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.

Now what?
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!”

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

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.

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?”

Dear NV Homeschool Parents

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, or Elissa Wahl,

Together we can win the battle!

NHN Officers
Frank Schnorbus
Elissa Wahl
Barbara Dragon
Kelley Radow
Laura Siegel
Ray Poole

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.

More information:
Compulsory state pre-school requirements
Gov. Mitt Romney against CCS
President Barack Obama supports CCS
National Curriculum and testing

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.

-NHN Officers

Please support the continuing work of NHN for Nevada Homeschool Freedom by becoming a member or making a donation

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.

-Frank Schnorbus
Nevada Homeschool Network, Chairman

Pentagon Changes Homeschool Enlistment

September 5, 2012

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.

Read New Policy here

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.

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.