Coordinated Efforts Of Homeschool Parents Credited For Bill Being Stalled But Concern Remains
Image Credit: Blake Wylie / CC
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
According to several sources, the coordinated effort that brought homeschooling families to the Capitol on Wednesday in droves may have played a part in a bill being sent to General Subcommittee of the Senate Education Committee, effectively killing it on the Senate side for this year.
Senate Bill 1194 (SB1194) sponsored by Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge-District 5) is the corresponding bill to HB1214 sponsored by House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville-District 25) that in its first amendment sought to modify state homeschool law.
As homeschool families began arriving in Nashville on Wednesday morning, word soon spread that the bill had been rolled in the House Administration Committee. These families had planned to attend that meeting and also the one scheduled in the Senate Education Committee later that afternoon but then SB1194 was “general subbed” making it extremely unlikely that it will resurface in the Senate before this legislative session is over.
Kelli O’Connor with Empowered Sevier reported that lawmakers said they had spoken to a great many homeschoolers who had been in to discuss the bill and all the legislative aides said they had heard nonstop about the bill from homeschool parents.
Some families canceled their trip to the General Assembly after learning that HB1214 had been rolled two weeks but plan to show up April 4th, 2023, meaning an even greater number of homeschoolers will be present on that day than attended March 22nd.
In addition, homeschool families will be at the Capitol in force for the annual Rally Day hosted and sponsored by Tennessee Home Education Association (THEA) on March 28th, 2023.
Families visit with legislators during this time and deliver gift bags to them among other planned activities. THEA also hosts a luncheon for over 400 legislators, their staff and state employees.
Sources state that while they don’t expect any further action on SB1194, but the bill overall is not dead. HB1214 began as a caption bill, and there are lawmakers with education caption bills that have yet to be amended. There are concerns that one of these lawmakers will take a caption bill and introduce an amendment to it, creating a second opportunity for a hybrid charter school.
Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka-District 64), a member of the Education Administration Committee, and who is supportive of HB1214 is the sponsor of House Bill 0390.
Other Committee members include Representative Mark White (R-Memphis-District 83) who ran HB1214 for Sexton and is the sponsor of House Bill 0438. Representative Kirk Haston (R-Lobelville-District 72) has three education caption bills pending amendments: House Bill 0525, House Bill 0850, and House Bill 0851. Representative Justin Lafferty (R-Knoxville-District 89) has HB0875 and Representative John Stevens (R-Smyrna-District 13) has HB0669.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.