SB39: Educational Freedom for Home School Families
This bill passed the House 52-17 and passed the Senate unanimously. Visit our Legislative Index to see the final vote rankings for the 2014 general session.
Libertas Institute supports this bill.
Under current law, Utah parents that home school their children are required to sign a yearly affidavit, legally promising to teach a required curriculum for the same amount of hours it’s taught in public schools. This unenforceable mandate has led to legal conflict in the past.
A new bill by Senator Aaron Osmond seeks to free up the process for these families by requiring only a one-time affidavit by parents. Effectively, such an affidavit becomes notice to the state that the child will not be enrolling in its schools. The new bill, SB39, also removes the unenforceable requirement to teach the same subjects and number of hours required in public schools, allowing parents the flexibility to best meet the educational needs and interests of their children.
Parents home school their children for religious, pedagogical, logistical, and other reasons. Many of these parents indicate their interest in the flexibility and freedom enjoyed while individually tailoring a curriculum and schedule to match their own child. Amending the law through HB39 better protects this freedom and recognizes parental stewardship.