Lawmakers Overwhelmed By Phone Calls From Homeschool Community, Speaker’s Bill Set To Be Amended

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

In a zoom call hosted by Tennessee Home Educators Association (THEA) and Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) on Monday night, Tennessee homeschooling parents reported that lawmakers are overwhelmed by the response from the homeschool community over a bill that sought to modify state homeschool law.

HSLDA Tennessee attorney Kevin Boden spoke to bill sponsor Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville-District 25) on Monday afternoon and reported that there had been some “significant developments and updates” regarding HB1214.

During the zoom call with homeschoolers across the state, Boden said that Representative Jody Barrett (R-Dickson-District 69) – who he called a “friend to homeschooling” – facilitated a meeting between Boden, Barrett and Sexton, and Boden later reviewed a copy of a new amendment from Sexton which should amend the bill when it is heard again in the House Education Administration Committee and the Senate Education Committee.

On Monday night, Boden did not share the actual amendment with anyone on the zoom call, but described its content with those participating.

The new amendment is now waiting in the wings for today’s Committee meetings and takes all mention of homeschooling, hybrid charter schools, and Tennessee homeschool statute out of the bill.

According to state homeschool code, a homeschool is defined as “a school conducted or directed by a parent, parents, or legal guardians for their own children.” State law defining public charter schools says that public charter schools are part of the state program of public education. 

“These two do not belong together,” said Boden. “They’re two different legal entities.”

THEA President Claiborne Thornton said, “As I understood the bill, it would [have added] a new type of school and the primary concern that I had… was it’s not homeschooling.”

According to Boden, Sexton’s goal was “not to mess with the homeschoolers” but to provide another option for homeschooling families in rural Tennessee who “needed assistance.” 

“I think the original drafting of the bill was misdirected,” Boden said. “And the mechanism they were using to achieve their objective was misguided.”

Many of the state’s homeschooling families still plan to be in attendance at the Tennessee Capitol today to meet with lawmakers, and attend the Committee meetings.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

5 thoughts on “Lawmakers Overwhelmed By Phone Calls From Homeschool Community, Speaker’s Bill Set To Be Amended

  • March 22, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    Shows what WE can do.
    Sad folks don’t weigh in on more CRAP they’re doing.

    • March 22, 2023 at 8:54 pm

      Homeschoolers are accustomed to constant vigilance against the Tennessee legislature. Thanks to Lockdown Lee closing schools and declaring many people “non-essential”, many TN parents found themselves scrambling to care for their public school kids, secure sufficient computers, broadband internet, desk space to have school at home or enroll in privates – which they couldn’t do thanks to Lockdown Lee. So the “non-essential” parent was out of work and could watch the kids. But by the time schools were reopened, even then they had to be home part time playing the stupid covid rotation games. Those parents found alternatives by necessity. Thousands left the public system. Lots of empty seats/classrooms. This hybrid charter is an attempt to salvage the revenue loss. Sexton just isn’t that bright with this legislation. Anybody and everybody knows a sincere effort to help homeschoolers would have involved at least a consult with Claiborne and THEA.

      “According to Boden, Sexton’s goal was “not to mess with the homeschoolers” but to provide another option for homeschooling families in rural Tennessee who “needed assistance.”

      Lol, so his idea of helping homeschoolers is to not mess with them? So, surely, those rural “homeschoolers” begging for Cameron’s “assistance” would have been on the zoom call….right?

  • March 23, 2023 at 1:49 am

    I homeschooled for 26 years in four different states and 2 foreign countries, and one thing can always be said for homeschoolers, we are well-organized when it comes to our freedom to educate our kids. Don’t try to get between a homeschool mother and her little ones. Good for these homeschoolers!!! Isn’t it incredible that with all the major problems we have in this God-forsaken country, the government wants to pick on homeschoolers. They can’t brainwash our kids in their crappy public schools, and they don’t like it.

    • March 23, 2023 at 6:39 pm

      Amen. I agree. I we have homeschooled over 18 yrs and it’s been the best. We are 100% very organized even down to lockers “School room” etc. I agree regarding them not getting between a mother and teaching our kids. That momma bear will be there because I refuse for them to be taught un Godly things in public school without our permission. I love your comment.

  • March 23, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    So we truly see what grassroots groups CAN do if there are enough of them! This really made my day after seeing all the bills they killed March 21… This is a pivotal year for some and it looks like we are going down the drain…


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