Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/16/1996 03:07 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.