Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/16/1996 03:07 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 SCR 25 - ALASKA HOME EDUCATION WEEK                                         
                                                                               
 Number 546                                                                    
                                                                               
 SHARON CLARK, Legislative Assistant to Senator Mike Miller, read              
 the following sponsor statement:                                              
                                                                               
      "I would like to thank the committee for allowing me to                  
      introduce Senate Concurrent Resolution 25, which would                   
      recognize and support home schooling and establish Alaska                
      Home Education Week.                                                     
                                                                               
      "In 1987 the Alaska Private and Home Education Association               
      (APHEA) was founded to represent home educators throughout               
      the state and to promote excellence in private sector home               
      education.  Each year the association has held annual                    
      conventions and promoted the development of two local                    
      support networks for home educators throughout Alaska.  In               
      addition, the association has sponsored public information               
      seminars, worked to protect parents' rights to home educate              
      their children, and cooperated with state education officials            
      to ensure a broad range of educational choices for Alaska                
      families.  Currently, the association has more than 300                  
      (583 as of today) member families, and it is affiliated                  
      with the National Center for Home Education.                             
                                                                               
      "In 1993 Governor Hickel issued a Proclamation recognizing               
      the contributions of home educators to Alaska society,                   
      initiating a process whereby the Alaska legislature can                  
      also recognize this important segment of Alaska's                        
      educational infrastructure.                                              
                                                                               
      "I would further like to recognize this valuable and                     
      important group and ask your support of SCR 25.  This                    
      resolution would request the Governor to take whatever                   
      steps are necessary to direct the Department of Education                
      and all other pertinent educational agencies not to                      
      unnecessarily interfere with parents exercising their                    
      right to home school their children and to establish                     
      the week of October 13-19, 1996, as Alaska Home Education                
      Week.                                                                    
                                                                               
      "This resolution has a zero fiscal note."                                
                                                                               
 MS. CLARK said the Department of Education has no position on this            
 resolution, but is not opposed to it.  From a personal viewpoint,             
 Senator Miller is an advocate of home schooling.  He and his wife,            
 Susan, have taught their two daughters for seven years.  She                  
 directed the committee's attention to the letters of support                  
 contained in the committee packet and distributed a memorandum from           
 the Department of Education.                                                  
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY remarked that her first child was a home schooler,            
 however, her second child would not have been because he'd still be           
 in school at the age of 32.  The point is that it depends on the              
 child and the willingness of the parent to accept the                         
 responsibility.  She wholeheartedly supported the Resolution.                 
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were any questions of Ms. Clark.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the Alaska Private and Home Education           
 Association had any statistics available that indicated how many              
 home school children are considered enrolled in the public school             
 system?                                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. CLARK said not that she was aware of, but offered to pursue it.           
                                                                               
 Number 738                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said as he understood it, the Matanuska-Susitna                
 School District has a home school program and those students are              
 counted as enrolles.  There were some questions raised about the              
 legitimacy of that when it comes to the foundation formula.  As far           
 as he knew,  the vast majority of the others are considered central           
 correspondence students and not considered as enrolles for the                
 foundation formula calculation.                                               
                                                                               
 MS. CLARK pointed out the memorandum from the Department of                   
 Education she had just distributed more or less sets out the                  
 criteria for home schooling and may address the question.                     
                                                                               
 Number 778                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony and inquired as to the wish            
 of the committee.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 782                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY made a motion to move SCR 25 to the next committee            
 of referral with zero fiscal notes.  Hearing no objection, it was             
 so ordered.                                                                   
                                                                               

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