Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Field Trips

Homeschoolers Voice Opposition to HB1214/SB1194


UPDATE 3/22/23: Tennessee House Bill 1214 (HB1214) and Senate Bill 1194 (SB1194) have been set to general subcommittee with the recommendation to have homeschool removed. As of right now, HB1214/SB1194 will not be again presented until 2024.

The State of Tennessee House Bill 1214 (HB1214) and Senate Bill 1194 (SB1194) will, if passed, could change the definition of homeschooling in the State of Tennessee.

Cameron Sexton (HB1214), Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, and Randy McNally (SB1194), Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate Senator, filed for introduction of the original bills on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. HB1214/SB1194 originally read as follows:

“Local Education Agencies – As introduced, changes, from five days to five business days, the amount of notice a local board of education member must give the board before a scheduled meeting of the member’s intent to participate in the meeting electronically because the member is or will be out of the county at the time of the meeting. – Amends TCA Title 49.”

At the time, there was no mention of any changes to the homeschool law. The bills continued to move through both the Senate Education Committee and the House Education Administration Committee. On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, HB1214/SB1194 was presented by Representative Mark White (R – Memphis – District 83) on behalf of Representative Sexton at the Education Administration Committee with an amendment (read full amendment).

Representative White shared the purpose of the legislation is to give parents who have children in the in-home population “an option to have a high quality education through a charter system for the homeschool population, as well an option to create charter boarding schools that will provide a safe and rigorous academic experience to give our most at risk children an opportunity to become productive citizens.”

Currently, students may be registered to homeschool in one of three manners. The hybrid school would become a fourth option. Under the three current options, parents who homeschool already have the opportunity to create/have “a high quality education” to provide to their children through a variety of quality and comprehensive curricula options and teaching resources they use. Homeschool parents are also already able to provide “a safe and rigorous academic experience”, and “structure” is optional, which is homeschool.

“I think HB1214/SB1194 will be helpful to families that feel they need that type of support and accountability with the education they provide to their children,” said a homeschool parent who preferred to not be identified. “What I don’t understand is why the new offering is being connected to homeschool. It appears that if it should be attached to anything, it should just be another offering that comes through the public school system. Since the student will be a public school student, I do not see the homeschool connection and am not comfortable with them making any adjustments to the current home school law. I believe that if they start making changes now, that will only open the door for the government to continue making changes to the homeschool law, which works well now for a large percentage of the homeschool families in Tennessee.”

The idea of (state) funding behind this amendment may attract some families as do the online public school options that currently exist, and are used by many students throughout Tennessee. Those students are classified as public school students as will be the ones who are educated through the HB1214/SB1194 amendment. So, they should not fall under the State of Tennessee homeschool definition.

The proposed changes suggested by these bills have come to the attention of several Tennessee homeschool groups and other organizations, and Tennessee homeschoolers are ready for the challenge against these bills. HB1214/SB1194 was placed on the Wednesday, March 15, 2023, calendars for both the Senate Education Committee and Education Administration Committee, but was deferred to the Wednesday, March 22, 2023, calendars for both.

Homeschool families are encouraged to reach out to their State Representatives and Senators, as well as the members of the Senate Education Committee and House Education Administration Committee to ask them to Vote No on HB1214/SB1194!

E-mail directly the representatives at the head of the issue.

Speaker of the House, Cameron Sexton – [email protected]

House Education Committee Chair, Mark White (R – Memphis – District 83) – [email protected]

Senator Randy McNally – [email protected]

Senate Education Committee Chair, Jon Lundberg (R – Bristol District 4) – [email protected]       

Find your legislators here.

Learn more about the committees.

House Education Administration Committee :  { learn more }

Senate Education Committee: { learn more }

There are a few events planned before the March 22 meeting for Tennessee homeschoolers to learn more about HB1214/SB1194 and how they can make their voices heard.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Representative Bryan Richey (R – Blount County) is holding a Zoom call at 10 a.m. EST to discuss HB1214. You may join that meeting by texting your first and last name, and e-mail address to Kelli at (765) 914-4682.

Monday, March 20, 2023

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and Tennessee Home Education Association (THEA) will host a live webinar at 7 p.m. CST to discuss HB1214.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Watch full coverage live on March 22, 2023 (or recorded after the committee meetings)

Representative Bryan Richey (R – Blount County) will again meet with homeschoolers. Contact Jordan, Representative Richey’s Legislative Aide, at (615) 741-3560 for more information.

Rally To Oppose HB1214/SB1194 will start at Legislative Plaza at 12:30 p.m. CST. The group will proceed to House Hearing Room 1 for the House Education Administration Committee meeting that will be held at 1:30pm. Attendees are asked to dress professionally.

Homeschool Roster is not affiliated with any of the above mentioned planned events.

You may read more about HB1214/SB1194 and watch the video of amendment presentation {1:31:17}.

You may also sign up to receive e-mail updates for personalized bill tracking of current Tennessee legislation that interests you.

Do you like what you are reading? Follow Homeschool Roster on Facebook.

Get updates and keep up with Homeschool Roster news. Subscribe to Homeschool Roster.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *