always accompany vouchers.
Education Savings Accounts? May benefit homeschooling but must follow federal law.
Scholarship Organization? There are favorable Scholarship Organization Laws in a few states.
December 14, 2014 – Homeschoolers NOT affected by new driver license law
A concerned parent saw this report on the news, http://www.ktvn.com/story/27615412/new-state-law-affects-students-ability-to-get-drivers-license-or-permit and asked if would affect a homeschooled student’s ability to apply for a driver’s license.
But not to worry, homeschoolers are exempt. See Section 11, Section D(2) of SB 269 from the 2013 Legislative session, http://www.leg.state.nv.us/…/77th…/Bills/SB/SB269_EN.pdf
The bill is intended to stop students who are enrolled in the public school and have a record of habitual truancy from getting or keeping a driver’s license.
We were aware of the bill last session and were assured that the intent was not to stop homeschooled students from getting their driver’s license. When a homeschooled student applies for a driver’s permit or license they will just need to bring a copy of the “Receipt” from the school district that was sent to you when you submitted your NOI.
If the school district failed to mail a receipt to the parent, the parent should always request one (that is why we recommend parents mail in the NOI certified mail with a return receipt cart, that will also serve as proof that the NOI was filed if the district fails to send a receipt which does tend to happen). If you misplace your receipt you can also call and ask for a copy since the districts are suppose to keep them “on file” for 15 years from the date they were filed.
Sept. 16, 2013 (link to NHN postion letter here)
Last Monday, Sept. 9th NHN received word that homeschoolers would no longer be allowed to play sports for a specific private school in Las Vegas. While speaking with the principal, it became clear this was a decision forced upon him. After some research and many phone calls, it appears that the NIAA (Nevada Interscholastic Athletic Association) is colluding with private schools to ban homeschoolers from playing at private schools.
In 2003, NV law was changed to allow homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities in the public school including sports. The law is silent, purposefully so, on the issue of homeschoolers playing for private schools. That allows each individual private school to decide if they want to allow a homeschool student to participate (public school must allow an eligible student to participate). Large private schools like Bishop Gorman have enough players to cull from their own student body but it is the small private schools that have historically been open to homeschoolers playing sports on their teams.
In 2005, SB221 was before the Assembly to clarify that homeschoolers could participate in sports at ALL grade levels, not just the NIAA governed grades 9 – 12. The bill eventually passed and was signed into law. Then Assemblyman Joe Hardy asked for exact language to be read from the Assembly floor that states the intent of the bill.
“The intent of SB221 is to allow, for all grade levels, any homeschooled child to try out and participate in interscholastic activities and events, including sports, in the public school he is zoned for, or to try out and participate in interscholastic activities and events, including sports, at a private school if the private school has a policy allowing participation. No league, association, or other governing authority may prevent a private school from having homeschooled children participate, or force a private school to accept homeschool participation, and the same rules that apply to children in the public or private school also apply to the homeschooled child.”
Approximately 2 years ago, there was an issue with a different private school saying that homeschoolers could no longer play for their school. After looking into it more at the time, it was determined this was due to a “gentleman’s handshake”, an agreement amongst private schools, to not allow homeschool students to play and the school in question was being strong armed into honoring the “agreement”. NHN made some phone calls at the time and eventually the determination came back that homeschoolers were welcome. Today, homeschoolers happily play for that school.
Nevada Revised Statutes (applicable statutes included at end of this letter) clearly state that:
1. Public schools may not restrict the eligibility or participation of homeschooled student any more than an enrolled public school student.
2. A school or organization shall not discriminate against homeschooled child.
3. The NIAA may not restrict the eligibility or participation of a homeschooled student any more than an enrolled public or PRIVATE school student.
What went wrong?
While NHN has not attended recent NIAA meetings, nor the private school meetings, we have the NIAA meeting minutes that clearly show there has been a “statewide philosophical agreement amongst all private schools to ban homeschoolers from sports”, please see the NIAA meeting Minutes for June 19th and 20th section 26 speaks about a statewide philosophical agreement.
“Liaison Walter thanked the Board for allowing him to serve nine years as the Private School liaison and vowed to still be involved as an active athletic director (Faith Lutheran High School). Mr. Walter expressed a concern with Calvary Chapel allowing home school students to compete, something that goes against a statewide private school philosophical agreement. Mr. Walter discussed the positive changes being made to the Private School Compliance Form”
That alone is some inflammatory news but there is more! After speaking with various coaches and athletic directors in Las Vegas, it is evident that some private schools are clearly against homeschoolers being allowed to play for ANY private school, and have bullied other private schools into agreeing with this decision. One private school even suggested they would forfeit their own games against any team where homeschoolers were being played. Imagine the pressure on the private school holding out and allowing homeschoolers to play on their team. Regrettably, the last private school holding out caved to the pressure this week and denied homeschool students the right to play on their school’s team.
Approximately 8 homeschool students play various sports at this school. One family has been involved with the basketball team for 3 years! Their son is a senior and is will not be able to play his senior year!! One family is a coach for that school, and his kids aren’t going to be allowed to play after all the time and effort he has put into it.
But this “statewide philosophical ban” doesn’t just affect those 8 kids. It affects any homeschooler who is now or desires in the future to play sports for a private school. This is clearly discrimination against homeschoolers.
What Can you do?
1. Contact NHN if your student (a homeschooler) has ever played/or is currently playing for a private school in NV. We need your stories.
2. Contact NHN if your homeschooled student has been denied the opportunity to try-out or play for a private school in NV.
3. Contact NHN if your homeschooled child would be interested in playing sports for a local private school in the future. We need to hear from you too in order to show that many students now and in the future will be affected by this “agreement” to disallow homeschool on private school teams.
4. Email the NIAA Board Members (and cc your Assemblyperson and State Senator) to let them know your thoughts! If there is a concern about homeschoolers playing sports with private school teams they should:
a) include homeschoolers in the talks; b) make decisions that are in accordance with the law, including the Open Meeting Law; c) make policies that are not blanket bans, but rather address the specific concerns, and d) Most importantly, ask them to NOT ban homeschoolers from playing on private school teams in policy, action, or endorsement.
And lastly, if you live in the Reno area, plan to attend the next NIAA Board Meeting to be held Oct. 7th and 8th at the Peppermill. You can prepare a 2 minute speech to succinctly express your position on the discrimination by some private schools against homeschool student athletes.
At the moment NHN is looking into our legal options. Further, Kelley Radow and I will be attending the NIAA Board Meeting, working to protect your rights! We do need your financial assistance in this matter… if you can donate to NHN it would help us meet travel and lodging expenses to the NIAA meeting (click on “Donate” button on lower right side of our home page). Our financial reserve is quite low after meeting expenses during the just concluded NV Legislative Session. Your generosity for the sake of all Nevada homeschool children would be greatly appreciated! We’ll keep you updated and please feel free to contact me or any of the NHN Officers if you have more information and/or questions.
June 16, 2013
NHN Final Report on the 2013 Nevada Legislative Session
This was a busy year at the Nevada legislature for Nevada Homeschool Network!
Since NHN was first formed in 2002 we’ve been involved in every legislative session. In 2003 and 2005 we worked on problems confronting homeschoolers, and of course in 2007 we successfully asked the legislature to pass one of the best homeschool laws in the country. While promoting legislation, we’ve also been active in every session to ask the legislature to either amend or in some cases to kill bills that would impinge on our homeschool and parental freedoms.
This is a wrap-up on the five bills that consumed the majority of our time, beginning of course with SB314. This is the Parental Rights law that NHN promoted, so more ink will be splattered on that one, naturally! We hope this overview of our experiences at the legislature this session will give you an appreciation for the work that NHN does, since so much of it is unseen in real time. But more importantly, we hope this overview gives you an understanding of how important you are to the successes we’ve had at the Legislature. Thank you, and enjoy!
SB314 – Parental Rights – SUCCESS! – Successfully Passed!
For years we’ve maintained that homeschooling and the larger field of parental rights are non-partisan issues, and we’ve worked with both parties in all sessions. This session, even before November’s elections, we decided to ask Mo Denis (D) to sponsor our bill. In 2007, then-Assemblyman Denis was instrumental in getting our 2007 homeschool law passed through the Assembly. So last fall Elissa Wahl and Frank Schnorbus met with now-Senator Denis to ask him for a bill that would make it a law that parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education and care of their child. He agreed, but he knew it had the potential to be an emotional and divisive bill. Being larger than simply homeschooling we knew we had our work cut out for us on how to approach this issue! The rationale for such a law would need to be demonstrated since most people presume it has always been in statute. Based on the experiences of other States we knew the bureaucrats in government schools and state child welfare agencies would oppose parental rights. We expected them to testify that if our bill passed there would be chaos in schools, and parents would legally be allowed to abuse and neglect their children. And subsequently that was exactly the tenor of their testimonies during this session.
Getting this bill passed was truly a team effort in every respect. While Frank Schnorbus worked on research and a plan to present our arguments, Barbara Dragon became our voice to the world through the NHN website, emails, Facebook and Twitter, and more importantly was a key leader in all of our decisions. Kelley Radow enlisted every person and resource at her disposal to set up meetings with key legislators and the Governor’s office, and spent untold hours coordinating our lobbying schedule with legislative secretaries. Laura Siegel and her husband Chip were instrumental in helping Frank write the pamphlet that would present our case, and she also helped Kelley when possible. Being the newest board member, Ray Poole attended many important meetings at the legislature, “learning the ropes” for future sessions. And as usual, Elissa Wahl in keeping with her reputation in all of Las Vegas as the go-to person for all alternative schooling matters, made contacts and testified in favor of the bill at both hearings from Las Vegas. Because Frank, Barbara, Kelley and Ray live closest to Carson City they were able to spend countless hours lobbying individual senators and members of the assembly, an intricate and very necessary part of ushering a piece of legislation through to final passage. In addition, we contacted Mike Smith at HSLDA, who supplied sample language. We then contacted Michael Ramey at ParentalRights.org, and he agreed to let us be the PRO liaisons for Nevada. When time came for hearings in the Judiciary Committees of both the Senate, and later the Assembly, Mike Smith deferred to Scott Woodruff, an attorney representing PRO. Scott’s testimony (and his advice throughout) was indispensable! Since both Judiciary Committees consist largely of attorneys, Scott could discuss the legal ramifications of all aspects, including simply defining the three types of rights that we have in America: absolute, fundamental, and ordinary.
But the greatest factor in our success was YOU! Over the years we’ve seen many good bills fail because the public is not interested. When we needed you, you responded, and THAT is why we have a fundamental parental rights law in Nevada today!
The bill itself passed unanimously out of Senate Judiciary, and also on the Senate floor. On the Assembly side there was much more resistance. In one memorable meeting Assembly Majority Leader William Horne (D) was very hostile, not listening to anything we tried to say. Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick (D) was in attendance, and she told us that a straw poll in the Assembly showed 31 out of 42 were opposed to making parental rights fundamental in Nevada law. Judiciary chairman Jason Frierson (D) agreed to hear the bill, but in order to get it to pass he felt it was necessary to change the wording from “upbringing, education and care” of the child to “care, custody and management” of the child. He also agreed to add wording that was submitted by Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) that this law would not allow a parent to be unlawful or to abuse or neglect a child. Although this DCFS request has Jill Marano, Deputy Administrator of DCFS on the letter, Chrystal Main presented it to the committee. Ms. Main, in a difficult situation regarding foster children a few years ago, told Frank Schnorbus that her first priority is to “protect the interests of her agency”. Apparently, opposing a law giving parents fundamental rights with regards to their own children is in the best interests of DCFS. The bill did finally pass the Judiciary Committee, with members Richard Carrillo (D), Lesley Cohen (D), and Ira Hansen (R) opposing the statement that the liberty interest of a parent in the care, custody and management of the parent’s child is a fundamental right. When the full Assembly voted it was Yea 27, Nay 14, Excused 1.
As far as the legislators themselves are concerned, we did make new friends, and we did have some unpleasant surprises. For example, on the good side; in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing both Senators Scott Hammond (R) and Mark Hutchinson (R) championed the bill. When time came to vote on our bill in the Assembly Judiciary, Olivia Diaz (D) spoke up and called our bill “a breath of fresh air”, and she agreed to present our bill to the full Assembly. We were so thankful! On the other hand, when we met with Assemblyman Ira Hansen (R) we were assured we were wasting our time because he was in such agreement with the bill, but when the time came to vote he voted against parental rights twice, once in committee and again on the full Assembly floor. On the Assembly floor the people who don’t think parents should have this fundamental right codified in law were Maggie Carlton (D), Richard Carrillo (D), Lesley Cohen (D), Andy Eisen (D), John Ellison (R), Lucy Flores (D), Tom Grady (R), John Hambrick (R), Ira Hansen (R), William Horne (D), Pete Livermore (R), Harvey Munford (D), Dina Neal (D), and Heidi Swank (D).
By this point in the process we thought our troubles were over, but we were wrong! We put in a request to have a photo op with Governor Sandoval (R) when he signed our bill, and it was granted! We were so happy because we had worked so hard on this important piece of legislation! But it was short-lived; that evening we were told the signing ceremony was postponed due to “scheduling issues.” During the session, we had met twice with the Governor’s staff on this bill specifically, plus one other time on another bill (SB445). We started hearing rumors that the Governor was having problems with our bill, but we never got an answer on what specifically. Was it because it was Mo Denis (D) who sponsored the bill? Was it the content of the bill itself? Was it because we had advocated for amendments to the Governor’s pet bill SB445? What we do know is that on June 6 we saw the Legislature website was updated to reflect that the Governor signed SB314 into law on June 5. We never got the photo op… Then, apparently as a reflection of some total confusion in the Governor’s office, Frank Schnorbus’s written request to the Governor to sign SB314 was replied to with an email thanking him for writing their office concerning SB221. A few days later Barbara Dragon received a similar response to her SB314 request, thanking her for writing them concerning AB46. The ending to the journey of SB 314 was very odd indeed.
Of course there are many other “behind the scenes” stories, but in the end we are thankful for this becoming law! We believe we are the very first State to get a parental rights law passed where there is a Democratically controlled legislature and a Republican Governor. We are also very thankful to Senator Mo Denis and to his staff Todd Westergard and Denise Davis.
SB192 – Religious Freedom Preservation – Defeated, unfortunately.
There was another bill in front of the legislature that dealt with Constitutional issues, this one was patterned after the Federal RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. It was aimed at governmental actions that substantially burden a person’s free exercise of their religion. NHN is interested in this for two reasons: first a substantial percentage of homeschoolers do so for religious reasons, so NHN supports any law that reinforces their right to do so, and second NHN actually submitted similar language in 2007. But in 2007 it was not to be; a clerical mistake said the bill language had to be an educational issue, so instead of RFRA we changed course and got our homeschool law instead! But 2013 was not the year for RFRA either. After passing the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate, it died in committee when Jason Frierson, the Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, held a hearing but refused to let the bill come up for a vote. NHN was not the primary organization behind this effort, but we did testify in favor of it.
AB203 – Grandparents Rights – Successfully Defeated!
As NHN was working to draft the arguments to pass the Parental Rights bill, we heard that Assemblyman Pete Livermore (R) was sponsoring a Grandparent’s rights bill. Previous experience in the Nevada legislature on this kind of effort caused us great concern, and we immediately asked Assemblyman Livermore to work with us so that we could confirm that his grandparents bill and our parental rights bill didn’t conflict. Unfortunately the language of the bill, when the LCB got it drafted, would have allowed grandparents to interfere in their own children’s lives, taking them to court and forcing the parents to allow visitation between the grandparents and the grandchildren. Parents may have a reason to not want their children to be with the grandparents, having spent their own childhood with those grandparents. Furthermore, it is easy to envision grandparents who might not have agreed to the marriage to begin with, and would use such a law to create disharmony and stress in the marriage in order to induce a breakup of the family. The US Supreme Court had already ruled on this exact situation in the Troxel case (2000), and the Nevada legislature has already denied this same or similar language in 2007, 2005 and 2001. Existing Nevada law already gives the Family Courts the ability to grant certain rights to grandparents in divorce and similar situations. This bill got a hearing in the Assembly, but it never made it out of committee. NHN testified against this bill because of the infringement on parental rights that this would have allowed.
SB182 – Lowering of School Age to 5, Full Day Kindergarten – Successfully Defeated!
This bill came up early in the session and NHN was there to testify. This bill, as introduced, would have lowered the compulsory school age from 7 down to 5, and simultaneously would have required that all 5 year old children attend full day kindergarten in public schools. During testimony several organizations and individuals testified against the age 5 for compulsory attendance requirement. Several others testified in favor, stating that those opposed to starting their child at age 5 could simply homeschool their child. While NHN was appreciative that legislators and pro-public school advocates recognized the homeschool alternative, NHN was deeply concerned about the circumstances whereby parents who didn’t plan to homeschool might be forced to in order to meet the needs of their child. Current law allows children to start kindergarten at age 5, and further allows parents to delay formal schooling until age 7, based on the needs of the child as determined by the parent(s). NHN was also concerned about the effect of full day kindergarten; some States already mandate full day kindergarten, but the long term effects of this practice are a matter of academic debate. NHN believes the parent(s) should be the ones to determine what is appropriate for their child, not the government.
