News Alerts

HB 349 and SB 86 - Signed July 14, 2021
Thursday, July 15, 2021 by FHE

For details and explanation of these bills, please go to our Legislative Update page. 

FHE is aware that there are many new families homeschooling this year because of the challenges of the Covid restrictions. Since this is a new experience, many may not be aware of the past struggles to secure our homeschool freedoms in Missouri. Homeschooling was “legal”, but the law was “vague”. In 1986 the current “homeschool law” was passed only after a class action lawsuit when a judge transferred the responsibility to the legislature to enact a new statute. The new statute was passed on May 15, 1986, the last day of the session.

We must continue to be vigilant in protecting our homeschool freedoms. You, as member families, play an important part. Here are a few things you can do as part of the “team” to protect our freedoms. Being an FHE member helps with our influence at the legislature. Encourage other homeschool families to be members. The number of members FHE represents makes a difference to the legislators. Get to know your representative and senator. Then if you need to make a call or write an email, your representative and senator will already be familiar with you and your family. This can make an impact when contacting them. Then, be willing to make that call or write the email when FHE alerts you to an issue.

Since the Covid restrictions limited the 2020 Session, the 2021 Session was packed with legislation. Between the House and the Senate there were over 2000 bills introduced. Out of the 2000 bills only about 70 actually passed the legislature.
Several “school choice” bills were introduced. This meant many hours were spent listening to the House and Senate Education hearings and the House and Senate floor debate. The school choice bills were aimed at giving public school students a choice for enrolling in public, charter, private, or homeschool. Since several of the bills included “Home School” as one of the choices, FHE wanted to make sure none of the bills would lead to a loss of freedom for home school families in the future.

There was some interest expressed, especially by new homeschooling families, in HB 349, which establishes the “Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts”. Just so there is no misunderstanding, HB 349 is NOT a homeschool bill. It is a school choice bill particularly designed to provide school choice to public school students.


 


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