NATIONAL HOME EDUCATION LEGAL DEFENSE, LLC
Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson, Founder
P.O. Box 704
Southbury, CT 06488
Cell: (203)206-4282 Tel.: (860) 354-3590
NHELD STATEMENT ON 2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
On June 5, 2019, at midnight, the Connecticut General Assembly ended its legislative session. All Connecticut residents can breathe a sigh of relief, until a Special Session is called, or until the next regular session of the General Assembly begins.
While many may praise bills of various kinds that were adopted, others are dejected by their adoption. The only bills that NHELD concerns itself with are those that affect the rights of parents to educate their own children in freedom. Thankfully, homeschool parents remain free once again to undertake this awesome and rewarding responsibility.
The rights of parents to homeschool in freedom was threatened in this legislative session by one bill, in particular, SB874, An Act Concerning Education Initiatives and Services in Connecticut. As you know, this was a proposal by the Governor. Included in it originally were two Sections, 17 and 18, that would have infringed on the rights of homeschool parents.
Section 17 would have amended General Statute Section 10-184, the Duties of Parents, to require all homeschoolers to “register” with the public school district each year in order to homeschool.
Section 18 directed the State Department of Education to establish model educational “frameworks” that homeschoolers could use, although it did not “require” them to use them, yet.
When this bill was proposed, NHELD, CHN and others spread the word across the state. Parents, and children, responded by providing a multitude of written testimony to the Education Committee protesting against the bill. Hundreds showed up for the Committee’s public hearing and waited all day and long into the night to testify against the bill. So many showed up to testify that we filled, not only the hearing room, but also three overflow rooms as well. It was a truly amazing and impressive presentation by all, especially by the children.
Thankfully, the efforts of all were successful. The offending Sections were removed from the final draft of SB874.
FINAL ACTION ON SB 874
Link here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/TOB/s/pdf/2019SB-00874-R01-SB.PDF
Once again, parents in this state worked together to protect their rights, and the rights of their children, to remain free to educate in a manner that truly meets the needs of their children.
We are grateful to all who took the time to become informed, and to act when action was most needed. We at CHN are grateful for the legislators who voted to remove the homeschooling related language from the bill.
NHELD would like all to know that their efforts were greatly appreciated, however, we also would like all to know that the job of maintaining freedom is never ending.
While we may breathe a sigh of relief, for now, at the end of this year’s legislative session, we must continue to educate our legislators of the importance of maintaining our right to homeschool, unencumbered by unnecessary government interference. It is a time to reflect, but it also is a time to remember, as Thomas Jefferson warned, that we must remain ever vigilant, if we are to maintain any of our freedoms. NHELD will be ever vigilant. We hope you will be as well.