After we testified against it on these points, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Debbie Smith (D) offered to amend the bill to address our concerns about the compulsory age. In her amendment she left the bill’s compulsory attendance age change from 7 down to 5, but allowed for parents to hold their child back an extra year if they filed exemption paperwork at age 5. Although NHN acknowledged that this would be better, the bill still would have required full day attendance in Kindergarten. Ultimately, though, it was the budgetary impact that this law would have had on the State’s budget that caused it to stall. NHN continues to be very concerned that although there is a growing library of evidence that Early Childhood Education (ECE) is detrimental to a child’s development and brings about only temporary academic advantages, the State bureaucracies and labor unions that would benefit from earlier and earlier State programs may eventually win. Regretfully, NHN believes that the Governor does not oppose ECE as a matter of principle, but instead looks at it as a luxury that we can’t currently afford.
Homeschoolers in Nevada do have a great homeschool law, but we must guard homeschooling against the public school impulse to use homeschooling as a scapegoat for their failed programs or policies. Homeschooling is a commitment that the parent(s) must make on their own, not be coerced into. In 2005 NHN successfully went to the Nevada Legislature with SB 367 to change the law that forced the parents of certain children kicked out of their public school to homeschool those children. That was a recipe for disaster; parents who had already lost control of their children having to take on the added responsibility of providing the child with an education. But NHN was able to refocus the law onto independent study programs, distance education programs, and the new charter schools that were emerging. The public school system saw homeschooling as a dumping ground, being able to rid themselves of difficult children, while saddling homeschooling with non-academic and often violent students. NHN will continue to advocate against the use of homeschooling for such political and bureaucratic reasons.
SB445 – Nevada Educational Choice Program – Defeated, fortunately, and unfortunately!
The Governor came up with the very innovative program that would have allowed businesses, financial institutions and others who pay an excise tax to make a donation to a scholarship organization. That organization in turn would provide grants to children in homes whose income is less than three times the poverty level, allowing them to attend schools in this State, including private schools. It could also be used to pay for educational expenses associated with an “accredited program of homeschool study.”
NHN fundamentally agrees with the concept, and saw this as a great potential for all low-income students in Nevada, including homeschoolers. However, the wording in the bill used language that apparently came from current law that allows local school districts to accept credits earned, in an “accredited” program, toward graduation when enrolling in a public high school after homeschooling. As written, SB 445 would have given authority back to the local school district to “approve” a homeschool, negating existing homeschool law for those students wanting to use the scholarship. Other states that have passed similar “scholarship” laws have pointedly left homeschoolers out, so NHN was very grateful for our inclusion in the bill, but also very concerned that this program could and would be used to put homeschoolers back under the oppressive fist of the public school system. So we met with the Governor’s office, and were told that the Governor would not be willing to exclude homeschoolers. Instead they suggested that we find a way to fix the language to accommodate homeschooling, which we did.
Unfortunately, the Governor’s staff did not make use of our work, presumably assuming that NHN wouldn’t notice. When the day of the hearing arrived, NHN had been working to inform other organizations and interested parties about the potential for the loss of our homeschooling freedoms. The bill already had its detractors, especially those invested in the public school system who saw this as a way to bypass their monopoly on all monies in the State. Begrudgingly NHN had to testify against the bill as written, and other organizations that would otherwise have supported the bill also opposed it because of the homeschool issue. Although the Governor’s staff then said (again) that they’d accommodate our concerns, the bill never went any further, apparently due to a lack of interest by the Governor. NHN would very much have liked to testify in favor but under the circumstances had to oppose SB 445.
Other Bills and Miscellaneous Notes
Needless to say there were many other bills that NHN tracked. Many were bills that we may have agreed or disagreed with, but decided not to lobby on due to the lack of their direct applicability to homeschooling and/or parental rights. Which is just as well! Working at the legislature, while we all have day jobs, and children and/or grandchildren, is exhausting! We at NHN are volunteers, and in the legislature we are registered as “non-paid’ lobbyists. It is difficult to compete against paid lobbyists who literally spend their entire days in the legislature building, roaming the halls and talking to legislators in the hallways and at lunch and dinner.
The difference, clearly, was YOU! When we really needed you to call or email, you did! Those paid lobbyists simply do not have that kind of rapport with their members or the public. It is a great privilege to advocate for homeschooling in general, and for parents in particular.
And now one last favor, should you be inclined to do so. A gift to or joining NHN now would GREATLY support our ongoing work. Donations/memberships help pay for ink cartridges, paper, gas, and other minor expenses incurred by our officers during the session. Please visit the NHN website today; even a small amount helps to defend homeschooling and parental rights specific to Nevada. Thank you!
Nevada Homeschool Network Officers
Frank Schnorbus, Elissa Wahl, Barbara Dragon, Ray Poole, Kelley Radow, Laura Siegel
June 6, 2013
It is done! SB 314 is now law and goes into effect October 1, 2013. Thank you to every single person who took the time to call, email, attend hearings, testify, and forward our posts to your friends and family in response to our “Action Requests”. Your efforts helped get this important bill passed in just one legislative session. It could not have happened without you!
Frank Schnorbus, Barbara Dragon, Kelley Radow, Elissa Wahl, Ray Poole & Laura Siegel
ParentalRights.org/NEVADA Legislative Liaisons
Senate Bill 314 Summary: providing that the right of a parent to make decisions regarding the care, custody and management of his or her child is a fundamental right.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEVADA, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Chapter 126 of NRS is hereby amended by adding thereto a new section to read as follows:
1. The liberty interest of a parent in the care, custody and management of the parent’s child is a fundamental right.
2. Nothing in this section shall be construed to:
(a) Authorize a parent to engage in any unlawful conduct or to abuse or neglect a child in violation of the laws of this State.
(b) Prohibit courts, law enforcement officers or employees of an agency which provides child welfare services from acting in their official capacity within the scope of their authority.
3. Except as otherwise provided by specific statute, the provisions of this section apply to any statute, local ordinance or regulation and the implementation of such statute, local ordinance or regulation regardless of whether such statute, local ordinance or regulation was adopted or effective before, on or after October 1, 2013.
4. As used in this section, “agency which provides child welfare services” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 432B.030.
June 4, 2013
The 77th Session of the Nevada Legislature is now over. Status update on bills NHN testified on with links to NELIS where you can read NHN or ParentalRights.org/NEVADA’s testimony:
SB 314 – “Fundamental Parental Rights” NHN supported, bill PASSED and has been sent to the Governor for signature or veto. Please see our note below dated 6/2/13 for CALL TO ACTION
SB 182 – would have mandated that all Kindergartens in every public school be “full-day” in Nevada and lowered the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5. NHN opposed, bill DIED in the Senate Finance Committee without action. Nevada parents are still free to decide WHEN their child begins school.
SB 445 – The Governor’s “Scholarship Bill” for low income students to attend private or home school. NHN supported the concept but had to oppose the bill. Unfortunately language in the bill would have put homeschoolers using this option back under the authority/approval of the local school district which is unacceptable. NHN met with the Governor’s office and submitted an amendment request to fix this problem but the bill DIED in the Senate Finance Committee without a vote.
AB 203 – An unconstitutional bill that would have allowed grandparents to sue married parents for visitation with their grandchildren against the parents wishes. NHN opposed the bill and it DIED in the Assembly Judiciary Committee without a vote.
SB 192 – Religious Freedom Bill. NHN supported but the bill DIED in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
June 2, 2013
Calls/emails to the Governor needed to support SB 314 – Fundamental Parental Rights
Senate Bill 314 Summary: Provides that the right of parents to make choices regarding the upbringing, education and care of their children is a fundamental right.
Status: SB 314 passed both the NV Senate and Assembly and has been delivered to Governor Sandoval; awaiting his signature.
1. Call, fax or email Governor Sandoval and encourage him to sign SB 314. In your own words, explain that “SB 314 is a non-partisan bill, intended for the courts, and defines the right of parents to raise their children as a fundamental right. If signed, the law will protect the parent-child bond from intrusion by the state unless there is a compelling reason for the government to do so.”
To Call: Carson City is (775)684-5670, Las Vegas is (702)486-2500.
To Fax: Carson City: (775)684-5683, Las Vegas Office (702)486-2505
To submit an electronic message to Governor Sandoval click here.
2. Please forward this message to your family and friends in Nevada and encourage them to support parental rights by contacting the Governor.
3. If you have not already done so please register your “FOR” vote on SB 314 on the Legislative Opinion Page.
May 29, 2013 – SB 314
One more step! The Assembly amendment to SB 314 was concurred with in the Senate today. To enrollment and then to the Governor!
May 24, 2013 – SB 314 passed in the NV Assembly
We are pleased to announce that SB 314 passed the NV Assembly tonight! The vote was 27 yea, 14 nay and 1 excused! If your Assemblyman/woman voted for the bill (see below) please send them an email thanking them for their vote. Now the bill goes back to the Senate to be concurred with (since it was amended) and then on to the Governor. We’re still not finished and will need to call on you one more time next week for calls/emails… but for now CELEBRATE with us! This is a great victory for ALL Nevada families.
Voting FOR: Paul Aizley, Paul Anderson, Elliot Anderson, Teresa Benitez-Thompson, David Bobzien, Irene Bustamante Adams, Skip Daly, Olivia Diaz, Marilyn Dondero Loop, Wesley Duncan, Michele Fiore, Jason Frierson, Cresent Hardy, James Healey, Pat Hickey, Joseph Hogan, Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Randy Kirner, Andrew Martin, James Ohrenschall, James Oscarson, Ellen Spiegel, Michael Sprinkle, Lynn Stewart, Tyrone Thompson, Jim Wheeler, Melissa Woodbury
Voting AGAINST: Maggie Carlton, Richard Carrillo, Lesley Cohen, Andy Eisen, John Ellison, Lucy Flores, Tom Grady, John Hambrick, Ira Hansen, William Horne, Peter Livermore, Harvey Munford, Dina Neal, Heidi Swank
Excused: Peggy Pierce
Many thanks to all who helped make this possible!
Frank Schnorbus, Elissa Wahl, Barbara Dragon, Kelley Radow, Ray Poole & Laura Siegel
ParentalRights.org/NEVADA Legislative Liaisons
5/23/13 – UPADATE on SB 314
SB 314 was amended and had second reading in the NV Assembly late this afternoon. It is now on the General File for a third reading, debate and vote tomorrow.If you haven’t done so already, NOW is the time to call your Assemblyman/woman and ask them VOTE YES ON SB 314, see link below under #1. This bill must pass out of the Assembly by the end of business Friday, May 24th.
SB 314, will codify “the liberty interest of a parent in the care, custody and management of their child is a fundamental right” (amended in the Assembly Judiciary Committee).
1. Call/email your Assemblyman/woman and ask them to vote YES on SB 314. We have met many Legislator’s staff and all have been very gracious. They welcome constituent’s polite calls and take excellent notes. To find your representative’s contact information click here.
2. Give your opinion on SB 314 (if you have not already done so) on the Legislature Opinion Page.
3. Share this information with your friends and family! See the updated informational pamphlet on the Parental Rights page under “Legal Issues” to the right of this page.
Some legislators are still undecided on the bill… help us let them know that SB 314 is an important bill to Nevada families and their friends.
Frank, Barb, Kelley, Elissa, Laura & Ray
ParentalRights.org/NEVADA Legislative Liaisons
May 19, 2013
A great day today for protecting the fundamental liberty interest of parents! With some slight modifications to address opposition, SB314 passed out of the Assembly committee with 8 votes in favor, 3 opposed, and 2 absent. If you have a minute, please thank the Assemblymen/women on the Judiciary Committee who voted “Do Pass” to move this bill to a floor vote:
Assembly Judiciary Committee in favor of SB314:
Absent during the vote were:
The bill still has some hurdles, and these final stages should in no way be taken for granted! But to give you an idea of how far we’ve come consider these stages:
1) Finding a legislator willing to sponsor our bill, in this case Senator Mo Denis.
2) Getting the committee chairman to grant a hearing in the Senate Judiciary, in this case Senator Tick Segerblom.
3) Getting the committee chairman to grant a work session, once again Senator Tick Segerblom.
4) Getting a unanimous Do Pass vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
5) Getting a unanimous Pass from the full Senate.
6) Getting the committee chairman to grant a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary, in this case Assemblyman Jason Frierson.
7) Getting the committee chairman to grant a work session, once again Assemblyman Jason Frierson.
8) Getting a Do Pass vote from the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Next stages are:
9) Get a vote to Pass from the full Assembly
10) Since the bill was amended, ask the Senate if they concur on the amendment. Senate vote.
11a) If the Senate agrees, the bill goes to the Governor.
11b) If the Senate doesn’t agree, the bill goes to a conference committee and a compromise is made, then the bill goes back to both the Senate and Assembly for votes. If either disagrees the bill dies. If they both agree the bill goes to the Governor.
12) The Governor must sign the bill for it to become law.
Our next ACTON CALL will be to contact your personal Assembly representative and ask them to vote YES on SB314 – step #9 above. It will probably be this Sunday or Monday, and then a reminder or two after that if the bill gets delayed. If you want to find out ahead of time who your Assembly person is, click on the legislature map at this website: http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU/.
Thank you for all your support and persistence. Especially thanks for responding with your emails and calls to the legislators! IT DOES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!! We are pleased today to have such a success to share.
Frank Schnorbus, Elissa Wahl, Kelley Millard Radow, Barbara Dragon, Laura Siegel, Ray Poole
May 18, 2013
HEARING on SB 182 in Senate Finance Committee, Monday, May 20th at 8:00 a.m.
SB 182 is the bill that will require that all public school Kindergartens (including charters) be “full-day” at a cost to the state of $90 million dollars over 2 years. In addition to the expense, this bill erodes the decision making process of local school boards and the concept of “local control of education” . Each school district and local school board should be the ones to decide if and where all-day Kindergarten be offered in their community… not mandated by the state.
Further, the bill lowers the compulsory attendance age for entry into school from 7 to 5 years of age (for public, private and home school children). This should be a decision made by the parent, not the government. Many children are simply not ready to attend school at age 5 or in some cases even 6. We appreciate that the bill sponsor amended the bill to partially address the issue by allowing parents to exempt their child from attendance at age 5 but we believe it is reasonable that the compulsory attendance age remain at 7 so that parents, not the state decide the age of enrollment. “CHOICE in EDUCATION” also means that parents are best suited to decide at what age their child should attend school.
1. EMAIL the Senate Finance Committee tonight! Please explain in your own words that this bill is:
a huge burden on the Nevada taxpayer,
it is not in the Governor’s budget,
it will required higher taxes that Nevadan’s can’t afford,
it takes away local control of education by mandating school districts to provide full-day Kindergarten in every school,
and it undermines a parent’s right to decide when their child is ready for school, even with the amendment on the bill.
Senate Finance Committee: Debbie.Smith@sen.state.nv.us, Joyce.Woodhouse@sen.state.nv.us, Moises.Denis@sen.state.nv.us, David.Parks@sen.state.nv.us, Pete.Goicoechea@sen.state.nv.us, Ben.Kieckhefer@sen.state.nv.us, Michael.Roberson@sen.state.nv.us,
2. Share your opinion on SB 182 on the Legislative Opinion Page (if you haven’t already done so).
3. Attend the Senate Finance Committee hearing if you can, sign in and mark “AGAINST” SB 182. Room 2134 NV Legislature, Carson City. Video conferenced to Room 4412 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555. E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas.
May 5, 2013 – CALL TO ACTION on SB 314
SB314 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee Friday, May 10th at 8:00 a.m.! This bill will put the Nevada legislature on record as to how parental rights should be protected and was passed unanimously in the Senate on April 22, 2013. We are pleased that Chairman Frierson has scheduled this important piece of legislation for a hearing.
All bills must be voted out of committee the following week, May 17th… so time is short. ParentalRights.org/NEVADA has been meeting with individual Assembly Judiciary committee members over the last two weeks as well as Assembly Leadership. These meetings are very productive and well worth our time!
We will be present at the hearing to testify in favor of the bill along with ParentalRights.org attorney Scott Woodruff who ushered similar language through the Virginia Legislature and will provide expert testimony to the committee. But we need YOU to weigh in now as well!
1. CALL or EMAIL Assembly Judiciary Committee members (listed below).
In your own words explain that, “SB 314 is a non-partisan bill, intended for the courts, and defines the right of parents to raise their children as a fundamental right. If passed, the law will protect the parent-child bond from intrusion by the state unless there is a compelling reason for the government to do so.”
2. VOTE “For” SB 314 at the Legislature Opinion Page.
3. ATTEND the hearing and offer testimony using the talking points above as a guide.
You may offer oral testimony. The hearing will take place in Room 3138 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV. The hearing will be video-conferenced to Room 4406 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, NV.
Assembly Judiciary Committee Members:
Jason Frierson – Chair 775/684-8537, Jason.Frierson@asm.state.nv.us
James Ohrenschall—Vice Chair 775/684-6819, James.Ohrenschall@asm.state.nv.us
Richard Carrillo – 775/684-8801, Richard.Carrillo@asm.state.nv.us
Lesley E. Cohen – 775/684-8855, Lesley.Cohen@asm.state.nv.us
Olivia Diaz – 775/684-8553, Olivia.Diaz@asm.state.nv.us
Marilyn Dondero Loop – 775/684-8833, Marilyn.DonderLoop@asm.state.nv.us
Andrew Martin – 775/684-8549, Andrew.Martin@asm.state.nv.us
Ellen Spiegel – 775/684-8577, Ellen.Spiegel@asm.state.nv.us
Tyrone Thompson – 775/684- 8569, Tyrone.Thompson@asm.state.nv.us
Wesley Duncan – 775/684-8505, Wesley.Duncan@asm.state.nv.us
Ira Hansen – 775/684-8851, Ira.Hansen@asm.state.nv.us
Michele Fiore – 775/684-8829, Michele.Fiore@asm.state.nv.us
Jim Wheeler – 775/684-8843, Jim.Wheeler@asm.state.nv.us
Download the Parental Rights Pamphlet, and Scott Woodruff’s Testimony, both available on the Legislative NELIS website for a thorough explanation of the bill. https://nelis.leg.state.nv.us/77th2013/App#/77th2013/Bill/Meetings/SB314
Thank you for helping to get this bill passed, we are more than willing to answers any questions you may have.
We just got word that SB 314 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee next Friday, May 10th at 8:00 a.m.! ParentalRights.org/NEVADA has been meeting with committee members the last 2 weeks. Tomorrow, May 2nd we have meetings scheduled with Assembly Leadership and the Governor’s office on the bill. For a full report please see our “Parental Rights” tab to the right under LEGAL ISSUES and click on the 5/1/13 update. The letter includes links to 2 news stories where parents had their child removed from their custody (but thankfully got back). Having SB 314 enacted by the Legislature and in Nevada Revised Statutes will help assure parents and inform judges of the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children.
SB 314 was on the daily file for a last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday… but was “rolled over to the next day” AGAIN on Friday along with several other bills. We are hopeful that SB 314 will get its Third Reading and vote on Monday. All bills MUST be voted out of the first house by Tuesday, April 23rd. Waiting, waiting, waiting…
PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR. Kindly ask them to vote for SB 314 – Fundamental Parental Rights bill when it comes to the floor this week. (The bill received a unanimous “Do Pass” vote in committee last Friday). Please thank Senator Denis for sponsoring the bill and if you emailed/called Senate Judiciary Committee Members please send them a short thank you note. Contact links/info available here.
The ParentalRights.org/NEVADA team has partnered with the national organization on this important piece of legislation. We are thankful for their support and assistance in getting SB 314 this far. As we wait for the Senate floor vote, NV team members are meeting this week with state Senators urging them to VOTE YES on SB 314 as well as introducing the bill to individual members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
One of the consistent remarks we hear from Legislators we speak with is, “Thank you for lobbying on this bill. It is an important part of the process that many forget to do.” So, we continue on; advocating for the fundamental rights of parents in the state of Nevada.
Frank Schnorbus, Barbara Dragon, Kelley Millard Radow, Elissa Wahl, Laura Siegel and Ray Poole
ParentalRights.org/NEVADA Legislative Liaisons
Today at 11:15 a.m. SB 314 received a “DO PASS” from the Senate Judiciary Committee… it was a unanimous vote in favor of the bill! If you sent an email to the committee members you may want to follow-up with a short “thank you” note to them. Be sure to put “Thank you for your vote on SB 314″ in the subject line.
The bill now heads to the floor of the full Senate for a vote. We will be meeting with as many Senators as we can about the bill next week but obviously will not be able to speak personally with them all. The bill must be voted on in Senate by April 24th. So we will forward information this weekend on who to contact and how. We thank you all for your help with this… it could not have happened without you!
Frank, Barb, Elissa, Kelley, Laura & Ray
SB314, the law that would put in writing that the parental right to raise your child is a fundamental right, has cleared two major hurdles in less than a week! The bill was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and now the bill is getting a work session by the same Committee. Many bills die in the legislature when they get a hearing but never move beyond that. Tomorrow, April 12th, is the last day for bills to be out of Committee.
The work session is where the Judiciary Committee will discuss the bill amongst themselves and decide to move the bill to the Full Senate, or to vote it down. They don’t (usually) take public testimony during a work session, but it can be informative and interesting to attend the hearing anyway, because this is where you hear what the Senators think now that they’ve heard all the testimony, heard your phone calls and seen your emails.
At this point does it do any good to email or call your Senator? It might! Emails may be more effective because each Legislator carries his/her own laptop everywhere. If you write, please be brief (just a few lines is more effective than pages), and be courteous!
Senator Tick Segerblom, Chair 775-684-1422 email@example.com
Senator Ruben Kihuen, Vice-Chair 775-684-1427 Ruben.Kihuen@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Aaron Ford 775-684-6502 Aaron.Ford@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Justin Jones 775-684-1421 Justin.Jones@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Greg Brower 775-684-1419 Greg.Brower@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Scott Hammond 775-684-1442 Scott.Hammond@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Mark Hutchinson 775-684-1475 Mark.Hutchison@sen.state.nv.us
The Committee starts at 8AM! There are several other bills, so we don’t know exactly when SB314 will be addressed.
If you haven’t already, you can vote FOR SB314 at the Nevada Legislative opinion page Register your opinion!
Also, if you have time and haven’t done so already, drop Senator Mo Denis an email to thank him for sponsoring SB314! Moises.Denis@sen.state.nv.us
For more information, I suggest downloading the Parental Rights Pamphlet, and Scott Woodruff’s Testimony, both available on the Legislative NELIS website at https://nelis.leg.state.nv.us/77th2013/App#/77th2013/Bill/Meetings/SB314
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – UPDATE on SB 314 Hearing
Thank you to all!!! You called! You emailed! You showed up! We just can’t thank you enough for the support. The hearing on SB 314 today was long and interesting. The testimony supporting the bill was strong, the Senate Judiciary Committee members were clearly listening. The opposition testimony was weak and did not carry the day, in our opinion. Senator Denis, sponsor of the bill, is working with us to help ensure passage.
There is still more work to do but for now we must wait and see if the Senate Judiciary Committee brings the bill to a work session and hopefully votes “do pass” which will send the vote to the floor of the Senate. The deadline for all bills to be out of committee (except those with an exemption) is this Friday, April 12th. We are optimistic that SB 314 will make it to a work session. Pray that the bill is passed out of committee and sent to the full Senate.
Again, THANK YOU to all who helped get this bill a hearing! Your calls, emails and “votes” on the opinion page CLEARLY were heard! And those who attended the hearing had a great impact. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of this bill.
Frank, Barb, Kelley, Elissa, Ray & Laura
Thursday, April 4, 2013 – Posted to NV-ALERT
UPDATE: SB 314 – Parental Liberty bill
We are pleased to report that SB 314 has been given a hearing date in the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday, April 9th at 8:00 a.m. Members of ParentalRights.org/NEVADA will be present at the hearing to testify in favor of the bill along with HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff. Mr. Woodruff ushered similar language through the Virginia Legislature this past February and will provide expert testimony on SB 314.
We received an overwhelmingly positive response from concerned citizens in Nevada on the Legislative Opinion page. In less than 24 hours the bill moved on to the “TOP 50” list of bills and at last check was at #23! WE KNOW THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE TO NEVADA PARENTS… thanks for participating in the process but now there is more to do.
CALL TO ACTION:
1. Please call, email or fax members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to VOTE YES on SB 314. In your own words explain that, “SB 314 is a non-partisan bill, intended for the courts, and defines the right of parents to raise their children as a fundamental right. If passed, the law will protect the parent-child bond from intrusion by the state unless there is a compelling reason for the government to do so.” For a thorough explanation on the bill please refer to the Question & Answer pamphlet, The Right of Parents to Raise Their Child.
2. Plan to attend the hearing on Tuesday, April 9th at 8:00 a.m. The hour is early but we need to “pack the house” on this one in Carson City AND Las Vegas.
Room 2149, Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV.
Room 4412, Grant Sawyer State Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, NV.
There is opposition to the bill. Families in attendance would show just how important the bill is to Nevada citizens.
Senate Judiciary Committee Contact Information
Senator Tick Segerblom, Chair 775-684-1422 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Ruben Kihuen, Vice-Chair 775-684-1427 Ruben.Kihuen@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Aaron Ford 775-684-6502 Aaron.Ford@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Justin Jones 775-684-1421 Justin.Jones@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Greg Brower 775-684-1419 Greg.Brower@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Scott Hammond 775-684-1442 Scott.Hammond@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Mark Hutchinson 775-684-1475 Mark.Hutchison@sen.state.nv.us
To contact Senators by FAX or U.S. Mail:
By Fax: 1-775-684-6522
1-866-543-9941 Toll Free
By Mail: Nevada Legislature, Senate Judiciary Committee
401 Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4747
In the event parents have to go to court to seek protection of their rights against government intrusion, courts first must decide whether the right is fundamental. If the judge decides the right is not fundamental, then the judge will allow the government to infringe on the right as long as it has a “rational” reason. But if the judge decides the right is fundamental, the government may infringe on the fundamental right only when there is a “compelling” reason to do so, showing there is no other way for the government to meet the very high standard.
As of today, there is nothing in Nevada statutes or the state constitution enunciating that parental rights are in the category of fundamental rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that parental rights are fundamental. However, some lower courts and local government officials have resisted compliance with U.S. Supreme Court rulings on this issue. Although Nevada courts have generally been good in recognizing parental rights, it is risky to depend on future court decisions to safeguard a fundamental parental right. This is the problem SB 314 will solve; it will simply give much better protection to parental rights than currently exists in Nevada law.
Opponents of a parental rights law often incorrectly assume that it would give parents a right to abuse their children. This is incorrect. Parents don’t have a right to abuse or neglect their children under Nevada statute, and that will not change if SB 314 becomes law. Rather, this law will simply provide an additional layer of protection afforded through legislative enactment to safeguard parents and children from intrusion by the government into the decision making process within the family unit.
Thank you for standing with us in championing the cause of parental rights in Nevada!
ParentalRights.org/NEVADA Legislative Liaison
4/2/13 – POSTED TO NV-ALERT
UPDATE: SB 314 – Parental Liberty bill
FROM: ParentalRights.org/NEVADA Legislative Liaison
SB 314 is a bill that will establish in Nevada law that the “liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right”. Currently Nevada parents must rely on the courts, citing federal and state court precedent, to preserve their fundamental right to make decisions for their children. SB 314 would take this same standard and codify it in state law, providing the courts a more solid foundation on which to base this right. It will not change the current standard of parental rights but merely protect the standard from shifting ideologies in the courts over time.
For more information on the bill please review the attached Question & Answer pamphlet, The Right of Parents to Raise Their Child. This resource answers 16 questions such as; “In a nutshell, what does SB 314 do?”, “Is the fundamental parental right to raise children a partisan issue?”, “How would this law help Nevada’s children?”, “Will this law jeopardize the welfare of children?” and more!
CALL TO ACTION: ParentalRights.org/NEVADA will be meeting with the sponsor of the bill, Senator Mo Denis, tomorrow. We are asking that if you have not already done so, please go online to the Nevada Legislative Opinion page today and vote “FOR” the bill. You may also leave written comments on the bill. In your own words simply express that you support “codifying parental rights as fundamental in state law”. This will help us show that Nevada parents are firmly behind this bill.
Thank you for standing with us in championing the cause of parental rights in Nevada!
ParentalRights.org/NEVADA Legislative Liaison
NHN has been working hard since last December on a Fundamental Parents Rights bill to safeguard all Nevada parents and children from government intrusion into the decision making process of the family unit. We are pleased to announce that SB 314, sponsored by Senator Mo Denis, was introduced last Monday, March 18th in the 2013 session of the Nevada Legislature.
It is important to note that this is not a home school or education bill but rather is intended to provide an additional layer of protection to parents through legislative enactment. Frank Schnorbus, NHN Chair has written an outstanding Question & Answer pamphlet, The Right of Parents to Raise Their Child, to better explain the need for this law in Nevada. The pamphlet includes footnotes and references documenting the need for this law.
CALL TO ACTION: A hearing on the bill has not yet been scheduled. We are simply asking that Nevada parents inform themselves on this issue as well as go to the 2013 NV Legislature Opinion Page to “vote” FOR the bill and submit YOUR comments. In your own words, your message can be as simple as, “SB 314 mirrors current law in many states, is intended for the courts, and defines the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education and care of the child as a fundamental right.” Let’s make this one of the TOP 50 most popular bills this session!
When the bill is assigned a hearing date we will post it here and send out a notice on NV-Alert, please sign up on our home page.
3/16/2013 – NHN Testifies Against “Grandparents Visitation” Bill
Barbara Dragon (in Carson City) and Elissa Wahl (in Las Vegas) testified against AB 203 on Friday, March 15th. NHN and HSLDA submitted letters to the Assembly Judiciary Committee opposing the bill that would allow grandparents and great-grandparents to sue for visitation when married parents (both the natural or adoptive parents) deny visitation, click link above to read.
A representative of the Nevada Justice Association, Kim Surratt (a family law attorney in Reno) also testified against the bill and covered all the legal/constitutional issues with the bill.
Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Frierson stated that all committee members were receiving many phone calls regarding the bill, even that morning before the 8:00 a.m. hearing. NHN is so appreciative of the response on this issue from the Nevada homeschool community. Your opinions are being noted by Legislators. If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to leave your opinion of this bill on the NV Legislature Opinion page.
Committee members on both sides of the aisle asked Ms. Surratt excellent questions regarding the constitutionality of the bill with regards to the US Supreme Court decision on Troxel v. Granville (2000) and fundamental parental rights. It was an emotional hearing to say the least; we believe grandparents and great-grandparents should be a vital part of a grandchild’s life whenever possible. However, government must not trample on the rights of intact families to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children.
We will keep you posted if/when there are further developments on AB 203.
3/13/2013 – AB 203 (grandparents visitation)
NOTICE: AB 203 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
WHEN: this coming Friday, March 15th
TIME: 8:00 a.m.
WHERE: In Carson City: Room 3138 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV. In Las Vegas: Video-conferenced to Room 4406 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas
WHAT: A.B. 203 Revises provisions governing the granting of the right to visit a child to grandparents and great-grandparents of the child who is living with his/her MARRIED parents when said parents have denied visitation.
CALL TO ACTION:
1. To submit written testimony on the bill it MUST be sent be sent electronically as a pdf by 5 pm Thursday, March 12th to the Committee Manager at AsmJud@asm.state.nv.us
2. Call/Email Assembly Judiciary Committee Members by clicking their names at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/Committees/A_Committees/JUD.cfm
3. Share your opinion on this bill at http:www.leg.state.nv.us/AppCF/Opinion/77th2013/vwComments.cfm
4. Plan to attend the hearing Friday morning, sign in to testify, briefly explain that, “Married parents have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding who is granted visitation with their child. The State must preserve, respect and defend the basic family unit and the rights of legally married parents. Current law already allows for grandparents and great-grandparents to seek visitation when parents are separated, divorced, never legally married, one parent is deceased, or has relinquished his/her parental rights, or his/her parental rights have been terminated. This bill will place undue burden on intact families. Please vote no on AB 203.”
Nevada Homeschool Network opposes AB 203 See notes below dated 3/8/2013
3/11/13 – SB 192 (support)
CALL TO ACTION: NHN supports SB 192 – “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) which has earned strong bi-partisan support (click the bill number to see who). We are asking homeschool families and friends to make your voice heard on this bill.
This bill is “AN ACT relating to religious freedom; prohibiting a governmental entity from substantially burdening the exercise of religion of a person under certain circumstances; authorizing a person whose exercise of religion has been so burdened to assert the violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding; authorizing a court to award damages against a governmental entity that substantially burdens the exercise of religion in certain circumstances; and providing other matters properly relating thereto”.
An excellent RFRA Q & A booklet has been published by Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood LLP.
Please visit the Nevada Families for Freedom website for more excellent information on the bill and who/how to contact. SB 192 is on the AGENDA of the Senate Judiciary Committee WEDNESDAY, March 13th @ 9:00.
3/8/13 – AB 203 (against)
The following letter was emailed to all the sponsors and co-sponsors of AB 203, the Assembly Judiciary Committee members and cc’d to all their administrative assistants. This bill seeks to allow grandparents to sue for visitation when a married couple has denied them visitation with their grandchild. This exact same bill was heard in 2007 and died in committee due to constitutional issues (fundamental parental rights via a 1999 US Supreme Court decision) presented by Nevada judges, lawyers and civic groups during testimony (see the full explanation in our letter).
NHN is partnering with ParentalRights.org and HSLDA who have issued “CALL TO ACTION” alerts (see links) to ensure that this flawed bill does not pass. While we hope that all parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are in loving support of each other, this is not always the case. AB 203 would violate the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding visitation for their children. Please read NHN’s position statement below.
If your Assemblyperson is one of the sponsors or co-sponsors (in the “TO:” line, bold names are sponsors, the others are co-sponsors) of this bill please contact them via email, phone or fax and express your opinion on the bill. In addition to our explanation below, ParentalRights.org and HSLDA have also provided excellent “talking points” on this bill (see links above).
Thank you in advance for standing with us and helping to protect the rights of all “fit and loving” parents in Nevada.
March 8, 2013
TO: Assemblypersons Livermore, Ellison, Hickey, Hambrick, Aizley, Diaz, Duncan, Fiore, Grady, Hansen, Hardy, Kirner, Martin, Munford, Neal, Oscarson, Spiegel, Stewart, Swank, Wheeler, Woodbury
CC: Assembly Judiciary Committee; Chair Frierson, Vice-Chair Ohrenschall, Members Carillo, Cohen, Diaz, Dondero Loop, Martin, Spiegel, Duncan, Fiore, Hansen, Wheeler
Sent via email and fax
RE: AB 203; Revises provisions governing the granting of the right to visit a child to grandparents and great-grandparents of the child. (BDR 11-750)
Dear Sponsors and Co-Sponsors of AB 203,
By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for Nevada families who have chosen to direct the education of their children. However, today we are writing regarding a matter of importance to all Nevada parents and their children.
AB 203 would modify state law to permit grandparents or great-grandparents to sue for visitation of a child against the parents’ wishes. This bill will cause intact families, including perfectly fit parents, to face potential court challenges to their parenting decisions whenever they limit or restrict their child’s visitation from grandparents or great-grandparents. Under current law these relatives can only seek visitation when the parents of the child consent, or via the court system when the marriage is no longer intact. Further, the bill as proposed would force parents to defend their parental rights if they simply deny visitation to a grandparent. We believe that where families are intact, they should not have to defend their decisions regarding who will have access to their children.
Ideally, families get along; parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents work together to raise well-adjusted kids. But that is not always the case. Oftentimes grandparents would like nothing better than to see the family split apart to get their child and grandchildren “back”. Regardless of how healthy these relationships are, it falls to fit and loving parents to make decisions regarding the care, custody, and control of the child – including decisions regarding who has contact with that child.
With this in mind, we would like to direct you to the 74th Session of the Nevada Legislature (2007) specifically, SB 204 . During that Legislative session, the exact same language contained in AB 203 was proposed (that is the last time the issue was raised. It was also raised in 2005 and 2000). In a review of the testimony for and against SB 204 in 2007, we found that judges, lawyers and civic groups overwhelmingly opposed SB 204, primarily because of the unconstitutionality of the bill. We believe that current Assemblymen/women may not be aware of the history of this legislation and as such we seek to advise you on the fate of the proposed language in 2007.
Legislative Background: SB 204 was initially heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 15, 2007 (pages 14-16) and continued on March 20, 2007 (pages 2-9). There was a proposal to amend the bill during a Senate Judiciary Committee Work Session on April 4, 2007(pages 10-11) and the bill was continued to the next work session. At the committee work session on April 10, 2007 (pages 6-7) the sponsoring Senator withdrew the proposed amendment, requested a “Do pass” on the bill as originally proposed, no second on the motion was received and the bill died in committee.
We request that you review the testimony presented on SB 204 in 2007, specifically as it relates to the constitutionality of the bill. Again, please note that the language in this year’s bill, AB 203, is exactly the same as in 2007. We believe that nothing has changed as to the constitutional, financial, and court case load issues presented in testimony five years ago. We therefore oppose AB 204 on these grounds:
• AB 203 is unconstitutional based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Troxel v. Granville, 539 U.S. 57 (2000). Nothing has changed since that ruling overturned a Washington state law like this proposed bill. Intact families have a fundamental right to deny visitation with grandparents, and any law to the contrary would likely be struck down by the Nevada Supreme Court. Current law already correctly interprets this Supreme Court case.
• AB 203 would create a financial burden on intact families having to defend their private family decisions regarding who has contact with their children. Some families simply could not afford to defend themselves, grandparents would often have an unfair financial advantage to hire an attorney, some bad decisions can be handed down, and children will be harmed as a result.
• AB 203 would significantly increase the caseload burden on an already overburdened District Court, increasing costs and delays. Many more cases could also be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. If we can answer any questions you may have please don’t hesitate to contact us.
3/3/2013 – SB 182 (against)
Great opinion piece in the Las Vegas Review Journal; Denying an Important School Choice.
NHN Vice-Chair, Elissa Wahl is quoted in the article on the HIDDEN danger in SB 182 – Mandatory Kindergarten. Have you contacted the Senate and Assembly Education Committee members yet? Also, don’t forget to leave your opinion of SB 182 on the Legislative Opinion page.
2/26/2013 – SB 182 (against)
FIRST, thank you to everyone who called, emailed or attended the meeting on SB 182! We heard many times that committee members were getting lots of calls/emails on this bill… we believe it was YOU that they were hearing from.
SB 182 was heard during an “emergency” joint meeting of the Senate and Education Committees Monday, 2/25 @ 3:30. There was two full hours of testimony supporting the bill’s main issue “All-Day Kindergarten in every elementary school”. Why? “To meet rigorous new NATIONAL Common Core Standards agreed to by the state in 2009.” The bill also lowers the compulsory school age from 7 to 5, effectively making kindergarten a required grade level. Much of the testimony described the academic emphasis in kindergartens today; the old-school ideas of children learning to socialize and have fun are gone.
The time for testimony from those who were opposed to the bill was limited by Senator Woodhouse to “two minutes each”. NHN submitted a letter opposing Section 8 of the bill which will change the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5. We asked that section be deleted from the bill (see attachment). Recognizing the reality that this bill may pass we decided to submit a request for an amendment to the bill IF the committee chooses not to delete Section 8 as we have requested. The amendment, written by NHN with assistance from HSLDA, requests that an exemption be provided for parents who do not wish to enroll their child in school at age 5 (see attachment). NHN Chairman Frank Schnorbus and Vice-Chair Elissa Wahl gave verbal testimony that Nevada parents should be allowed to decide whether their child is ready to attend school prior to age 7 as currently exists in NV statute. Many parents and civic organizations also testified against SB 182. Go to the NELIS website to follow this bill.
1. We need to keep the pressure on. Time is short since SB 182 may have a workshop any Monday or Wednesday afternoon. This is done without public notice, so it could be as early as tomorrow. Please CALL or EMAIL members of both committees; Senate Education and Assembly Education (click each name on the list of committee members for contact info) with this message in your own words:
“Please vote against SB 182, which lowers the compulsory school attendance age from 7 to 5. Parents should have the right to decide whether their child should attend school between the ages of 5 and 7, which has been the law in Nevada for decades. Many children are simply not ready for school at ages 5 or 6. However, if you feel obligated to vote for this bill, we urge you to address parents’ concerns by supporting an amendment which has been proposed to accommodate parents who will notify the school superintendent that they will delay their child’s attendance at school until age 7. This would exempt these children from compulsory attendance at age 5.” (printed with permission from HSLDA)
You DO NOT need to identify yourself as homeschooler, this change to the law will affect all Nevada parents, guardians and children. Since the great majority of children already attend school at age 5, they do not need to be mandated by government to do so.
2. Forward this email to your friends, relatives, co-workers, everyone who cares about the American family unit. Urge them to voice their opinion on whether parents or the government should decide when a child is ready for school.
3. You can also share your opinion on SB 182 (and any other bill you wish) on the Legislative OPINION PAGE. Write your opinion, read what others think and check the “results” on the link.
As the government “talks” about school choice they are slowly eroding parents’ FREEDOM to make major decisions for their children and not just in education. Where will it stop? Homeschoolers are on the frontline fighting for the right of all parents to raise their children as they see fit. We hope others will join us and say, “enough is enough!”
2/24/13 – SB 182 (against)
Senator Joyce Woodhouse, Chair Senate Education Committee
Assemblyman Elliot T. Anderson, Chair Assembly Education Committee
Nevada State Legislative Senate and Assembly Education Committee Members
Dear Senator Woodhouse, Assemblyman Anderson, Committee Members,
By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for Nevada families who have chosen to direct the education of their children. In this capacity, we are writing today to oppose SB 182 as introduced.
Among other things, SB 182 will lower the compulsory attendance age for entry into school from 7 to 5 years of age. This requirement will apply to all children, whether their parents planned to send them to public school or private school or homeschool.
We have several concerns with SB 182 as introduced:
• While we believe that requiring school districts to provide all-day Kindergarten in every elementary school is not in the best interests of Nevada children and will create a financial burden for Nevada’s school districts it is not our intention to comment on that portion of the bill.
• According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, there are no long-term replicable studies proving that mandating attendance at age 5 rather than 7 is better for the educational development of the child. To the contrary, there is much more research indicating that early childhood education does not improve the child’s potential for being a better student in the future, because early gains disappear in a few years. This is especially significant for boys, because their cognitive and verbal skill development generally lags behind that of girls at this age.
• Thus, Nevada parents should continue to have the right decide when a child is ready to attend school. The current age of 7 gives parents that opportunity. Parents who desire to enroll their child at age 5 in Nevada can choose to do so already. To force children to start school before the age of 7 interferes with the parent’s fundamental right to direct the education of their children and to make wise choices regarding the readiness of their children for formal instruction.
• Further, lowering the compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5 will create an undue financial burden on parents who intend to enroll their child in private school but wish to wait until their child turns 7. And parents choosing to homeschool would now be required to submit a Notification of Intent to Homeschool at age 5 even if they have determined their child is not ready to begin formal instruction again, placing an undue burden on the family.
Article II, Section 2 of the Nevada Constitution states, “…the legislature may pass such laws as will tend to secure a general attendance of the children in each school district upon said public schools.” The key here is “tend to secure a general attendance” which is met under current law. Therefore, NHN requests that SB 182 be amended to leave the compulsory attendance age at 7-18. Parents should continue to have the authority to decide what is best for their children.
Frank Schnorbus, Chair Elissa Wahl, Vice-Chair
2/22/13 – SB 182 (against)
SB182 will adversely affect home school families!
“The bill lowers the compulsory attendance age for entry into school from 7 to 5 and will apply to ALL children, whether their parents planned to send them to public school or private school or home school.” (HSLDA summary of the bill). All homeschool families will be required to file an NOI when their child turns 5. Further, the bill will effect those families who choose private school and requires that all public Kindergartens be “full-day”; a financial burden that will passed on to all Nevada taxpayers.
NHN opposes SB182. The bill will be heard for the first time in a JOINT meeting of the Assembly Education and Senate Education Committees on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25th @ 3:30 p.m. We are asking that you call or email members of the Senate Education Committee AND the Assembly Education Committee ASAP! When you click these blue committee links you will be able to click on member’s name for their contact information.
NHN and HSLDA are recommending that when you call or email you put in your own words this message:
“Please vote against Senate Bill 182 which lowers compulsory attendance age from 7 to 5 for all children in Nevada. Parents should have the right to decide make the decision when a child is ready to attend school. The current age of 7 gives parents that opportunity. Many children are simply not ready at age 5. However, for those who wish their child to attend school the opportunity to do so exists under current Nevada law. Please vote NO on SB 182.”
In addition, we are encouraging all concerned parents to attend the hearing either in Carson City (Room 1214 State Legislature Building, 401 S. Carson St, Carson City) OR in Las Vegas (Room 4401, Grant Sawyer Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas). NHN Officers will be testifying against SB 182. You may choose to testify as well or simply sign in and vote “NO on SB 182″. Your presence at the hearing will greatly impact the final outcome on this piece of Legislation.
We will keep you posted on further developments on NV-Alert, our Facebook page and this Alerts tab as information becomes available. For an EXCELLENT 5-point analysis of why this bill is a “bad idea”, please visit the HSLDA “Nevada” page on their website. We are thankful to HSLDA for their assistance and expertise on issues vital to Nevada homeschool families.
2/17/13 – BDR 880 (support)
Q & A Pamphlet: The Right of Parents to Raise Their Child
A Parental Rights bill was requested for consideration by the 2013 Nevada Legislature. BDR 880 is being sponsored by Senator Mo Dennis. Language for a new law protecting children by empowering parents was proposed by a team of concerned Nevada parents and submitted to the Legislative Counsel Bureau on 12/10/12 by Senator Denis.
Although the bill has not yet been written, Frank Schnorbus President of NHN, has created a pamphlet explaining that the “liberty of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their child is a fundamental right. This pamphlet answers questions such as, “What does BDR 880 do?” and ,”Isnt it already a fundamental right to raise your children?”The Right of Parents to Raise Their Child
December 1, 2012
Dear NV Homeschool Parents and friends of homeschooling,
We need your real-life stories! Have you seen a news story, or know someone, who has had their parental rights disregarded in the past ten years? We want their story! The far-reaching effects of government policies, laws and regulations that erode the family under the banner of protecting children permeate our entire society. A story might include an incident where Child Protective services (CPS) was called purely to harass or intimidate a family. Or it could be a court order that presumes parental guilt with no factual basis. Possibly there is an over-zealous judge, or teacher, or nurse involved.
BACKGROUND: Nevada Homeschool Network works to analyze the threats to homeschooling posed by State, Federal and world laws and treaties. The common thread of these threats is the re-ordering of authority such that the child becomes a creature of the State, with every parental decision being subject to review by governmental bureaucrats. While the problem is much larger than any single segment of society, the unique position of homeschoolers allows us to identify the problem and advocate for a solution. To do this we feel that the real-life story is the most effective way of illustrating the problem.
IN NEVADA: We have begun to see more and more “government intrusion” into the lives of Nevada families. Most recently was the story of the parental guardians of a mentally disabled pregnant woman who had to go to court to prevent bureaucrats in Social Services from forcing an abortion. Although the judge has taken abortion off the table he is still “plans to hold additional medical evidentiary hearings in the weeks ahead to determine the safest way to proceed” even though the young woman has legal parental guardians to make decisions for her.
This story and many, many more from across the United States underscore the eroding of parental rights in our country. In the past many have told us their shocking stories about the abuse of their parental rights. If you have such a story we encourage you to put it in writing and send it to us with permission for us to use it as we seek a possible solution. Your story could help hundreds of Nevada families falsely accused of abuse or neglect of their children.
Please send your story to Frank Schnorbus, FandR76@aol.com or Elissa Wahl, email@example.com
Together we can win the battle!
October 26, 2012
NATIONAL Common Core Standards for Public Schools Gaining Ground – Potential THREAT to Homeschooling!
As you know, NHN has been tracking the development of national COMMON CORE STANDARDS for public schools and their potential effect on homeschool freedom. Common Core Standards (CCS) are tied to the Federal Government’s “Race to the Top” Education Program… follow the money!
Areas of concern to us are expressed by Utahns Against Common Core in an article entitled,
And Then They Came For the Homeschoolers including this information:
“Further recommendations for the P-20 Data System:
• Incorporate teacher preparation attributes (e.g., certification type, school of origin) into the data system.
• Incorporate analysis and business management tools into the system
• Implement greater interactive reporting capabilities to respond to a range of stakeholders.
• Include student groups not now included (e.g., home-schooled) in the data system
• Complete basic policies such as data use/access protocols, data quality standards and governance”
We are particularly concerned about a national tracking system of all students, preschool-college. ANY database intended to track American children from birth is highly UN-American and needs to be understood as a serious threat to parental rights.
Further, the threat is increased if any of 40 states who have already signed on to CCS move to require homeschool parents to provide “equivalent instruction” in Common Core Standards.
NHN will continue to monitor and work with groups opposing efforts to nationalize education standards. We support local control of public schools, as well as freedom from state-mandates for private schools and homeschools.
October 3, 2012
WARNING! Common Core Standards for Public Schools of Concern
Nevada Homeschool Network continues to keep an ear to the ground as we pass through this era of dynamic change in education. One issue that has come up on the radar as “something to watch” is the new Common Core national standards. Although on the surface this appears to be a public school issue, and a Federal one at that, there is danger whenever the Federal government has the ability (via the power of the purse) to tell the 50 States what and how to do something. In this case, in order to receive Federal money, Nevada must conform to federally driven standards for curriculum.
How does this affect homeschoolers? One way is to design college entrance exams around those Common Core standards. The College Board, a membership organization of colleges, recently chose David Coleman, an architect of common core, as their president. Here’s what he said in an interview with the New York Times, “We have a crisis in education, and over the next few years, the main thing on the College Board’s agenda is to deliver its social mission. … The College Board is not just about measuring and testing, but designing high quality curriculum.”
Of course, much as the Federal Highway Administration that administers our freeway system can control laws in the various States by withholding money to those States, a Federally controlled educational program can do the same in education. In her recent article on this subject Karen Effrem states:
“Supposedly, these standards have been voluntarily adopted by more than 40 states. In fact, by effectively conditioning eligibility for Race to the Top grants on participation in the Common Core, the Obama administration has forced economically pinched states to surrender control of their school curricula to the federal government.”
Like many States, Nevada has a simple law for homeschooling. When wads of Federal money are waved in front of legislators, simple laws can easily be changed.
But not everyone is convinced that Common Core is taking education in the right direction. There is a growing chorus rising from all corners. Karen Effrem continues in the above referenced article:
“That brings the total to twenty-six out of forty-six and one half states that have accepted them or 56% who are rejecting or showing some kind of hesitancy or concern with implementing these unconstitutional, illegal and dumbed down, politically correct standards and their accompanying tests. This is very important good news for state and local autonomy, academic excellence, constitutionality and state budgets It is also very important for the maintenance of private and home schooling as viable alternatives to government education. (More new details on the dangers to private school autonomy via the Common Core and how the Romney education plan affects this issue will come next week. In the meantime, please see Imposing a Federal Curriculum on Private Schools – Why Voucher Programs that Require State Tests Are So Dangerous)”
Nevada has signed on to these common core standards, and it appears that our new State Superintendent James Guthrie is an advocate. Earlier this month Nevada was a participant in the “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium” (SBAC) meeting in St. Louis; presumably Dr. Guthrie or one of his appointees was present. The SBAC is one of two groups that is doing the actual designing of the new curriculum.
As educators, as Nevadans, and as concerned citizens we should all be aware, and concerned, about what is happening here. Nevada Homeschool Network will continue to watch this as it unfolds.
Nevada Homeschool Network, Chairman
September 5, 2012
Pentagon Changes Homeschool Enlistment
William A. Estrada, Esq.
HSLDA, Director of Federal Relations
Congress recently passed a new law requiring the United States military to accept homeschool
graduates on an equal basis with all other high school graduates. HSLDA worked hard to secure
passage of this legislation and monitor the Pentagon’s implementation of the new law.
On June 5, 2012, the Pentagon released its new policy regarding the enlistment of homeschool
graduates. While this policy is a huge improvement over the military’s previous enlistment guidelines,
Home School Legal Defense Association agrees with certain Congress members that the Pentagon
failed to follow their clear legislative intent.
Summary of the Pentagon’s New Homeschool Enlistment Policy
Since 2007 homeschool graduates had been recruited into the military as Tier I only because of an
internal Department of Defense policy. Potential recruits are categorized into Tier 1, 2, or 3, with Tier
1 representing those who are most likely to serve their full term.
Prior to the release of the Pentagon’s policy implementing the new law, the military guidelines
allowing homeschool graduates to enlist as Tier 1 was not universally applied. Recruiters would ask
for a wide variety of “proof” that a graduate had indeed homeschooled, most of the time going above
and beyond what was required by state law. The new law was supposed to eliminate discrimination
and implement across-the-board rules for recruiting homeschool graduates. While the Pentagon’s
new policy is a clear step forward, there is still one major problem.
Changes for Homeschooled Enlistees Under the Pentagon’s New Policy
•Under the old policy, homeschool graduates were presumed to be in Tier II unless proven
otherwise. Under the new policy, homeschool graduates are presumed to be in Tier I, and they
remain in Tier I as long as they score at least a 50 on the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test).
•Under the old policy, homeschool graduates had to prove that they were homeschooling in
compliance with their respective state laws. Under the new policy, homeschool graduates are not
required to provide proof of compliance with their state law.
•Under the old policy, recruiters often asked homeschool graduates to describe the curriculum, hours
of instruction, textbooks, or even a typical day of homeschool instruction. Under the new policy
homeschool graduates are no longer required to provide detailed information of their homeschool
program for recruitment.
A Mixed Bag
While HSLDA believes that the new policy will eliminate many burdensome requirements for
homeschool enlistees, the policy still fails to follow Congress’ clear legislative intent for homeschool
enlistees who score less than 50 on the AFQT. Homeschoolers who score less than 50 are treated
differently than public school graduates who score less than 50.
Members of Congress sent a letter to the Pentagon urging the policy to be changed to comply with
legislators’ clear intent. HSLDA supports this letter and will continue to work with Congress and the
Pentagon to make sure that no homeschoolers face discrimination when they choose to serve their
nation by enlisting in the Armed Forces.
If your homeschool graduate faces discrimination by a military recruiter simply because he or she is
a homeschool graduate, please contact us at 540-338-5600. We will keep you updated as we
continue to work on this issue.
June 21, 2011
2011 Nevada Legislative Session CLOSED.
One bill affecting homeschool parents amended.
Second bill affecting alternatives to traditional high school amended to insure freedom.
• AB 171 – Section 10 of the bill affecting homeschool law was amended per our request and signed to law by Governor Sandoval
o AB 171 opened up the homeschool law (NRS 392.700) to add a requirement for parents to “un-notify” when no longer home-schooling. The issue arose from a DOE audit that revealed a few students were listed as both homeschooled and enrolled in a virtual charter school. The simple fix is to require the virtual charter school to notify the school district where the child was homeschooled that the child is now enrolled in the charter school. However, this bill required both the parent and the charter school to notify the school district which we believed to be redundant and burdensome to the parent.
o Per our written request, Dr. Rheault sought an amendment to AB 171 removing the parent requirement and leaving the responsibility with the charter school to notify the local school district of a previously homeschooled enrolling in their school. The section of concern to us in the bill was amended by the Assembly Ed. Committe. A copy of the NHN letter, dated 3/24/11 and sent to Assembly Ed. Committee regarding AB171 is posted on our website under the “Alerts” tab.
• AB 138 – One section this bill was ammended per our request; passed both the Assembly and Senate and was signed by the Governor
o AB 138 was a “public school bill”. However, HSLDA observed that this bill sought to remove three laws instituted in 1956, NRS392.090, 392.100, & 392.110 that made provisions for a child to leave school after completing the 8th grade.
o Although rarely used, NHN believed these laws to be a “freedom” issue for those public school students who would be better served in an apprenticeship situation or full-time employment rather than attending public high school. We submitted a letter, dated 2/20/11 and attended the hearing on AB138 (letter posted on our “Alerts”) asking the Assembly Education Committee to NOT repeal these three laws.
o The committee amended the bill by not repealing the third law, NRS 392.110. NHN believes this may be of benefit to some 15-18 year olds in the future though it does not affect homeschooling directly.
March 24, 2011
Assemblyman David Bobzien
Chairman, Assembly Education Committee
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: AB 171
Dear Chairman Bobzien and committee members,
By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) seeks to advocate for the rights of parents to direct the education of their children.
We are writing today in regards to AB 171, specifically Section 10, numbers 9 and 11 that will impact homeschool parents.
Regarding Section 10.9. In discussions with Dr. Keith Rheault, Superintendant of Public Instruction on a bill submitted by the Department of Education, AB 41, the same language is found as here in AB 171. Dr. Rheault explained that the problem this language is attempting to correct arose from a state audit where formerly homeschooled students names were appearing on the rolls of public charter schools while still being listed as homeschool students with the district superintendent’s office.
We believe that this is an internal public school system problem, that is easily solved by the second sentence in the proposed language. When a parent enrolls their homeschool student in a public school or public charter school there should be a line on the enrollment form asking where the student was previously enrolled or what district the child was previously homeschooled in. With this information it then should be incumbent upon the public school or public charter school to notify the School District Superintendent that the child is no longer being homeschooled and has been enrolled in said public school or charter school. This will resolve the problem for the public school system of where a child is receiving education for the purposes of funding. The proposed language duplicates work that should logistically be handled by the public school the child is being enrolled in to and not the parent. Dr. Rheault agreed to request an amendment to AB 41 and we assume would be agreeable to the same for AB 171.
We are requesting that AB 171, Section 10.9 (and when appropriate, AB 41) be amended as follows (new language is in italics, requested deletion is [braketed]):
9. If a child who is or was homeschooled seeks admittance or entrance to any school in this
State, the school may use only commonly used practices in determining the academic ability, placement or eligibility of the child. [The parent of the child shall notify the superintendent of schools of the school district in which the child resides that the parent requests that the notice of intent to homeschool filed pursuant to this section be withdrawn.] If the child enrolls in a charter school, the charter school shall notify the board of trustees of the school district in which the child resides of the child’s enrollment in the charter school. A homeschooled child seeking admittance to public high school must comply with NRS 392.033.
Regarding Section 10.11 of AB 171. We are requesting that the names of the college entrance exams be replaced with their registered trademarked names rather than just their acronyms. In 2007, we purposefully requested the LCB to write out the names of these tests in full to avoid confusion for school administrators and parents with any other standardized tests such as the “Stanford Achievement Test (SAT)” which may be administered to public school students. We are requesting this section of AB 171 be amended as follows: (requested deletions in [braketed], new requested wording in bold italic) :
11. Each school district shall allow homeschooled children to participate in the high school proficiency examination administered pursuant to NRS 389.015 and all college entrance examinations offered in this State, including, without limitation, the [Scholastic Aptitude Test,][SAT] SAT®, the [American College Test,][ACT]ACT®, the Preliminary [Scholastic Aptitude Test] SAT and the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, PSAT/NMSQT®
We respectfully request these two amendments be made to AB 171 as written above.
Barbara Dragon, Elissa Wahl, Laura Siegal, Kelley Millard-Radow
February 20, 2011
Assemblyman David Bobzien
Chairman, Assembly Education Committee
Via email: email@example.com
RE: AB 138
Dear Chairman Bobzien,
By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) seeks to advocate for the rights of parents to direct the education of their children. Parents in Nevada have been working under a good law, NRS 392.070 and NRS 392.700, since 2007.
We are not writing today about a homeschool issue but rather regarding AB 138 that may affect the choices currently available to Nevada families seeking the best future for their children.
Specifically, we are concerned with Section 13 of AB 138, which repeals certain provisions relating to the exemption of children from compulsory attendance. The three laws to be repealed under this bill are NRS 392.090, NRS 392.100, and NRS 392.110 (printed in full at the end of this letter). These laws appear to have been adopted in 1956. Although we realize that these laws may not have been utilized much in the recent past we wonder whether it is prudent at this time to remove any option currently available for young teens.
In addition, it appears that the main focus of AB 138 is to improve college readiness of our public high school students. However, we must acknowledge that not all students are college bound and further, some families may need to investigate options available to their high school age children that may not include an academic career, but rather seek to utilize paid apprenticeships or other forms of work to secure a future for the child and the family. The question before us today is whether academic education should be the only option for children between the ages of 14 and 18 or whether other choices should remain available to this age group to secure their futures.
We respectfully request that you consider amending AB 138 and delete Section 13 of AB 138 until more study can be done on the merits of the current law.
Frank Schnorbus, Chair; Barbara Dragon, Elissa Wahl, Laura Siegal, Kelley Millard-Radow
NRS 392.090 Juvenile court may permit child who has completed eighth grade to leave school. After review of the case, the juvenile court may issue a permit authorizing any child who has
completed the eighth grade to leave school.
NRS 392.100 Attendance excused if child 14 years of age or older must support himself or herself or child’s parent. Attendance required by the provisions of NRS 392.040 shall be excused when satisfactory written evidence is presented to the board of trustees of the school district in which the child resides that the child, 14 years of age or over, must work for his or her own or his or her parent’s support.
NRS 392.110 Attendance excused for child between 14 and 18 years of age who has completed eighth grade to enter employment or apprenticeship; written permit required.
1. Any child between the ages of 14 and 18 years who has completed the work of the first eight grades may be excused from full-time school attendance and may be permitted to enter proper
employment or apprenticeship, by the written authority of the board of trustees excusing the child from such attendance. The board’s written authority must state the reason or reasons for such excuse. 2. In all such cases, no employer or other person shall employ or contract for the services or time of such child until the child presents a written permit therefor from the attendance officer or board of trustees. The permit must be kept on file by the employer
and, upon the termination of employment, must be returned by the employer to the board of trustees or other authority issuing it.
February 8, 2011
INFORMATION NOTICE ON BDR 438 – AB 41
NHN began working with the State Superintendent’s office last fall on the 2011 Legilsative Bill Draft Request process, and subsequently has had a series of meetings and discussions.
• BDR 438, submitted by the State Department of Education, lifted a restriction against homeschoolers taking distance education classes offered by the public school system (which includes charter schools since they are public schools).
• The BDR also imposed a requirement on homeschoolers who are leaving homeschooling to submit a letter to the district to withdraw their homeschool status.
• Currently it appears there are not any other BDRs or bills that directly affect homeschooling.
In the 2007 legislative session NHN stated its neutral position on homeschoolers taking public school distance education classes. In principle NHN supports the freedom that homeschoolers should be able to partake of public programs and services (such as public school classes) since homeschoolers are taxpayers too. But without safeguards, these alluring programs can devastate the distinctions between true homeschooling and the “look-a-like” public school distance education programs that are offered by both local districts and charter schools. Reports from homeschoolers in other states illustrate the critical necessity of keeping a clear delineation between the two types of schooling.
Since BDR 438 contained no safeguards whatsoever, such as limiting the number of public school distance ed classes a homeschooler can take (and still be called a homeschooler) to less than 50% of the workload, NHN opposed that portion of the BDR as it was written. State Superintendent Keith Rheault acknowledged and agreed with our concerns. Later, the Legislative Council Bureau (LCB) informed Dr. Rheault that this portion of the BDR was technically flawed as proposed. Dr. Rheault, heeding these concerns, struck that language from the BDR before it matured into an actual Assembly Bill.
Still remaining in the bill (BDR 438, now Assembly Bill 41) is the language pertaining to notifying the district if you decide to stop homeschooling and enroll in another school (public or private) or move out of state. In a meeting last week with Superintendent Rheault, NHN questioned the necessity of this clause for resolving problems the DoE is having with some schools (apparently) receiving state money for registered homeschoolers (which would be illegal). In this effort to understand the root problem and find a constructive resolution, Dr. Rheault agreed that this notification by the parent would not resolve the problem and would be an unnecessary burden on homeschoolers. He has agreed to request an amendment to remove that requirement when the bill is presented to the legislative Education subcommittee.
Only one line, pertaining to what a charter school needs to do if a former homeschooler enrolls in their school, remains. NHN believes this is the key element to resolving the aforementioned accountability problem, and supports that clause.
Our freedom to homeschool came at a great cost, with countless people spending countless hours over many years to get where we are today. NHN is committed to maintaining those freedoms! Any session, including 2011, can present difficult challenges to the parental right to homeschool. We at NHN want to thank you in advance for your prayers and support.
We will be givng a full update on this and any other issues that arise in the next two weeks, at the 2011 NHN Legislature Day & Homeschool Symposium on Friday, February 25th. More information can be found by clicking the Symposium tab above.
Nevada Homeschool Network is unabashedly pro-homeschooling!
We’ve endorsed two candidates running for FEDERAL offices:
SHARRON ANGLE, U.S. Senate
DR. JOE HECK, U.S. Congress, NV District 3
Sharron is a former homeschooler, sat for 8 years on the Assembly Education Committee, and was the sole sponsor of our 2007 Homeschool Freedom bill. She is a true friend of homeschoolers!
Dr. Heck served in the Nevada Senate, and is a homeschool supporter in principle and action.
Sharron’s opponent is Senator Harry Reid. Dr. Heck’s opponent is Congresswoman Dina Titus. NHN officer Laura Siegel has done some research, and we pass this along for your information.
Harry Reid is a NEA (National Education Association) hero. Here’s the link:
Here’s the beginning words of the article in the above link:
No single person was more responsible than Harry Reid when the U.S. Senate in August passed an education jobs bill to prevent class sizes from ballooning, stave off the elimination of school subjects such as arts, music and languages, and keep 161,000 educators in our schools…
A link to NEA “recommended” candidates is on this webpage:
Specifically it says: For NEA members only: To find out which U.S. Senate and House candidates in your state are recommended by NEA for November’s elections as strong advocates of teachers, educators and public education, click here.
Both Harry Reid and Dina Titus are listed there.
Here is the NEA’s position on homeschooling (Resolution passed at the 2010 Convention in New Orleans)
B-82. Home Schooling. The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.
The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.
The above resolution, along with many others that may interest homeschoolers, can be seen in the article by Phyllis Schlafly entitled “NEA’s Latest Shenanigans”
Lastly, the NEA’s report card for the Congress, both House and Senate, can be seen at this link: http://www.nea.org/home/19413.htm
The anti-homeschool NEA gives both Harry Reid and Dina Titus an “A”.
Nevada Homeschool Network Officers
Frank Schnorbus (Chair)
Barbara Dragon (Treasurer)
Elissa Wahl (Secretary)
The Supreme Court decision earlier this year (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) has allowed NHN to exercise our free speech rights, so we can ENDORSE candidates without having to be a PAC, and we can tell you WHY we endorse them! NHN is organized as a 501(c)4 non-profit, exactly the same as the Citizens United group. Because we lobby and take positions on issues affecting homeschooling, we elected to organize this way instead of as a 501(c)3 non-profit, which is what most homeschool support groups and churches are.
State laws still govern whether we may or may not endorse candidates running for state offices. We are not attorneys, but we’ve been slogging through the NRS and so far we don’t see why we can’t do that also. To be safe, we haven’t yet, pending advice from more knowlegable people than us. If you can help us, please let us know!!
Nevada Homeschoolers: Help Preserve America’s Future
Generation Joshua is assembling teams of adult and student volunteers to campaign in the final four days of crucial congressional races around the country. GenJ members participate for free–all you need to bring is a willingness to shape the future of our nation. Registration deadline is October 15.
Sign up today by clicking here Generation Joshua – Election 2010 ACTION TEAMS
CALL TO ACTION:
Nevada Homeschool Network is asking homeschool teens AND adults to register with Generation Joshua and work on an ACTION TEAM to get out the vote! Please, don’t delay REGISTER today by clicking the link above!
ANGLE SIGNS PARENTAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT PLEDGE
It’s official! Sharron Angle, candidate for US Senate from Nevada has signed the pledge to support the Parental Rights Amendment to the US Constitution if elected on November 2nd!
