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