Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Urgent Update!!! CT Senate Bill 162

Early this afternoon, I received this comment from Judy Aron at Consent of the Governed. I am quoting here so as not to miss any important information (emphasis mine in orange/gold, underline mine as well). This comment can also be read at the original post. I will continue to supply new information as it comes my way.
We’ve actually found some major problems with this wording --- which is not the same wording that we agreed on!

As the bill is currently proposed, we will not be supporting it --- yes, your read that correctly --- I have pulled my post because we are looking into what happened with the original language. Details will be forthcoming about what the story is but basically this was not supposed to be part of 10-184, nor does it really solve the problems entirely.

Although it does require the school district to accept a letter of withdrawal, this new bill, SB 162, in essence, would codify the right of school districts to somehow grant “permission” to the parents to allow them to withdraw their children “if” they “elect” to provide the “required instruction.” Conversely, this bill could be read to prohibit parents from withdrawing their children from school “if” parents do not “elect” to provide the “required instruction.” The bill does not define the term, “required instruction.” This leaves the door wide open to still more of the coercive tactics already used by school officials to prevent parents from withdrawing their children. It does nothing to solve the problem. It only encourages more of the same.

To repeat, Senator Meyer’s version of the new bill, SB 162, would infringe on the already existing right of parents to withdraw their children from public school without the so-called “permission” of the school district.

This is not the bill that Representative O’Neill originally proposed, and it is not the bill that NHELD and other homeschool and parenting groups supported.

The original language and statement of purpose was supposed to be this:

AN ACT CONCERNING WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That subsection (1) of section 10-220 of the general statues be amended to provide when a parent or guardian of a child provides be certified mail, return receipt requested, to the principal of the school that the child attends or tot he superintendent of the local or regional board of education, written notice originated by and signed by the parent or guardian of a child stating that the parent or guardian is withdrawing the child from enrollment in a public school and will provide instruction for the child as required pursuant to section 10-184 of the general statutes, the principal of the school that the child attends or the local or regional board of education shall accept such notice and shall deem the child withdrawn from enrollment in the public school immediately upon receipt of such notice.

Statement of Purpose
To allow parents to home school their children and to require the board of education to respect their decision.

Check back to my site Monday to read an update on this issue --- right now we are not very pleased with this turn of events and Senator Meyer is claiming he doesn’t know what happened and support the original language.

A bulletin will be coming out from NHELD.

1 comment:

Judy Aron said...

Ok - here is the scoop - Both Senator Meyer and Rep. O'Neill discussed the problem today (Sunday) and apparently they both do not know how the wording of the proposed bill got changed,(it might have been in the bill clerk's office) but they both support the original language, and so Senator Meyer said that the bill will be amended to state the original language. That is very good news. We will have to see what happens on Tuesday morning and we hope that everyone who planned to come and speak will support the original language and let the committee know that the bill as it currently is worded is unacceptable.

I will have a post tomorrow regarding this over at Consent of the Governed. Thank you for your patience with this situation.