NCHEA to testify at LB103 hearing – reduces homeschool requirements for NSAA activities
The NCHEA will be testifying in favor of LB103 before the Education Committee on Tuesday, 1/20/15, 1:30 PM, in Room 1525 at the State Capitol. LB103 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. One course meeting 5 days per week is counted as 5 credit hours of schoolwork.
Currently, schools require the homeschool student to participate in four courses as required the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) for homeschool students to participate in certain extracurricular activities. According to NSAA Constitution and ByLaws, APPROVED RULINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS FOR SECTION 2.2.1,”1.To be a participant in any NSAA activity at either the varsity or non-varsity levels of competition, an individual must be a bona fide student of a member high school. Exempt-school or home-school students, unless enrolled in a minimum of twenty credit hours of schoolwork in the member high school, are not eligible to represent a member school in NSAA activities, regardless of the level of participation or competition.”
Interested parents may also want to testify.
LB103 is the only bill identified so far in the legislative session dealing with home schooling, but it is early. New, additional bills can be submitted until Wednesday, 1/21/15.
PROPOSED CHANGES TO RULES 12 AND 13
NCHEA/HSLDA Meeting With NDE – January 14, 2015 – Meeting Summary
Thank you for praying about the meeting!
The meeting was attended by NCHEA’s Nick & Kathleen Lenzen, Deb Badeer, and Dave & Lorraine Lostroh, HSLDA attorney for Nebraska Peter Kamakawiwoole, Senator Beau McCoy & Legislative Aide Trinity Chappelear, Home Educators Network (HEN) Tricia Croushorn & Kathryn Dillow. NDE attendees included NDE Assistant Commissioner & General Counsel Brian Halstead, Staff Attorney Scott Summers, Finance & Organizational Services Director Bryce Wilson, Program Associate Beth Bolte, and Office Associate Micki Iverson.
Simplifying the Filing
NDE’s Bryce Wilson presided over the meeting. NDE’s Beth Bolte and Micki Iverson presented some very interesting and helpful ideas on how to streamline the paperwork and filing process, including a discussion of the possibility of future on-line filing. NDE’s Brian Halstad discussed issues regarding first time filers under rules 12 or 13, including the difficulties in determining when filers no longer are able to complete the school year by June 30.
NCHEA’s Dave Lostroh presented an updated, improved version of the NCHEA draft rule 13 that was presented at the NDE homeschool leaders’ meeting last year on January 13. Dave also attempted to ensure that the NDE understands the necessity to change the rules to reflect the law and the Nebraska Supreme Court decision in State v. Thacker. He also emphasized that the NCHEA would resist any attempt by the NDE to retain unauthorized authority in any new NDE draft Rules 12 and 13. The NCHEA rule 13 proposals, both for January 13, 2014, and January 14, 2014, were reviewed by HSLDA attorney Peter Kamakawiwoole prior to presenting them to the NDE at the meetings.
The conclusion at the end of the meeting was that the NDE will take the NCHEA draft Rule 13, streamline the forms as presented by Beth and Micki, and make other modifications the NDE believes necessary as they develop this into a NDE draft. Then the NDE will have another meeting with the NCHEA, HEN, and possibly other homeschool leaders in order to present their new draft for comment. The intent is to get a draft that meets with NCHEA, HEN, etc. approval if possible prior to submitting to the State Board of Education for approval, the Attorney General’s Office for approval, and ultimately to the Governor’s Office for final approval. The NCHEA will provide input to all parties throughout the approval process if there are defects in the final NDE draft.
Please continue to pray that the process to develop a new NDE draft for Rules 12 and 13 will result in truly useful new rules.
NCHEA/HSLDA Meeting With NDE – To Take Place on January 14, 2015
Per the article on the last page of the 10/23/14 NCHEA Legislative Alert, the NCHEA and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) will be attending a meeting with the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) to discuss the exempt school rules (12 and 13) on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the NDE Board Room. According to the NDE, “The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the exempt school rules and any possible revisions to update and clarify the rules before any new language is drafted.”
The NCHEA and the HSLDA attended a similar meeting with NDE on January 13, 2014, regarding the same issues. Both the NDE’s proposed revision to Rules 12 and 13 and the NCHEA’s proposed revision were discussed at length. The NCHEA proposal was designed to minimize truancy investigations/workload and incorporate homeschool statutory flexibilities identified by the Nebraska Supreme Court. At the end of the meeting, it was decided that NDE would seek an attorney general’s opinion regarding the NDE’s authority to implement one part of the NCHEA’s proposal before including it in a new revision. We were hopeful that the NDE would adopt, with only minor changes, the NCHEA proposed revision. But, the ultimate result from that meeting was only that the NDE recommended to the State Board of Education that they approve dropping their proposed regulation changes from October 2013.
January 14, 2015, meeting with NDE:
The NCHEA will be re-submitting our proposed revision from last year with only minor changes. The NCHEA will not change our insistence that the NDE abide by the law and the Nebraska Supreme Court’s ruling in State v. Thacker.
The NCHEA is requesting prayer for wisdom, discernment, clarity of thought and speech for NCHEA officers, and especially for NCHEA director Dave Lostroh and Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Peter Kamakawiwoole, and any others who will be in attendance. Pray for God’s blessing on the discussion and continued protection of Nebraska homeschooling freedoms.
Keeping You Informed
Legislative Alerts are sent out to members when we feel it is important for them to contact their legislators. We use “The NCHEA News,” the U.S. Mail, or email depending on the urgency of the situation.