This is a copy of an E-mail my dad received today. After homeschooling all four of us, he has tried to remain involved in the politics and policies that involve homeschool families. Technically, my children are still too young to be affected, but this is my last year in that "window".
Please read this, consider it, and take action. Thank you!!!
Georgia Homeschool Families,
Action is needed immediately. This could come up for a vote as early as Monday.
The following is a bill recently passed through the State Senate (SB 239), and on its way to the State House where it is currently in Rules Committee. You can find contact information for your state representative in the local paper, or at the Secretary of State website:http://sos.georgia.gov/cgi-bin/newlocator.asp (using your name, and birth date).
Please pass this to all homeschoolers and homeschool groups in GA !
SB 239 Could Mean Jail Time for Homeschool Parents
A bill that recently slipped through the Georgia State Senate would revise the state’s truancy code to include up to 30 days jail time for parents who violate these new laws. It further expands the reach of the local schools systems into the schedule of home and private schools.
Proposed as an attempt to address high truancy rates in a couple of Georgia counties, this statewide bill requires that parents must enroll their children in public school, home school or private school within 10 days of their children reaching the compulsory attendance age or moving into a school district. It further requires that law enforcement and the school system must investigate all reports made by any person of a perceived violation of this law.
As a result of this law any neighbor, relative, store clerk, waitress or any person who observes a child during the school day or suspects that a parent may be in violation of this law may report the potential truancy to local law enforcement, and it must be investigated.
It also requires that any violation of this law must be prosecuted as a misdemeanor and the parent may be imprisoned for up to 30 days.
The bill, as it passed the Senate is very dangerous, as it strips away the rights of parents, especially those whose children are in private or home schools where their schedule differs from that of the local public school. Parents who aren't aware of the 10 day enrollment requirement and move into the district could be convicted of a misdemeanor with jail time simply for not reporting to the local school system within the time frame.
Fortunately, Representatives David Casas and Ed Setzler, both who serve on the House Education Committee realized the effect of this legislation and were able to successfully remove some of the most egregious provisions. They were successful in removing the provision allowing “any person” to report a “perceived” truancy violation to law enforcement. However, their attempts to change the 10 day enrollment requirement back to the current 30 day requirement failed and this language is still in the bill. They also failed in their attempt to remove the jail time provision, but instead the committee reduced the maximum jail time from 30 days till 10 days.
Although the House changed portions of the bill, it is still very dangerous to the rights of home and private school parents. These provisions could be added back in at any time during the legislative process.
This bill recently passed the House Education Committee and could be on the House Floor for a vote next week.
Please contact your State Representative and ask them to oppose SB239!
Click here to see a copy of this legislation