NHN Officers Frank Schnorbus and Barbara Dragon both spoke with Sharron regarding the need to protect the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children as a fundamental right in the United States. With the threat of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that the Obama Administration is determined to have the US Senate ratify the time for this amendment is now.
For more information on this important amendment to the US Constitution being proposed; go to www.parentalrights.org We urge you to call other Nevada candidates running for federal office and Governor.
Thank you for your help!
CORRECTING THE RECORD: Favorable homeschool bill not passed in 1985 as reported by Wall Street Journal on 7/17/2010
Stephen Moore, senior economics writer for Wall Street Journal editorial pages, wrote a very lengthy and informative piece on Sharron Angle’s campaign to defeat Harry Reid printed in the weekend edition July 17-18, 2010 and posted online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704682604575369093396496532.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
Of interest to homeschoolers is her roll in the homeschool movement in Nevada that he mentions about half way through. Regrettably, however his facts aren’t correct on what happened to us here in NV and implies that Sharron won the battle in 1985 which was not the case as we all know. The following correction was posted in the comments section (pg. 9, #216) to his piece which is probably irrelevant to most but to Nevada homeschoolers, who worked so hard from 1983 to 2007 to make homeschooling free, it is not.
Just to clarify a point regarding Sharron’s service to NV home school parents. Although there were “homeschooling” bills proposed in the 1983 and 1985 NV Legislative sessions to change the existing 1947 law and Mrs. Angle did participate in those fights, both bills died and did not become law.
The result was that the NV State Board of Education was empowered for the next 24 years to regulate the rights of parents to educate their own children. And regulate they did; making NV one of the most restrictive states to home school in during that time. It took dedicated home school parents 20 years of fighting the NV State Board of Education to scale back some of the most restrictive regulations.
In 2006, Assemblywoman Sharron Angle sought relief for home school parents by requesting a Homeschool Freedom Bill. The bill was picked up State Senator Maurice Washington and championed by Sharron (who had given up her Assembly seat to run for Congress in ’06) for the 2007 NV Legislative session.
Nevada Homeschool Network (a statewide homeschool advocacy group established in 2002 and built on the work of homeschool parents before them) authored the bill and worked with Senator Washington and Sharron to usher the bill through the NV Legislature to a unanimous vote of approval in both houses. The bill was signed into law on June 14, 2007.
Of most significance is that the law removed home schooling from the jurisdiction of the NV State Board of Education and grants freedoms delineated in both the US and NV Constitutions. It is this kind of dedication to upholding the Constitution and the rights of all NV citizens that exemplifies Sharron’s record.
Sharron’s candidacy has served to bring the Homeschool Movement front and center on the national scene. We are most grateful to Sharron’s constant support of parental rights.
Millennium Scholarship – April 2010 – UPDATE 4/28/2010
Good news from the NSHE Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs: “After reviewing Nevada Revised Statute 396.930, NSHE Legal Counsel determined that the core curriculum for home schooled students is not required under the statute.”
As a result the Homeschool Application for the Millennium Scholarship has been revised eliminating the request for proof of “core curriculum requirements” in Section VI. The new form can be found at https://nevadatreasurer.gov/documents/millennium/Form-NoDiploma.pdf .
In addition, we were able to convince the NV State Treasurer’s Office (Millennium Scholarship) to correct and revise the MS Application for clarity so that future misunderstandings about who can apply and what the homeschool student needs to do to qualify for the scholarship is perfectly clear. To that end, the word “or” has been added to Section III of the application form between these two questions:
Did you obtain a GED?…
Did you complete a homeschool program?…
Now it should be abundantly clear to all that homeschooled students DO NOT need to take the GED to qualify for the Nevada Millennium Scholarship.
We appreciate both the NSHE staff and NV State Treasurer’s MS staff for working with NHN to assure that all qualified homeschool students have the opportunity to apply for the scholarship.
For those of you with homeschool students who are graduating this year and plan to apply for the Millennium Scholarship (for use at NV Community Colleges, Universities and the State College) there is a “NEW” application form for homeschool students posted on the NV State Treasurer’s office website that we believe to be incorrect.
Thanks to the sharp eye of a homeschool mom who downloaded the application and alerted me of her concern, the following was found; in Section VI – Checklist of Requirements item # 2 has been added this year:
__ I have enclosed proof that I have met the core curriculum requirements as established by the Board of Regents for the graduating class of 2009 and after. (4 units of Math (including Algebra II); 4 units of English; 3 units of Natural Science; 3 units of Social Science and History)
NHN believes this requirement to be incorrect for students who did not graduate from a public or private high school in Nevada (homeschooled student or GED student). We have put a call into Board of Regents for clarification in this matter. Regent Ron Knecht has asked that our question be sent to their legal department for review. We hope to have answer soon.
Since your student won’t be applying for the Scholarship until May or June, depending on when they graduate, there is nothing to do at this time. This matter should be resolved by the time you need a correct application form.
We will keep you posted,
2009 Legislative Session, Bills We’re Watching March 31, 2009
Dear Homeschool Parents and Friends of Homeschooling,
This has been a busy time for NHN Officers. We have been tracking bills submitted to the 2009 Nevada Legislative session. We are pleased to report that at this time none affect our Homeschool Freedom directly. However, there are bills that may have affect upon some in the homeschooling community.
We have listed the bills that we have reviewed in numerical order for easy reference. You can click on the bill number and it will take you to the page where the bill description/our position is listed below. We’ve also categorized the bills by importance/interest to homeschool families.
After the bills section we explain different ways you can make your opinion known on one or all of these bills. Thanks for staying engaged in the Legislative process.
Governor Proclaims Home Education Awareness Week! March 6, 2009
Governor Gibbons proclaims March 30th – April 5th Home Education Awareness Week!!
Nevada Homeschool Network is hosting a bookfair celebration and fundraiser, Friday, April 3, 2009
Barnes and Noble
5555 South Virginia Street
*Invite family, friends and homeschool supporters to acknowledge and honor Home Education Awareness Week.
*Local author book reading and signing
*Top gun pilot presentation and autographed photos
*Local politicians meet and greet
*Barnes and Noble presentation on benefits to home educators
Print out the voucher ! Forward it to friends and family! Print copies to distribute at work locations! Place a stack at your local library!
Let’s work together to promote Home Education Awareness Week in Nevada AND Support the fundraiser for Nevada Homeschool Network.
Las Vegas Event
Nevada Homeschool Network is hosting a Community Event Thurs April 2, 2009. Hours 11-3. Location Lone Mountain Park, 4445 N. Jenson (Craig/Jenson) very close to the 215/Lone Mountain exit or the 95/Craig exit.
The event will be in the Southern Parking area and pavillion/grassy area. Non event vehicles would be asked to park in the Northern parking lot, to leave room for special vehicles (ambulances, firetrucks, etc)
There is no fee to attend.
We would love each family to bring a potluck item to share; drinks, chips, main dishes, desserts, etc, but please come even if you can’t bring an item to share!
We will have all sorts of neat community resources on hand including (but not limited to):
Fire Safety- Smokehouse
Nevada Amateur Radio Club
Go For It USA Gymnastics
Featured Speakers (At the Gazebo):
12 Noon: Dr. Joe Heck, former State Senator, will be briefly speaking and available to meet with families. Dr. Heck has been a staunch supporter of homeschooling and has been instrumental in helping pass many of the bills Nevada Homeschool Network has worked on.
1pm: North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon will give a short speech and be available for meeting families. Mr. Montandon and his wife are a homeschooling family!
2pm: Senator Ensign’s Representative will relay his message of support to homeschoolers!
We are truly blessed in this state to have such supporters of homeschooling looking at high-level government seats!
Media Coverage of the event is expected! We want to showcase homeschooling and the proclamation the Governor signed recognizing Home Education Awareness Week.
Please come out and have a lovely day at the park with us!
Donations to Nevada Homeschool Network may be made via paypal or via mail:
Nevada Homeschool Network
PO Box 1212
Carson City, Nevada 89702
NHN Needs YOU! Feb. 7, 2009
For a change we’d like to focus the light on ourselves; momentarily, we promise! We Nevada Homeschool Network officers have 45 years combined homeschool leadership experience, and who knows how many child-years of homeschool teaching! But we know that it is what you do that makes homeschooling successful, not leadership in Carson City or in Washington DC.
Like any other special interest in today’s world, the right to homeschool and even the right to raise your own children without governmental interference cannot be taken for granted. Enter NHN: volunteer parents with a common vision for homeschool freedom.
NHN wants to pass the baton of leadership cleanly to the future, and needs volunteer dads and moms from across the state to come aboard as NHN officers. This is no small calling! Dads especially are needed.
Our board is self-perpetuating, which means that officers are not elected by membership. When the need is present and we feel that a certain person would be a good fit, we invite him or her to be an officer. While NHN members don’t need to meet any criteria, officers do. We have a statement of faith and a set of bylaws that we must agree to. The occasional intensity of the work that we do, which many would claim is not just political or physical but spiritual also, requires a like-mindedness amongst the NHN Officers to be as free as possible from the religious divisiveness that has befallen so many other homeschool organizations.
We all have other responsibilities (homeschooling, day jobs, families, cars and homes, businesses, you-name-it), and we just make homeschooling one more priority. Experience is nice, but we don’t expect any. We train as we go! And thanks to the internet, where you live is not a problem; we need your voice as well.
With the 2009 Nevada Legislature in session, now is a great time for “new blood” to join our effort and learn the ropes! Don’t worry, apprentice NHN officers aren’t thrown alone to the wolves. We do things together!
So please respond by email to any of us if you are interested.
Nevada Homeschool Network Officers
Mineral County Update February 11, 2009
Upon scrutinizing Mineral County’s policies a little further, some very alarming things came to light. We have been in touch with Mineral County’s Superintendent and have sent him a copy of the below points, that are in violation of NV state law. We’ll keep you updated on the district’s willingness to adhere to law!!
Dear Dr. Kirk
This is a recap of our phone conversation, and an itemized listing of the areas where Mineral County appears to be in non-compliance with the homeschooling laws of NV.
1. School Board no longer has any approval process
NRS 392.700 #3
The purpose of the notice of intent to homeschool is to inform the school district in which the child resides that the child is exempt from the requirement of compulsory attendance.
Dr. Rheault’s Memo to the districts makes this very clear;
Page 1. #1 Compulsory attendance of a child in a public school must be excused if the parent chooses to provide education to the child and files a notice of intent to homeschool with the Superintendent of Schools of the school district where the child lives. SB404 no longer requires satisfactory written evidence that the child is receiving equivalent instruction be presented to the board of trustees of a local school district. Rather, requirements for information contained in the notice are now established in law and need only by acknowledged by the Superintendent of Schools where the notice is filed.
SB404 Sec 7 (1b), Sec 5(7)
This practice needs to stop immediately
2. Listing the student’s names in the Agenda’s runs afoul of 392.700 #5(f)
f) An optional statement that the parent may sign which provides:
I expressly prohibit the release of any information contained in this document, including, without limitation, directory information as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(5)(A), without my prior written consent.(Memo page 2, #10)
And certainly of
392.700 #8 pertains to who and how the superintendent may release a homeschooler’s records or information. (Memo page 2, #9)
And worse yet
A school or organization shall not discriminate in any manner against a child who is or was homeschooled. (page 3, #12)
So, unless the school board does the same thing with children who are exempt from public school to go to a private school, this “special” treatment of homeschoolers is discrimination.
3. We understand you may have a desire to help all educators, even homeschoolers. Clark County has taken the position that helping homeschoolers is neither in the law, nor in their scope of purposes. We’d agree. That’s best left to homeschool groups.
PLEASE give interested homeschoolers the contact information for Nevada Homeschool Network and Dr. Orval Nutting.
4. That brings us to, what IS the districts responsibility?
Again, back to Dr. Rheault’s memo
1)To enforce Compulsory Ed law
2)For the superintendent to accept the Notification of intent (page 1, #1)
3)To make only the Dept of Ed Notice of Intent Form available (page 1, #4)
4)To NOT require or request any additional information or assurances from the parent who files. (page 1 #4)
5)To accept that form or any other Notice of Intent form that meets the requirements of Sec 5 (5) (Today this is 392.700 #5)
6)To provide a “written acknowledgement which clearly indicates that the parent has provided the notification required by law and that the child is being homeschooled.” (page 2, #8)
7)To retain a physical or electronic copy of the acknowledgement for not less than 15 years (page 2, #8)
8)To provide information on their website, in a timely manner, regarding the High School Proficiency Exam and all college entrance exams such as the S.A.T, the A.C.T. and the PSAT/NMSQT, including registration dates and examination dates. (page 2, # 13)
9)To Conduct Child Find- identify children with special needs, as required by Federal law
That’s it. No approval process. Not of the form, not of the educational plan. Only a court of law can offer an opinion on the contents of the educational plan, according to NRS 392.700 #12
5. Website…Once Mineral County School District is clear on the homeschooling law, the website then needs to also offer the correct information. It appears that your district has 3 websites, so all should be correct.
Gohawthornes which is seems to be under construction
Mineralcountyschools.org No homeschooling info and bad links
Mineral.k12.nv which is linked to Nevada Dept of Ed, has illegal homeschooling information , bad links and no testing information for homeschoolers as required by law
From this website: in bold italics are the areas of concern
Step 1 Review the following website http://www.doe.nv.gov/schools/homeschooling.html
Step 2 Contact the Superintendent (Required)
Step 3 Complete Home School Forms
Step 2 is inaccurate. The phrase “required to contact” the supt., is very misleading. Rather the parents submit the NOI to the super, and by law it need not even be in person. No other “contact” is necessary.
HOME SCHOOL CHOICE
As part of Nevada’s Education choice, there are very specific requirements for individuals who will opt for home schooling their children. Nevada law (NRS 392.070) provides for a waiver of the compulsory attendance laws and procedures for parents/guardians to follow in pursuing the waiver. For background, resources, and contacts, please see the information below.
Mineral County Requires the following steps for the process to be complete prior to beginning the home school process:
1.A parent and or guardian must complete the required forms to begin participation in home schooling.
2.The parent and or guardian making the request must meet with the principal of the school of enrollment prior to board approval.
3.The Mineral County School Board will review the request and take the appropriate action.
4.The parent and or guardian will be notified of the board’s decision in writing within 5 days of the board meeting.
5.The parent and or guardian, upon board approval may check the student out of school.
Every “requirement” listed above is an egregious misrepresentation of NRS 392.070 and 392.700 and does not conform with Nevada law.
None of the “background or resource” links provided (see below) to these documents work; rather, sends the reader to an error 404 page. If interested homeschoolers were able to read any of the documents listed they would see immediately that Mineral County’s “requirements” are not in compliance with the law.
2007-RHEAULT Letter for Homeschooling
2007 Homeschool Information – Table of Contents
2007 Homeschool Information
Notice of Intent to Homeschool
Notice if Intent of Homeschooled Child to Participate
If you need further information, contact: Orval K. Nutting, Ed.D.
Nevada Department of Education
1749 Moody St., Suite 40
Carson City, NV 89706-2543
2007-DR. RHEAULT Letter for Homeschooling
6.Currently Nevada Homeschool Network has an Alert out on our statewide group and on our Nevada homeschool network website and has been in touch with Dr. Orval Nutting on this issue.
While Nevada Homeschool Network certainly holds no “authority” over Mineral County School District, we sincerely hope you will verify all of the above information and act accordingly. We will be doing our duty and looking out for all homeschoolers by following up on Mineral’s compliance.
Nevada Homeschool Network
cc: Dr. Orval Nutting, NV Dept of Ed
Dr. Keith Rheault, Superintendent of Public Instruction, NV
Mineral County School District Not In Compliance With Homeschool Law Feb 2009
The information listed on the school district’s website regarding homeschooling is incorrect.
There is no requirement to meet with the superintendent and there is no need for the school board to “approve” your Notice of Intent.
If you plan on pulling your child from the Mineral County School District to homeschool, PLEASE read the laws listed on our LAWS page, and be prepared to educate the office. We will be in communications with the district over this matter and hope it is solved shortly. Meanwhile, please let us know if you have any problems!
Ad From Virtual Charter School? May 13, 2008
Have you received an advertisement from “Insight school of Nevada”? This is a virtual charter school, and we don’t believe that our names should have been provided to them by the local district or by the State. We believe this ad was sent to all high school homeschooled children statewide.
Our new homeschool law stipulates the purpose for providing a Notice of Intent to Homeschool to the
local district. This Notice of Intent includes our child’s name, address and age. The law says: “The purpose of the notice of intent to homeschool is to inform the school district in which the child resides that the child is exempt from the requirement of compulsory attendance.” (NRS 392.700 #3). That purpose does not include the provision of the children’s information, nor the parent’s, by the government to private companies that charter or contract with the State.
Also, many of us signed a privacy statement on the Notice of Intent that states: “I expressly prohibit the release of any information contained in this document, including, without limitation, directory information as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(5)( A), without my prior written consent.” This clause is also provided for in the new law in NRS 392.700 #5f.
Please let us know by emailing FandR@semp.net.
NHN – Chair
NV Home Education Awareness Week: March 31- April 5th
Governor Jim Gibbons proclaimed March 31-April 5th as Nevada Home Education Awareness Week.
Unfortunately NHN didn’t receive prior notice of this, but it is OFFICIAL. A homeschool dad from NDOT saw the proclamation and forwarded it to NNHS chairman Jim Poston who forwarded it to us. Today is the last day but we can still celebrate the Governor’s recognition of all Nevada Home Educators!!! Thanks to Governor Gibbons for recognizing the hard and excellent work of homeschool parents and the achievements of homeschool students.
You can click on this image to get the pdf version…print it out and show it off!
March 11, 2008: Answers to Good Questions
In light of the situation occurring in California we’ve decided to update a document used during our last legislature entitled Answers to Good Questions. Nevada law places homeschool responsibility directly on the parent, and also protects children from parents who might try to hide abuse by homeschooling.
A few homeschoolers want more restrictions!
In the 2007 legislature a small but vocal group testified against SB404 in favor of a more restrictive law based on the assumption that homeschoolers were ignorant when it comes to educating their own children and, even worse, may actually neglect their children’s education. Yes, they were “homeschoolers” who believe that most homeschool parents need oversight from the government, despite the overwhelmingly good record of unregulated homeschoolers. This same group has testified against homeschool freedom for years, calling us flower children that “…want to smoke dope and smell flowers”**.
Motives may be profit-driven
We believe their “concerns” are profit-driven as they provide fee-based services to new homeschoolers. Under the old homeschool law and regulations they made many new homeschoolers think their homeschools would only be legal if they used those services. We believe these tactics were and are dishonest. These people do NOT work with recognized homeschool leaders in Nevada to address their concerns, but instead show up at hearings and meetings and try to derail homeschool freedoms by misrepresenting themselves and the facts.
Read our Answers to Good Questions to see FACTS about homeschooling and the measures that Nevada homeschool leaders have taken to protect our FREEDOM. A California situation is very unlikely to occur here in Nevada. Nevada CPS and Nevada courts are appropriately equipped to handle any neglect or abuse reports.
Nevada Homeschool Network response to correct the record:
- A decision by parents to enroll their child in pubic, private or to homeschool, does not equate with any type of abuse, either physical or educational. Parents and teachers who abuse are a small fraction, and exist throughout society.
- In Nevada over 90% of children attend public school, yet only 19% of all child abuse reports come from schools. NV law has built in protection for children against abuse, both physical and educational. Government schools and governmental oversight are NOT a foolproof safety net for children. Parents, neighbors, churches, and others are the real protectors of children.
- In addition to the existing truancy law in NRS 392 and the educational neglect law in NRS 432B, NRS 392.700 subsection 12 allows a court to evaluate a parent’s educational plan.
- Further restrictions in the law are unnecessary. Requiring homeschoolers to annually notify their district that they are homeschooling is misguided thinking. Current law requires a one time notification and annual re-notification only if the child’s address or name changes. There is no need to further burden local districts or parents with extra paperwork. Clark County, with over 3000 register homeschoolers, has NO dedicated homeschool staff, and does NOT want the extra burden!
- Nevada Homeschool Network is committed to protecting the right of parents to direct the education of their child as well as ensuring that all parents take full responsibility for the education of that child.
Homeschooling has become a mainstream choice in education. Yet, there are some within our own ranks who are fighting to go backwards to the 1980s when homeschooling was nearly illegal. As always Nevada homeschoolers need to remain vigilant to maintain the hard-fought liberties we gained in 2007.
Frank Schnorbus, Elissa Wahl, Barbara Dragon, Carl Lucas, Kelley Millard Radow, and Laura Siegal
**From the Las Vegas Weekly on 9/1/2005 describing homeschoolers as, “Flower children from the ’60s, they don’t like accountability,” says homeschooling parent Suzanne Nounna. “They just want to smoke dope and smell flowers. They’re at the forefront of this, pushing less regulation.”
This comment was made in response to regulation changes being proposed at that time to the Nevada State Board of Education.
March 7, 2008: Update on CA Homeschooling
Emotions of shock, fear and indignation continue to prevail amongst homeschool supporters nationwide regarding the California appeals court ruling on homeschooling last week. Many people are wondering
how this will affect homeschoolers in other states. Our answer is that it depends on the laws in each state.
Just after our new homeschool law here in Nevada was passed last June I remember being asked on several occasions what was “different”. The most obvious difference is our one-time Notification. But
underneath, homeschooling in Nevada was completely changed! The analogy I used was a bridge over a river: you can drive over a turn-of-the-century wooden bridge, and unknowingly cause structural creakings and stresses. Or replace it with a modern super-structure designed to handle modern traffic, and the bridge will hardly know you’re crossing. Although Nevada has had a homeschool law of sorts on the books since 1947, it gave broad powers to the local pubic school district and to the State Board of Education. In fact, a 1982 court case in Humboldt County resulted in a court opinion very similar to this California case; homeschooling was not allowed. Had our new law not passed, this California case almost certainly could have had a huge negative affect on Nevada homeschoolers. There could be significant impact in states with laws similar to our old law, or in states similar to California where homeschooling isn’t even defined.
Earlier today Dr. James Dobson had several important guests on his Focus on the Family radio show. Roy Hanson of Family Protection Ministries (the California version of Nevada Homeschool Network), Michael Farris of HSLDA, and others discussed the California situation. You can listen to the broadcast
I also saw the San Francisco Chronicle had this homeschooling case as their front page top headline. It was encouraging to read this:
“State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell issued a statement saying he supports “parental choice when it comes to homeschooling.” That was encouraging!
Click here to read the entire article.
It’s important to know that, unfortunately, this case has it’s roots in a family where there have been several allegations of abuse over the past two decades. We’ve read some court documents – we don’t
know if they’re “public” information and don’t want to be part of spreading them if they’re not – that depict some of the abuse the children have allegedly gone through. So we encourage people to sign the petition to depublish the court case, but we suggest people refrain from jumping to the defense of the family. The case centered around abuse, not around homeschooling. This court opinion, however, went far beyond the immediate case at hand, judging all homeschoolers in the entire State.
We will continue to keep everyone updated as we learn more. The bottom line for Nevada is, be thankful! And keep California homeschoolers in your thoughts and prayers.
Elissa Wahl, Laura Siegel, Carl Lucas, Kelley Radow, Barb Dragon,
March 4, 2008: Chaos in California
Just a few days ago, on February 28th, a momentous Appellate Court decision was handed down in California. Some of you may have heard about it elsewhere; let’s call it an “opportunity” for homeschool law improvement in California! HSLDA has stated that, if followed, this decision will cause California to have the most regressive law in the nation and homeschooling will be effectively banned. HSLDA was not a party to the case, and found out about it when the decision was made public.
In California the most common way to homeschool is to enroll your child in a private school. Below is a quote from “Private and Home Educators of California, Legal-Legislative Update” for August/September 2007, by Roy M. Hanson, Jr.. (Family Protection Ministries, PO Box 730, Lincoln, Calif 95648-0730):
“Enrolling your compulsory-age child in a private school (whether home-based or campus-based), which has filed a current private school affidavit, exempts your child from compulsory attendance at a public
school, according to California Education Code Sections 48222 and 33190. In California, there is no legally-defined entity known as a ‘homeschool.’ In order to be consistent with the law of our state, we do not use the term ‘homeschool’ with public school officials.”
The unanimous decision, by Justices Walter Croskey, Joan D. Klein, and Patti S. Kitching, said that enrolling the children in the private school (Sunland Christian School) was depriving them of an education in a public or private full-time day school setting. It was a “ruse of enrolling them in a private school and then letting them stay home and be taught by a non-credentialed parent.” The court also threw out the parental claim they were homeschooling their children because of religious beliefs. Citing the Supreme Court Amish case (Wisconsin v. Yoder), this family wasn’t religious enough, causing some commentators to wonder if it is necessary to be super-religious to gain special favors from the government.
All of this is on the heels of California passing into law the very controversial SB777, which prohibits public schools and teachers from “reflecting adversely” on gays and lesbians, which many say will prevent schools from using the terms “mommy” or “daddy”. Many groups have recently come together under “California Exodus”, calling for people to get their children out of public schools.
The court decision strikes me as very similar to the Nevada case in Humboldt County (the Wallace case) in 1982. In that case an application to homeschool was denied by the local school district because the parents weren’t credentialed, the parents had no Constitutional right to educate their own children, and the parents weren’t religious enough (according to the secular court).
Nevada now has a very different type of law protecting our legal right to homeschool. We are not considered “private” schools, and homeschooling is defined in law. Parents are directly responsible for the education of their children. Provision is made for the courts to verify homeschooling is occurring, if a court requests it, to help prevent abuse of the law from occurring. A religious clause similar to the Federal RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) helps prevent a secular court from deciding whether you’re “religious” or not. Many provisions have been included by our legislators to allow us to participate in public school special education, in public school classes, and in sports and other extracurricular activities, as well as full access to the state’s Millennium Scholarship program for our graduates. We have so much to be thankful for! Be sure to tell your Assemblyman or Senator thank you!
Frank Schnorbus, Elissa Wahl, Kelley Radow, Barb Dragon, Laura Siegel, Carl Lucas
To learn more about the California situation, here are some helpful links:
JUNE 4th, 2007: SB404 PASSED the Nevada Legislature!!!
SB 404-R4 has passed both the Nevada Assembly and Senate and is on its way to the Governor! Although amended 4 times since the original we are very pleased with the outcome. Your emails and phone calls made a huge difference; we kept hearing throughout the session once a committee passed the bill, “Please stop the emails!” Here is quick overview of the many sweeping positive aspects of the bill. This new law takes effect July 1st, and is recognition by the Legislature of your hard work!
New FREEDOM for Homeschoolers:
- Eliminates oversight of homeschooling by the local or state public school system: It establishes a one-time notification of intent to homeschool to be the local school district when the child begins to homeschool. This EXEMPTS the child from the compulsory attendance law. All current homeschoolers will be required to file this year under the new law but won’t be required to file ever again unless they move, or the names or address change, or the child wants to take a class or do an activity in the public school system. No longer do parents need to show the child’s birth certificate, and there is no need, reason, or requirement for the parent to ever have to go down to the public school District office. New homeschoolers will need to have all of their questions answered by their homeschool support group.
- Eliminates the requirement that homeschoolers provide “equivalent instruction to public schools”: The law now clearly gives the parent the right to direct the education of the child and full responsibility to determine what, when, and how the child is being educated. The child must, at a minimum, be educated in English (reading, composition and writing), Math, Science, and Social Studies (history, geography, economics, and government) but as appropriate for the child’s age and skill level as determined by the parent and not all courses are required to be taught every year! With the new law, only a court and not the public school system can decide whether or not the homeschooled child is being educated.
- Requires the school district to accept a notice of intent (they are barred from requiring or requesting anything more than what is in the law) and may not “deny” a notice that contains the required information:
- Name, age, gender of child;
- Name and address of parent;
- An educational plan, as appropriate for the age and skill level of the child at the time of filing for the first year of homeschooling. (This plan does not have to meet any set standard, and can be short and simple. Additionally, each parent can easily develop the plan themselves, and you do not need to hire consultants to do it for you. Your homeschool support group can assist by posting sample educational plan templates for the various grade levels);
- The last Nevada public school attended, if applicable; and
- A privacy statement if you so wish to sign.
- Upon receipt of the notification of intent to homeschool that contains the above information a district must give the parent a “written acknowledgement… that the parent has provided the notification required by law and that the child is being homeschooled.” The acknowledgement shall serve as “Proof of Compliance” with Nevada’s compulsory school attendance law. AND the district must keep a copy of the acknowledgement for at least 15 years. If you ever lose or misplace the acknowledgement you (or the child after he turns 18) may request a copy of the acknowledgement or anything else in the child’s homeschool file and the district must process that request within 5 days.
- Requires the districts to give adequate notice about testing opportunities for high school students and availability to homeschool students, such as the high school proficiency exam and college entrance exams (needed to qualify for the Millennium Scholarship) as well as information on the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Exam, via the internet.
- Establishes a religious liberty clause for homeschool parents and children.
- Clearly defines the word, “parent”.
- Establishes the Nevada court system as the arbitrator of disputes regarding the education of the child. This includes disputes between the parent who is providing the education and the local school district, or a county or state child welfare department, or two parents in a divorce proceeding.
- Includes an anti-discrimination clause by “a school or organization” against a child who is or was homeschooled.
- Clarifies in law how districts may evaluate coursework done by a homeschooled child for entrance into a public high school.
- Requires the Department of Education to adopt regulations for the local Districts to provide special education programs and services to homeschool children if the parents want them. This reflects requirements of current Federal law and regulations.
- Requires the Department of Education to create a Notification of Intent to Homeschool (though the law doesn’t say that this is the only form that can be used by the parent) and the districts must make the form available to the parent.
- Requires the Department of Education to create a “Notice of Intent to Participate in Programs and Activities” with the same information as the Notification of Intent to Homeschool, excluding the educational plan. This is for a homeschooled child who wishes to participate in ANY classes, generally defined as “up to 50% of a school day”, or activities, programs, sports or interscholastic activities and events at or through a public school or charter school. This intent to participate must filed with the school district for each year the homeschool child participates at the public school. The district may request to view proof of identity of the child for participation in classes and/or activities or special education services. They must view proof of identity when a child wishes to participate in any interscholastic activities and events (such as sports).
- If a parent homeschools their child and has submitted the original Notification of Intent to Homeschool, and later enrolls the child in public or private school for a period of time but then decides to withdraw the child for homeschooling again, the parent must fill out a NEW Notification of Intent to Homeschool including a new educational plan for the succeeding year. This comes at the request of school districts that often times see parents enrolling and unenrolling their child and then enrolling again only to unenroll the child again. Since it would then seem that the continuity of education has been broken, the law now requires that each time a child is withdrawn from public or charter school a new Notification of Intent to Homeschool must be submitted that includes a new educational plan established for the current age and skill of the child.
FREEDOMS WE FOUGHT FOR, BUT DIDN’T GET:
- We asked for the ability to file our Notice of Intent to Homeschool forms electronically. The new law says “written notice of intent to homeschool”. It is possible that Nevada law may (now or in the future) recognize electronically filed state documents as being “written”, in which case we’d be able to file electronically.
- We asked to be relieved altogether from the requirement to file an educational plan. We are concerned that this may be, or may become, an issue with local districts trying to exert control over people who file a notice to homeschool. The legislature inserted language to prevent that from occurring, so time will tell if it is an issue or not.
- We asked that the local district NOT be required to provide a written receipt upon receipt of a Notice of Intent to Homeschool. Even amongst ourselves we have differing opinions on this, but our concern is that whenever the district is required to do something they tend to want something more than your taxes in return. We felt that the Intent form being on file, and our ability to obtain a copy from the District, was sufficient.
Time will tell if any of these become burdensome enough to re-approach the Legislature in future years. But meanwhile, the overwhelming positive freedoms gained by this new law far outweigh these comparatively small items!
More work needs to be done as we adjust to these new freedoms!
We you need to thank your legislators, individually. Each homeschool support group needs to be ready and available to answer the questions of people who are inquiring about homeschooling; the local districts won’t be doing that anymore! We need to continue to work with our local districts, our State Department of Education, and our State Board of Education, as we take our place at the table as an equal educational option with public and private schools. And no doubt there will be future challenges that we’ll need to address.
To read the final bill go to: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/Bills/SB/SB404_R4.pdf
Nevada Homeschool Network and the Committee to Modernize Nevada Homeschool Law want to thank you for your help in getting this homeschool freedom law passed!
Frank Schnorbus, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN)
Barbara Dragon, NHN, and Douglas County homeschool parents
Elissa Wahl, NHN, NWLVHSERS Group, Las Vegas
Irene Rushing, Home Educators of Faith (HEoF), Reno/Sparks
Carl Lucas, NHN, HEoF, and Pershing County homeschool parents
Tina Goodman, NHN, TEACH, Churchill County homeschool parents
Kelley Radow, Eagle Home School Co-op, NNHS, Reno
Kime King-Patraw, parent-at-large, Las Vegas
June 01, 2007: SB404 Update
Today, SB404 was heard twice before the assembly, first for voting on the amendment that was proposed by the Education Committee. This was passed onto the Bill. Then, for a passage with the amendment. This, too, passed.
As the bill reads now, it is NOT more restrictive than what we currently have. There are actually some very good parts to the bill, and we are happy that the bill as a whole was passed. There are a few more technicalities that need to happen before this becomes law. We will keep you updated if we need more action, and we will let you know what all this means for YOU.
You may now stop emailing/calling the assemblymen. Thanks for letting them know your views and more about homeschooling! Your emails and calls were helpful! Hopefully they will remember us in years to come!!
May 30, 2007: SB404-Help Needed!!
Update on today’s SB404 Hearing: There is a small percentage of homeschoolers who are advocating that there should be many (many!) restrictions on homeschooling, and that your right to homeschool should be overseen and controlled by the public school system! This fox-watching-the-henhouse mentality is prevalent in the Assembly, and many Committee members eagerly listened while all of the restrictionist testimonies were heard.
Prior to today’s hearing, we put out several emails asking folks to email their legislators and to show up at the legislative hearings; unfortunately people aren’t coming out and the one group that does show up is AGAINST homeschooling freedoms! Though we’ve been in contact with people from this group, they refuse to work with us. Instead, they show up at these hearings and testify against us. We’ve also been informed that they’re actively emailing their legislators, lobbying against freedom!
