Senate Education Committee Hearing, SB 25

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.

Sincerely,

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/

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:
Link to pdf copy of the letter.

2015 Nevada Legislative Session Open

THE 2015 NEVADA LEGISLATIVE SESSION OPENED 2/2/2015

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.
https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Legislator/A/Senate/

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!

NHN Officers

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.

Signed,

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.
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/S/State_Vouchers.asp

Education Savings Accounts? May benefit homeschooling but must follow federal law.
http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/201003190.asp
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/T/Tax_Ed_Savings.asp
http://www.finweb.com/financial-planning/education-savings-accounts-compared-1.html#axzz3P8KZq8DO

Scholarship Organization? There are favorable Scholarship Organization Laws in a few states.
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/nh/201304110.asp
http://www.cato.org/blog/another-winn-educational-freedom-new-hampshire