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.
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!”