Did you know that a bill (LB1027) has been introduced in the Nebraska Legislature designed to protect your right as parents to homeschool your own children free from intrusive government regulation?  You may be thinking that we already have that right – after all, you as parents are “only” required to fill out and submit an annual form giving the Department of Education information about the name and address of your school, the names, ages, and grades of your children, your educational qualifications to teach, the curriculum you will be using, and the state-required number of hours you will be teaching.

Did you also know that the present law, 79-1601, allows the state to establish rules and regulations for your homeschool that “may include a provision for the visitation of such schools and regular achievement testing of students attending such schools”? 

Did you know that under this present law when you submit your “evidence of competence to provide instruction in the basic skills” this information “may be used as evidence of whether or not” your school is “offering adequate instruction in the basic skills”?

At this time, the state has decided not to enforce visitation of exempt schools or the regular achievement testing of exempt school students. The NCHEA is also not aware that schools have been judged inadequate in basic skills instruction because of a parent’s lack of educational training.  But in the past, the state outlawed and prosecuted schools that did not comply with all of the many rules and regulations that applied to approved and accredited schools, including testing and the requirement of having certified teachers.

It took a long struggle (which included homeschool parents and the pastors and parents of children at unapproved church schools being prosecuted, fined, jailed, and even having their children taken away) until Nebraska finally decided the negative publicity outside of the state was too much and reluctantly gave up some of its control. The hard-earned result was 79-1601 and the accompanying Rule 13. 

The point is that so many in the government still crave control rather than freedom. They strive to take over and control the responsibilities that God did not give them – one of these is the education of your children.

The NCHEA is concerned that under existing law the state still retains the power to visit your homeschool, test your children, and even declare your school inadequate based on their subjective evaluation of your teacher qualifications.  LB1027 would remove these powers over you and your school and make it more difficult for the state to use them in the future.

For information on what you can do to support this bill, see the latest NCHEA Legislative Alert.