At the Assembly Education Committee workshop today we had:
1) In Carson; Frank Schnorbus, Carl Lucas (2.5 hr drive each way), Tina Goodman (1.5 hr drive each way), Irene Rushing and daughter (45 min drive each way), and one other homeschool mom and her son. All are against restrictive laws.
2) In Las Vegas; Elissa Wahl, Gina Anderson, Suzanne Nounna and her daughter, and Zoe Hardge. Only Elissa is against restrictive laws.
Even though it wasn’t a public hearing, for some reason Chairwoman Bonnie Parnell allowed each of the Las Vegas people (all 4, except Elissa) to testify. She had already heard Elissa testify last week during the time allowed for public testimony.
Testifiers today said that they want annual filings, and more restrictive guidelines. One went so far as to say that she feared with lesser restrictions, homeschoolers would start to lose the high-achieving scores they’ve had in years past that were due to state-mandated testing!!! However, not one made mention of the fact that they run businesses making money “helping” homeschoolers, or “teaching homeschoolers”. In years past this was a well known fact, publically testified to at a State Board of Education meeting. Of course we understand it is financially more savy to make restrictions harder, so more folks “need help”. This group will talk to us only to find out what they can use against us. Then they show up and testify against us, usually without having a clue about what is being considered (as evidenced today). It’s in their business interest for there to be a LOT OF RESTRICTIONS! They and their cohorts are testifying against homeschool freedoms! Another 60 years of homeschool restrictions would be in their best interests.
Here’s where our homeschool bill is now, after suffering several amendments in the Education Committee. The requirement to file annually would stay intact. The requirement to file an educational plan would stay intact (this is where the anti-freedom homeschoolers make a killing). The requirement for the local district to give a receipt for receiving your notification would stay intact (be aware that anytime the district has to do something, they will want something in return). Other very restrictive amendments were discussed during the workshop, including filing an educational plan EVERY year, but it is unclear at this point if they will be part of the bill that goes to the Assembly for a full vote.
Is it true that the majority of homeschoolers think that the problems are being “handled” by a few of us leaders, and that there is no need for them to act?
SB404 is being dismantled, and rest assured that there is a minority of homeschoolers that is giggling excitedly. It appeared that Nevada was going to catch up with several of our surrounding states as far as homeschooling freedoms are concerned, but that is now seriously in jeopardy. Please immediately contact as many Assembly members as you can and tell them that the testimony heard today does NOT represent your opinions on homeschooling freedoms! Tell them SB404, as amended in the Senate, is what we want! (http://www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/Bills/SB/SB404_R2.pdf) Or contact all of them if you wish! Emails are below.
Meanwhile, we will continue to work with the Legislature. We only have a few days left! Please help! We need this immediately!
May 29, 2007: SB404 Calls Needed
Tomorrow (wed) is a big day for SB404. Last week it was heard for the first time in the Assem. Education Committee and a few questions were raised. A work session will take place Wed May 30 at 3:45pm. During this time we hope to explain answers to their questions. The timing is crucial…we are coming up on the end of the legislative session. We reallyyyyyy need this bill heard and a vote on it, preferably a YAY vote, and then a PROMPT floor vote.
Please, call Chairwoman Parnell’s office 775-684-8825 and respectfully ask her to call for a vote on our bill. It is up to her discretion to even hear it, and then to call for a vote on it. We need it voted on!
You can attend this work session but there is no testimony taken. Support is still crucial though!
# Room 3142 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV.
# Videoconference to 4401 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, NV.
If you have not already called and asked the Education Committee members to vote favorably for SB404, it is not too late!
May 15, 2007: Senate Passes SB 404
Today the Senate UNANIMOUSLY passed SB404..now on to the Assembly Education Committee!
May 9, 2007: Update on SB404
While SB404 was in the Senate Human Resources and Education Committee we met with Dr. Keith Rheault, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and agreed to amend the bill so that homeschoolers would send their Notice of Intent to Homeschool to the local district (as we currently do) instead of to his office. He said he would then remove the fiscal note that he had attached to the bill. A fiscal note indicates that the bill is going to “cost” the government money, either at the State or at the local level, so the bill must get passed by more committees. Often it is a “diplomatic” way to kill a bill, contending that it will cost money and making the bill jump through several extra imaginary hoops. For SB404 we felt that amending it was more expedient than taking the time to prove that it would save the State money.
Thinking the bill was now free, we sent the April 25th email asking folks to contact their Senators to pass the bill on the Senate floor.
But… instead of going to the floor, for reasons that no one can quite adequately explain (to us anyway), the bill still showed the fiscal note, and it got scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. We attended, and Dr. Rheault testified that he had removed the fiscal note, and we testified that we’d like to move the bill along as soon as possible. By this time deadlines for passage over to the other house had passed, but a deadline “exemption” had been passed for our bill. Disappointingly the Finance Committee didn’t vote and pass our bill out of their committee immediately.
Meanwhile Clark County proposed a couple of further amendments to the bill, now that the Notices of Intents would be going to the local district offices instead of the State Superintendent. A meeting was set up with Senator Washington, and we negotiated yet another amendment. The first amendment would define the only times that a homeschool parent would have to show a child’s birth certificate; that being when the child is to participate in services, events or activities (ie sports), or classes in the public school system. The second was to clarify in law how credits would be awarded to a child who was homeschooled but is now entering into a middle school grade; currently this is defined in the regulations but Clark County felt it needed to be in the law.
The day we met with Clark County, last Thursday May 3rd, the Senate Finance Committee took a vote and sent our bill forward. So now we’ve received confirmation that the bill has been sent back to the LCB (Legislative Counsel Bureau) to get our amendment language drafted into legal lingo in the bill itself. It will then go to the full Senate floor, where the amendments and the bill itself will get voted upon. Of course we don’t know when this will happen since we don’t know how long the LCB will take to do their work. The good news is that the bill itself has received very little opposition during testimony. So our hope is that when it gets (as we hope!) over to the Assembly most of the wrinkles will have been ironed out. We have talked and met with legislators in the Assembly in preparation for that glorious day. WHEN (IF) THAT HAPPENS we will let you know if and when a hearing gets set up in the Assembly Education Committee.
We are still very excited and optimistic about this bill! In 1947 when our current homeschool law was passed, Jackie Robinson, the first black player in modern major league baseball, was playing his first year for the Dodgers. Times have changed in both baseball and education, and we’re excited to get this bill to our Nevada Legislature!!
NHN – Chair
April 25 2007: Calls Needed Now on SB404
The Senate still has to vote on S.B. 404 which was exempt from the April 24th deadline. Calls are needed to ensure a large majority of the Senate passes it. The more votes in favor in the Senate, the more likely it will pass in the Assembly! The vote could be taken at anytime.
Under the ammended version, homeschoolers would simply have to file a notice, once, to the local school district. The notice would include only the full name, age, and gender of the child; the name and address of the parent filing the notice; and a statement signed by the parent affirming that he/she is the parent and “assumes full responsibility for the education of the child while the child is being homeschooled.”
In addition, there is an optional statement that the parent may sign, as in current regulation, which expressly prohibits the release of any information included in the notice of intent to anyone. The bill also prohibits discrimination in any manner against the child who is or was homeschooled, and requires that homeschool children be allowed to participate in the college entrance exams and the National Merit Scholarship qualifying test. One of the most unique and helpful parts of the bill is the statement that “no regulation or policy of the state board or any school district may infringe upon the right of parents to educate his child based on religious preference, unless it is essential to further compelling governmental interest and the least restrictive means to further that governmental interest.”
Please call your state senator now and give him or her this message: “Please support S.B. 404 introduced by Senator Washington and passed unaimously by the Senate Human Resources and Education committee. This bill will better protect parental rights and choice in the area of education. It will also save taxpayers’ money by reducing unnecessary bureaucratic oversight over homeschoolers.”
Do not call the seven members of the Committee who already voted in favor of S.B. 404: Senators Washington, Barbara Cegavske, Dennis Nolan, Joe Heck, Valerie Wiener, Steven Horsford, and Joyce Woodhouse. Be ready to attend hearings for this bill in Carson City and Las Vegas when it is debated by the Assembly Education Committee. If there is strong showing of homeschoolers then S.B. 404 will likely pass and eventually become law!
Thanks for your help in securing FREEDOM for Nevada homeschoolers.
The Committee to Modernize Nevada’s Homeschool Law
April 11 2007: SB404 Passes 1st Committee Hearing!
At the Nevada Senate Human Resources and Education Committee this evening a legislative work session was held to consider several bills, including our SB 404 homeschool bill. Barbara Dragon, Carl Lucas
(with his son Arié), Kime King Patraw, Irene Rushing (with husband Robbie and 3 of their children), and Frank Schnorbus sat in the audience.
Although testimony per se isn’t taken during a work session, Chairman Washington requested Frank and Barbara to inform the Senators about the amendments that were proposed. Chairman Washington then asked Dr. Keith Rheault, State Superintendent of Public Instruction to speak, and Dr. Rheault informed the Senators that the fiscal note has been removed from the bill because of the amendments.
The Senators then voted; Senator Heck made the motion, with a second by Senator Wiener, and the vote was YES! unanimous!
The bill will now go to the full Senate for a vote where we hope for a favorable vote within the next couple
of weeks. If it passes, it THEN goes over to the Assembly, where we hope to have it heard in Bonnie Parnell’s Education Committee. Just like at the national level, it’s a whole different world in the other legislative house! We’ve already met with some of the legislators and have found support on both sides of the aisle, but nothing can be taken for granted! In some ways it’s difficult to change the mindset that goes along with a 60 year old antiquated homeschool law!
There is no need to further contact the Human Resources and Education Committee Senators, unless you want to thank them! And thank you for your emails and phone calls!
The legislative website shows the bill “As Introduced”, and will show the amended version when the LCB attorneys get it drafted and posted, hopefully in the next few days. It will be on the SB404 webpage at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/Reports/history.cfm?ID=977
We will continue to keep you informed at the various stages. Most importantly (assuming it passes
in the Senate!), if Bonnie Parnell is willing to hear our bill in her committee we will need many many
folks to come to the hearing, both in Carson and in Las Vegas. We will let you know!
And as always, whenever contacting a legislator, please keep it respectful, short and sweet! It’s a
very tiring job they have!
NHN – Chair
March 2007: Date for 1st Committee Hearing, and who to call/email and where to go to support it
SB404, our homeschool bill, will be heard in Human Resources and Education Committee on Apr/06/2007 at 01:30 PM.
We ask 2 things. 1) Call or email the committee members asking them to vote in favor of SB 404. 2) Show up to support its passage! You do NOT need to speak. Please feel free to bring your well dressed and well-behaved children.
To Show Up:
In Carson City, Room 2135 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St.
In Las Vegas, Videoconference to: Room 4412 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave.
Please note, we are not the only item on the agenda, there might be a wait time…please bring a book, or other quiet items for children.
March 22, 2007: Homeschool Bill Introduced
Our homeschool bill, SB 404, was finally introduced! You can read it at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/Reports/history.cfm?ID=977
Senator Washington (former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle originally requested a homeschool bill) agreed to sponsor this bill and the Legislative Counsel Bureau used our proposed wording almost word for word.
In Carson City, a few key homeschool advocates have been making the rounds, introducing themselves and our bill intent to various NV senators, assemblymen/ women (who sit on either the education or finance committees), the Governor’s staff, the Dept. of Education and State Board members, bringing them up to speed on homeschooling in the U.S. and Nevada. They have gotten a favorable response from both Republicans and Democrats. Homeschooling is a bi-partisan issue because it is all about CHOICE in education.
Over the last 25 years homeschooling has been shown to be a successful education option with or without state oversight. Our goal is to get on even footing with private schools (those who choose not to be licensed) and out from under the “authority” of the local school board and State Board of Education. Many states, especially in the west now have laws giving homeschool parents total freedom to direct the education of their child. We have researched these laws and hopefully have drawn knowledge and inspiration from the best of them.
We want to free true homeschoolers from burdensome law and regulations because we know you are doing an outstanding job which has been backed up in study after study and that most homeschoolers don’t need to meet “requirements from the state”. However, we realize that some parents may try to take advantage of the wonderful groundwork you have laid, pull their children out of public school or private school to “homeschool” and then do nothing. The law does not and will not allow this. Current Nevada law has safeguards already in place to protect children from educational neglect and/or truancy. If it is ever suspected that these “non-educators” are using the homeschool law to hide behind they can be prosecuted if they have signed a document “taking full responsibility for the education of their child” as proposed in SB 404.
As we send out updates, we will be asking for supporters to come to both Carson City and to the Las Vegas teleconference when the bill is heard, to testify or just to show support in numbers. This will be during committee meetings and in both houses…our presence CAN make a difference! Letters, calls, and emails will also be needed and usually on short notice. So read ahead, ask us questions now, and be prepared to support the bill in whatever way you can.
Also, if there are any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. (Frank Schnorbus,
Thanks to all who have supported this vital work over the years. Our hard work is finally paying off and we need you now more than ever. This is probably the single most important bill we’ve ever worked on at the legislature.
Feb 6, 2007: Announcement of Homeschool Bill in the works
Dear Nevada Homeschoolers and Homeschool Advocates,
Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for homeschooling. Whether in Washington DC, at the NV state legislature, State Board of Education meetings, or wherever, NHN promotes homeschool interests. We also spend a lot of time listening… We attend national conferences and network with leaders around the country, studying the latest homeschool gains.
We keep a running “wish list” of laws that other states have enacted that provide greater freedoms to homeschooling parents. We also track court decisions and homeschool studies that pertain to these freedoms.
This year at the legislature it was our intent to request a Religious Freedom Restoration Act bill, copying almost word for word the bill introduced last session by Assemblyman Bernie Anderson. You may recall that President Bill Clinton signed the RFRA bill in 1993, but the States portion was struck down in 1997 by the Supreme Court (see Religious Freedom Restoration Act for more info!) Homeschoolers, as well as many others, would benefit.
But is was not to be! The RFRA language was submitted as a homeschool bill (which it is not), and rules being rules, we ended up with an “open” homeschool bill to use any way we’d like! So we’ve decided to dust off our research on our current homeschool law, a law first codified in 1947 before being put into its current form in 1956. It is our hope to “update and modernize” the language, drawing from the successes in many other states. We now feel that this mishap is a Providential opportunity, given Governor Gibbons’ recently announced commitment to improving education in our State.
As many of you know, the current law has been an umbrella for a full range of regulations adopted by the State Board of Education. These regulations over the last 20 plus years have ranged from being extremely restrictive to our currently less-restrictive language. The State Board has listened favorably in recent years to our requests, and the past few years have proven that homeschool freedom works, reflecting the findings in recent peer reviewed studies. This freedom has not trumpeted a mass exodus from public schools, as the homeschool enrollment percentage in Nevada has fallen in the last 4 years from 1.02% to .88%. We believe that the success of homeschooling and the vagueness of the existing law justify our request to the legislature. A “sprucing up” if you will, to get the law in conformance with the realities of modern day homeschooling!
We are “doing our homework” and are drafting language that we believe will pass the legislature; language that is simple and direct, placing the responsibility for homeschool education on the shoulders of the parents. We will keep you updated as to how you can help, when phone calls need to be made, testimony provided, and letters or emails sent. As soon as we know more, we will get the word out!
Nevada Homeschool Network
(Frank Schnorbus, Carl Lucas, Elissa Wahl)
in concert with Homeschool Leaders and Advocates Statewide
(including Barb Dragon, Tina Goodman, Kime King-Patraw, Irene Rushing, Marita Sanders
NAC’s Finally Posted on DOE Website!!
Here’s a brief rundown of how it all happened:
1) October 2004 – The State Board of Education passed the “second phase” of homeschool regulations (the first phase had been passed in December 2002 and posted on the state website in 2004). Amongst many other things, this phase included changes that ended the mandatory “homeschool consultant” requirement for first year homeschoolers. These were considered “interim” regulations because the 2005 legislature was getting ready to begin, and the Legislative Council Bureau (LCB) didn’t have time to check the verbiage over and assign new NAC numbers to new regulation sections.
2) October 2005 – Interim regulations are allowed, by law, to be in effect for only one year. At the last minute the Legislative Council Bureau completed their rewording and review of the regulations. Besides the rewording (which was extensive), plus a lot of confusion on version changes, there were minor changes. Homeschool leaders worked with the State Board, the Department of Education, and the LCB to iron out problem areas. It was imperative that the regulations get final passage in this October meeting, because otherwise the regulations would revert to the pre-October 2004 regulations. The Board passed them, finalizing the process. Now the LCB only had to double-check their wording, assign section numbers to new sections, and get them posted to the state website.
3) April 2006 – The final regulations are posted to the state website!NAC 392
Or as a pdf file: NAC 392 as a pdf file
We encourage everyone to read these over. There have been MANY problems with local districts over the past 18 months that could easily have been resolved instantly if these regulations had been posted as they are now. The State Department of Education had sent each district a copy of the “current” regulations, but these versions had been replete with line-outs and italicized new language, and were therefore more difficult to follow. Since the districts usually refer directly to the state website, which showed the pre-October 2004 regulations, this long-awaited final version is most welcome.
Thank you for your concern.