LB 58 would change current provisions relating to homeschooled student participation in extracurricular activities by requiring school boards to establish policies and procedures that may require such students participating in extracurricular activities pursuant to this section to enroll in no more than one course offered for credit by such school. Additionally, LB 58 adds the following requirement quoted from the bill below:
(2) Any student who withdraws from a public school to enroll in a school which elects pursuant to section 79-1601 not to meet accreditation or approval requirements shall not participate in an extracurricular activity in any public school district pursuant to subsection (3) of this section for three hundred sixty-five days after the date such student withdraws from the public school.
Click on Three New Legislative Bills Affecting Home Education for details on LB 58. The status of LB 58 has not changed since the hearing; click on LB 58 Hearing Summary for more recent details.
Recommended Action: If you are a parent desiring for your child(ren) to participate in extracurricular activities in the public school, you should consider doing the following:
Contact the senators on the Education Committee and ask them to vote LB 58 out of committee onto General File with an Education Committee amendment to remove the 365 day delay language found in Section (2). LB 58 would then require only 1 course without any special sit out requirement in contrast to the NSAA proposed changes that would require 2 courses without a sit out requirement. Additionally, its status on General File would provide impetus for the NSAA Representative Assembly to vote “YES” on their proposed changes, and allow the legislature to take immediate action should the NSAA Representative Assembly vote “NO” on their proposed changes.
Either way, LB 58 with only 1 course without any special sit out requirement, or the NSAA proposed changes that would require 2 courses without a sit out requirement, would be a big improvement from the current 4 course NSAA requirement.
EDUCATION COMMITTEE – See list at bottom of this webpage
LB 118, Hilkemann, 4:
LB 118 is the Education Savings Account Act. The bill allows the parents of all legally operated schools in the state, including home schools, to setup a qualified account for educational expenses for their children.
Click on Three New Legislative Bills Affecting Home Education for details on LB 118. The status of LB 11 has not changed since the 1/26/17 Revenue Committee hearing. The NCHEA testified in favor of the bill. Since LB 118 would reduce tax receipts for the State of Nebraska, there may be a reduced likelihood of it being voted out of committee due to state budget shortfalls.
Recommended Action: If you find the tax savings in LB 118 to be attractive, you should consider contacting the senators on the Revenue Committee and urge them to vote LB 118 out of committee onto General File.
- Sen. Jim Smith, Chairperson, (402) 471-2730, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Lydia Brasch, (402) 471-2728, email@example.com
- Sen. Curt Friesen, (402) 471-2630, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Mike Groene, (402) 471-2729, email@example.com
- Sen. Burke Harr, (402) 471-2722, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Tyson Larson, (402) 471-2801, email@example.com
- Sen. Brett Lindstrom, (402) 471-2618, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Paul Schumacher, (402) 471-2715, email@example.com
LB 155, Brasch, 16:
LB 155 would add a requirement that any student who graduates from a legal school, including an exempt homeschool, as a prerequisite to graduation shall have correctly answered at least seventy percent of the questions on the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Click on Three New Legislative Bills Affecting Home Education for details on LB 155. See the Call to Action at the end of this section.
The Education Committee hearing for LB 155 is set for March 20, 2017. The NCHEA will oppose LB 155 at the hearing.
Consider the following points against LB 155:
- Brief History:
- In early 1984, Governor Bob Kerrey and his Christian School Panel, in order to eliminate the then-existing school conflict, urged the Nebraska Legislature to vastly reduce regulation for certain church schools and homeschools.
- The 1984 session of the Nebraska Legislature passed into law LB 928 with subsequent new Rule 13 that acknowledged an exempt status then applied only to those parents with religious objections to the school laws and rules.
- Thus, instead of micromanaging details, a much more general, limited oversight of the church and homeschools ministries was adopted. This has worked very well since 1984.
- In 1999, the legislature added exempt status to parents who objected to the school laws and rules because they interfere with their decisions in directing their student’s education.
- The homeschool law, 79-1601, exempts homeschools from the general school laws [79-1601 (1)]. LB 155 is an attempt to apply a new general school law to exempt schools.
- 79-1601 (2) states that exempt schools provide “… evidence that such schools offer a program of instruction leading to the acquisition of basic skills in the language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health.”
- Religious Considerations:
- God never gave government the primary responsibility for the raising and education of children.
- God gave a duty/ministry to homeschool families; to educate their children at home. If the state has the power to regulate this duty/ministry, it has the power to destroy that ministry. I believe this is exactly what the State of Nebraska was doing prior to 1984.
- There are three institutions created by God: The Family, Government, and the Church. There will always be trouble when the duties and responsibilities of any one of these institutions is encroached upon by one or both of the other institutions.
