Report on legislative bills NHN was tracking this year
SB 228 – Student Right to Privacy bill. NHN supported this bill. However, the Senate Education Committee was not willing to bring the bill for a vote and instead agreed to amend two protective sentences into another “student privacy bill”. A sentence declaring that a student’s personally identifiable information and data “belongs” to the student was amended into SB 463. SB 463 was passed by the Senate. However, this protective language was DELETED by amendment by the Assembly Education Committee as was other protective language in the bill. A very watered down version of SB 463 was passed by the Assembly and “concurred with” by the Senate.
SB 25 – NHN opposed Section 2 of the original bill that authorized the Superintendent to “coordinate education programs for children from “Birth to Prekindergarten” was deleted. A modified version of SB 25 was passed and signed by the Governor. See “As Enrolled” by clicking the bill number.
SB 126 – NHN opposed language calling for “regulation and evaluation” of “any early childhood education and prekindergarten programs at both private and public schools”. NHN also opposed language in the bill allowing public school officials to “conduct a survey AT THE HOME of child whose primary language is not English”. In both cases the problematic language was removed by amendment. However, the amended bill was never brought for a vote and “died” in committee.
SB 117 – A bill adding two new vaccinations required for “school enrollment” also died in committee.
AB 221 – This bill does not affect homeschooling but was a “companion” bill to SB 463. The bill was intended to protect public school student information and data collected by the public school, the school district and the Department of Education but in reality was only a “sunshine bill”; meaning the DOE and local school districts must tell parents what info/data is being collected on their child and allow for “corrections” to the information/data to be made, as requested by the parent or student over the age of 18. Here again, there were many amendments houses to this bill before it was eventually passed and signed into law by the Governor.
SB 302 – The Educational Savings Account (ESA) bill made a surprise appearance on April 3rd. The bill was scheduled for hearing just before the deadline for bills to be heard in committee (if not heard they die). It was a “surprise” because the original bill was nearly totally rewritten by the sponsor of the bill, Senator Hammond, just prior to the meeting. NHN Officers had gone on record with Senator Hammond requesting that he protect HOMESCHOOL FREEDOM. However, although NHN Officers had been in constant contact with Senator Hammond on other bills he never informed us of his intent to use the homeschool law as a “vehicle” for students to receive tax-payer money from the state and the “controls” that go with it. Thankfully, Elissa Wahl was in attendance the day of the hearing and “opposed” the bill as written. NHN was able to work with Senator Hammond to protect those parents who DO NOT wish to receive money from the state. More information on the effect of this bill to be posted.