2019 NV Legislative Session – Call to Action and Updates

Click here for the HSLDA NV Legislation Monitoring Page

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New national articles on why government “home visits” are unconstitutional and problematic

Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs – Rodger Williams, Researcher – Homeschooling Backgrounder 4/8/19

Here Comes Big Brother: Home Visiting Laws Threaten Parental Rights Nationwide – Karen Ephram, MD, The National Pulse 4/8/19

4/16/2018 – Here’s what happens when government officials fail at their job and look for a scapegoat: Keeping Children Safe produced by TEACH-CT (Connecticut).

  • Identifying “risk factors” in parents as a deterrent to child abuse denies families a presumption of innocence… there must be substantiated probable cause of abuse/neglect to warrant intrusion into a family’s home by the government.  Even doing a study of “government home visits” that AB 430 now calls for is without merit.  Offer taxpayer funded programs that parents can CHOOSE to avail themselves of if they want… but entering the home without cause must never be granted to DCSF or any other government entity.

4/12/2018 – AB 430 was amended – changing the bill to a “study” of home visits during the 2020 interim session.

The amended bill received a “Do Pass” from the Assembly Health and Human  Services committee.  The bill goes back to the Assembly Floor but may be redirected to Assembly Ways & Means since studies cost money.  The study will be more limited in scope than the original bill BUT it still all about setting up home visits by government officials for “at risk” families.  NHN remains opposed to AB 430, see letter submitted 4/11/19.

4/11/2019 – AB 430, Amended will have a “work session” in Assembly Health & Human Services Committee on 4/12 at 12:30. 

NHN submitted the following letter in opposition to both the original bill and the amendment.

AB430.NHN ltr to Assm HHS 4.11.2019

4/10/2019 – Your Voices Were Heard!!!

Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson sponsor of AB 430, the “home visits” for certain “at risk” families has agreed to a proposed amendment by Assemblywoman Shea Backus to change the bill to a “study” during the 2020 Legislative interim on home visits/services for at risk families with any new proposal to be heard in 2021.
https://www.leg.state.nv.us/…/ExhibitD…/OpenExhibitDocument…

The key for us in the future will be that any “home visit” program offered by the state be VOLUNTARY with no penalty or record kept of parents choosing not to participate.

Also, check out the fiscal note Washoe County slapped on this bill for a 2 year period… can you imagine what a fiscal note from Clark County would have looked like? As always… “follow the money.”
https://www.leg.state.nv.us/S…/80th2019/FiscalNotes/9649.pdf

Video of the hearing can be found here:

http://nvleg.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=28&clip_id=11681 

4/9/2019 – NV Legislative Alert!

AB 430 – Government mandated home visits for “at risk” new parents to be heard in committee.

Wednesday, 4/10/2019 – Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services Agenda

Room 3138 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV.
Videoconferenced to Room 4406 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, NV.

AB430 – Establishes a family home visiting system to provide “support” to new parents.

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/…/R…/80th2019/Bill/6816/Overview

PLEASE email/call the committee members (click on their names for phone and email contact)  and tell them:

1) It violates the 4th amendment for the government to come into your home SO MAKE THIS VOLUNTARY AT A MINIMUM

2) Being Low Income or Young does not equal being AT RISK

3) There are already community support services in place

4) Fiscal Impact on state and local governments.

If you can, PLEASE SHOW UP TO TESTIFY AGAINST THIS! But please stick to the point. It is not about homeschooling, or anti-vaxxing right now! It’s about not allowing the government into our homes.

You may also submit written testimony for the hearing by emailing AsmHHS@asm.state.nv.us 48 hours before the meeting day.

And voice your opinion now on AB 430 on the Legislature’s “Share Your Opinion” page.

 

March 28, 2019  

NEVADA LEGISLATIVE ALERT – CALL TO ACTION 

 AB 430 threatens fundamental parental rights of some Nevadans

(printable version:  AB430.2019.Legislative Alert.Call to Action)

By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for Nevada families who have chosen to direct the education of their children via homeschooling.  We also advocate for the fundamental parental rights of all parents.  In this capacity, we are writing today about AB 430.