- State Responsibility:
- It may be appropriate to tightly control a public school where parents have authorized the state to educate their children, and the school/teachers stand in loco parentis (i.e., in the place of a parent), but in a homeschool, the parents have not given their God-given authority to anyone else; therefore, unless the state can show that the parents are doing evil, there should be minimal control.
- Where the state has spent taxpayer money, there is responsibility to ensure that the state has received what it paid for. Homeschool parents take no money from the state, hence, the control and scrutiny appropriate for public schools is not appropriate for a homeschool.
- LB 155 not needed:
- Studies show that homeschool students in low regulation states perform just as well as homeschool students in high regulation states; at an average 87th Hence, more regulation does not improve home education.
- Homeschool parents and graduates have a long, strong history of being civically engaged. Studies show that homeschool graduates are much more civically involved than the general U.S. population. ,
- Of the eight states that require the use of the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah), at least three (Minnesota, Tennessee, and Utah) do not require it of non-public schools. We urge Nebraska to join these three states.
- Enduring unnecessary oversight by government for duties given us by God is not liberty. Therefore, we believe that there is simply no need to subject Nebraska homeschooling, which is already performing at a high level with regard to civics education and civic involvement, to LB 155.
- Long Term Threat:
- Since LB 155 does not specify what statute group would be affected, the NCHEA has great concern that LB 155 would eventually end up in a statute section that already has a penalty spelled out at the end of the section, resulting in criminal penalties being applied where none was originally intended in the legislation. Nebraska homeschooling has endured much Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) resistance to following the law for several years. Therefore the NCHEA simply does not trust the NDE to enforce this proposed law fairly with regard to home education, and, more importantly, we expect that they may use this requirement as a springboard to demand more oversight/interference of home education in Nebraska.
- Even more alarming to the NCHEA is that LB 155, if passed into law, may prove to be merely the first of many subsequent encroachments against the current homeschool liberties we have enjoyed with much civics success since 1984. Once the floodgates are broken, the flood is hard to stop.
The NCHEA will urge that the Education Committee drop LB 155 and pursue LB 14 (same requirements as LB 155, but not applied to private schools), OR that home education be dropped from LB 155 via Committee Amendment. If not, the NCHEA will oppose LB 155 during debate.
CALL TO ACTION (LB 155):
Prepare and present oral or written testimony for the Education Committee LB 155 hearing (March 20, 2017). Please see Tips on Testifying at a Committee Hearing. Consider using some of the details above and/or the following summary points immediately below:
- LB 155 ignores the history behind the current homeschool law.
- LB 155 is an unnecessary encroachment on religious and parental rights.
- Is an encroachment on the current exemption law for home education.
- LB 155 is not needed because studies show that more regulation does not improve the already high performance level of homeschools. Ask the senator to review the red homeschool packet that he/she received as part of the NCHEA Legislative Day on February 22, 2017.
- LB 155 is not needed because homeschool parents and graduates have a long, strong history of being civically engaged. Studies show that homeschool graduates are much more civically involved than the general U.S. population. Covered in the red homeschool packet that he/she received as part of the NCHEA Legislative Day on February 22, 2017.
- LB 155 is nebulous regarding enforcement; it could end up in a section with prescribed penalties.
- LB 155 is likely to be the first of many steps backward to pre-1984. Once the trend of more regulation is started, it will prove hard to stop.
IF the Education Committee votes LB 155 out of committee to the full legislature after the hearing, the NCHEA will provide guidance on further actions at that time.
- Sen. Mike Groene, Chairperson, (402) 471-2729, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Laura Ebke, (402) 471-2711, email@example.com
- Sen. Steve Erdman, (402) 471-2616, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Rick Kolowski, (402) 471-2327, email@example.com
- Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, (402) 471-2885, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Adam Morfeld, (402) 471-2720, email@example.com
- Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, (402) 471-2633, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Lynne Walz, (402) 471-2625, email@example.com
 Homeschool Progress Report 2009, Brian D. Ray, PhD., National Home Education Research Institute, “Critics also insist that the government should regulate homeschooling in order to ensure the quality of education that students receive. However, in this study, the degree to which homeschooling was regulated by state governments had no bearing on student test scores”, p. 3, © 2009 by Home School Legal Defense Association and Brian D. Ray, http://www.hslda.org/docs/study/ray2009/2009_Ray_StudyFINAL.pdf.
 Homeschooling Grows Up, Brian D. Ray, PhD., National Home Education Research Institute, p. 3, © 2003 by Brian D. Ray, https://www.hslda.org/research/ray2003/HomeschoolingGrowsUp.pdf
 Ibid, p. 4.
 Civic Education Policies: State assessments include civics, citizenship education or social studies, 50 State Comparison, Education Commission of the States, December 2016, http://ecs.force.com/mbdata/MBQuest2RTANW?Rep=CIP1604S