Our concerns:

  • This bill will mandate government “home visits” for certain “at risk” Nevada citizens with newborns and young children. In so doing the 4th Amendment Rights[1] and fundamental parental rights[2] of these parents will be violated without probable cause.
  • Placing government mandated “home visits” under the Division of Child and Family Services (NV-DCFS) is problematic and will add additional casework to an already overburdened bureaucracy.
  • There will be a fiscal impact on state and county budgets to implement this new “service.”
  • “Appropriately trained professionals” is ambiguous and worrisome.
  • The scope and time-frame a family would have to submit to NON-voluntary home visits is not defined.
  • The “risk factors” defining families who are to “receive services” via home visits is discriminatory.

Conclusion:

AB 430 is vaguely written and as such threatens the constitutional rights of Nevada citizens.  Further, there is no credible research showing that what works in a “voluntary” environment will work in a “coercive” environment as required by this bill.  This bill is an overreach and without merit as introduced. NHN is OPPOSSED to AB 430.

CALL TO ACTION: 

First, this bill DOES NOT impact homeschool freedom in Nevada. There is no need for you to even mention that you are a homeschooler.  Instead, we are concerned about the constitutional rights of all NV parents.

The bill has been referred to Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services.  It has not been given a hearing date at this time.  For now, please share in your OWN words your opinion on this bill  on the Legislation Opinion page (don’t just copy & paste our concerns and conclusion, that is not effective and actually makes you comment TOO long – thanks); https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/80th2019/.

We also encourage you to contact your NV State Assembly-person and let them know what you think about AB 430.  You can find your legislator by clicking this link; http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU/ .

Thanks for participating in your government!

Elissa Wahl, NHN Chairwoman – Las Vegas, NV

Matt Alder, NHN Vice-Chairman/Treasurer – Reno, NV

NHN Officers:  Kelley Millard Radow, Secretary – D. Raymond Poole, Officer – Aaron Sutherland, Officer – Kristi Casaus, Officer – Maureen Ford, Provisional Officer

Barbara Dragon, Officer Emerita

[1] The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

[2] NRS 126.036 – https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-126.html#NRS126Sec036

 

Other States with similar “non-voluntary home visits” legislation:

Minnesota: https://cplaction.com/cpl-article/minnesota-home-visits-an-opportunity-to-herd-our-children/

Oregon: https://www.oceanetwork.org/study-on-home-visits-in-oregon-sb-526/?fbclid=IwAR2fusi4rC3g9qMcrXj9GkYR_LZcKYZLWGtWHemkBuQh-h5xeJNTI2Ra7sE

 

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February 22, 2019 –  NHN is watching for bills threatening homeschool freedom in Nevada… nothing so far but check back regularly for updates.

Also keep an eye on our NHN Facebook page.

And/or sign up for free NV-Alert emails

Become a member or make a donation to support the advocacy work NHN does for Nevada homeschool families year-round.  Thank you!

  

Proposed federal education scholarship bill – good or bad?

Federal legislation has been introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) – again – encouraging states to implement a “tax-credit scholarship organization” program where donors receive a tax credit on their federal income tax.  The scholarship money will be distributed to K-12 aged children who meet eligibility requirements established by the state to receive education from various entities.  The Education Freedom Scholarship Act, if passed by Congress, may be a good thing for families who need financial assistance to find alternative education options for their children. Our concern is whether it could lead to more government control of private schools and homeschools.

Only time will tell.

This article in The Daily Caller published on Senator Cruz’ Facebook page denotes a red flag for us here at NHN.

  • “The Education Freedom Scholarship and Opportunity Act would provide a $10 billion annual federal tax credit for taxpayers who donate to state-based scholarships. These scholarships would afford families the ability to expand their children’s choice of elementary and secondary education, including private and home education, special education services and therapies, and summer, after-school, and tutoring programs.”
  • It gives states the choice to opt-in, rather than requiring nationwide participation and yields flexibility to determine how to structure its programs, including what schools and students are eligible.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos takes it further in her Prepared Remarks by Secretary DeVos at the unveiling of the Education Freedom Scholarships proposal!

  • “And let’s stop and think about what public education really is. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently said it well: “If the taxpayer is paying for education, it’s public education.” He’s right! And if the purpose of public education is to educate the public, then it does not matter what defining word comes before school. Because education isn’t about school buildings or school systems. Education is about school children.”

This statement is of concern because it hints that all education provided to children should be “public education” or could be interpreted in such a manner by future administrations.  NHN holds that parents, not the government, are ultimately responsible for the education of their children, including the financing of said education.  States may “provide for public schools and other options” as put forth in state constitutions but that doesn’t mean government should be the only providers of education.  Nor should government dictate what education for the individual child is to look like.

Based on Nevada’s homeschool history of government over-regulation and what has happened more recently with the non-operational NV-ESA and NV-Choice/Opportunity Scholarship (a business tax-credit program introduced by Governor Sandoval in 2015 and over-regulated by the NV-DOE the same year) – we are concerned NV state government would seek to control the education of a student utilizing such scholarship funds.

“Innovation, voluntary collaboration, and an entrepreneurial spirit fuel the engine of the homeschooling movement.” (JimMason, HSLDA). Private schools and homeschoolers need to always be cognizant of possible drawbacks to government education programs.  Often government sponsored education programs only offer “choice” with “accountability” and not the freedom to educate children according to the independent standards of the private school and/or parents.

Having said all this however, our friends at HSLDA have come out in support of the bill.  NHN has worked with HSLDA since our founding in 2002 as did other Nevada homeschool organizations dating back to 1983.  We value and trust their opinion!  Key to their statement is the following:

  • “Some of the ways states could expand students’ access to educational opportunities include dual enrollment, tutoring, summer education programs, advanced and remedial courses, special education services and therapies, and private and home education.The bill also includes strong religious liberty protections. It explicitly prohibits any federal control over participants.The bill’s language ensures that if a state chooses to join the program, officials cannot then refuse to include religious, private, and homeschool SGOs or attempt to regulate them. Secretary DeVos stated that the “key element of the proposal is freedom,” and crafters of the bill ensured that, while expanding educational freedom, it did not curtail other liberties.”

HSLDA gives the example of a program for low-income families in New Hampshire that is working well for families to choose homeschooling without increased government regulation (though homeschooling in NH is considered “moderately” regulated as compared to Nevada’s “low” regulation).  NHN reviewed the New Hampshire program back in 2014 and found it to be a beneficial program for some families.  Giving families a choice in the education provided to their children is a good thing.

In reviewing the current federal bill ourselves, we are encouraged by strong protective language barring states choosing to implement the program from controlling the private school or homeschool beyond existing state statutes.  Section 102, Subsection (d)(3-5) on pages 9-11 of the proposed legislation – as written – seems to adequately protect both private schools and homeschools within this state to operate without further intrusion by federal or state government.  Modification of this section by amendment if the bill moves forward would of course need be watched carefully.

In our experience here in Nevada private, self-funded homeschool freedom is put at risk every legislative session as these programs are added, changed or updated according to the whims of politicians and government bureaucrats.  We want to believe the best but will always view government “help” with a skeptical eye.

To clarify, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for the right of parents to direct the education of their child.  We strive to guard the freedom of each family to educate their own children as they see fit and pay for it themselves! To that end, keeping the NV homeschool law separate from any government approved/funded program has always been, and will continue to be, a goal for NHN. We support parents’ right to choose the best education option for their children – even a government sponsored program – as long as parents who prefer private, self-funded homeschooling free from government controls always have the LIBERTY to do so.

Several organizations that we also respect have voiced their objections to The Education Freedom Scholarship Act.  We find many of their arguments compelling and encourage everyone to read these as well.  Liberty assures that we are free to make up our own minds after reading both sides of an issue.

Other articles in support:

And we’ll leave you with these words from history:

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” – President Reagan Aug. 12, 1986

2019 brings more attacks against Homeschool Freedom – for “potential” education neglect, child abuse, and child fatalities

The Relationship Between the Degree of State Regulation of Homeschooling and the Abuse of Homeschool Children

Read More

Georgia Court of Appeals upholds homeschooling – Chief judge writes outstanding concurring opinion

A recent Georgia Court of Appeals decision overturning a lower court’s restriction of homeschooling gives homeschool freedom advocates reason to cheer.  The Chief Judge on the Court, Stephen Dillard, wrote a concurring opinion that give historic context to the right of parents to direct the education of their children without government interference. Click the title or the link to read Mr. Eugene Volokh’s article on this important court decision and the judge’s own words.

Constitutional Right to Home-School?

An interesting opinion from a Georgia Court of Appeals chief judge Stephen Dillard.