Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

February 6, 2007

HB 1091 Bad for homeschoolers, bad for public education

Filed under: Accountability, Homeschooling — texased @ 10:33 am

Or how the Texas Department of Public Safety is going to regulate public education.

First of all, this bill has the DPS setting up a different attendance policy than that required by the Texas Education Code. Furthermore, it then puts the burden on the local schools to track this information and inform the DPS. Talk about unfounded mandates.

Then there is the homeschooling part and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

80(R) HB 1091 – Introduced version – Bill Text:

�������������������(A)��enrolled in a public school[, home school,] or private school who attended school for at least 90 percent of the days classes are offered in the semester preceding the date of the driver’s license application;
�������������������(B)��who attended home school for at least 80 days in the [fall or spring] semester preceding the date of the driver’s license application; or

While there is some debate in the homeschooling community about defining homeschoolers separately from private schools (in Texas homeschools are considered private schools) I don’t think it applies here. This is just stupid. Private schools are not regulated by the state. They do not have to have a minimum number of classroom days, they don’t even have to have semesters. And why make it only 80 days for homeschoolers as oppose to private schools? Does DPS now determine homeschooling requirements?

Then there is this proposed reporting requirement:

80(R) HB 1091 – Introduced version – Bill Text:

If a student attending home school does not attend home school for at least 80 days in the current or preceding semester, the person’s parent or guardian shall notify the superintendent of the public school district in which the student resides. The superintendent shall promptly notify the department.

Again, laugh or cry? Since homeschoolers define their own school year and don’t have to report anything to the local superintendent, why would a parent start now? If you need to take restrict your child’s driving, take the license yourself. Why would you ask the state to do it for you?

And here is the final attempt by the DPS to redefine the education code:

80(R) HB 1091 – Introduced version – Bill Text:

�������(d-1)��It is an affirmative defense to prosecution of an offense under this section by a person whose driver’s license was revoked under Section 521.3467 that the person is unable to attend school because of unusual economic hardship of the person’s family or the illness of a member of the person’s family.

I don’t think TEA allows economic hardship is considered an “excused” absence.

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4 Comments »

  1. What a joke. when I Googled Guillen, the first hit was on the Teacher’s Vote website and Dutton (HB 795) came up #3 on Google.
    Thanks. Are you on an email list? Or do you spend time looking these up?

    Comment by christy — February 6, 2007 @ 4:10 pm

  2. If I admit that I look them up myself does that mean I have way too much time on my hands?

    Comment by texased — February 6, 2007 @ 5:12 pm

  3. LOL! certainly not.

    Comment by christy — February 6, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

  4. Thanks for the post on 1091 – I incorporated some of your thoughts in the pros/cons on this bill at Billhop: http://www.tx.billhop.com/bills/80(R)/HB1091/

    Comment by jeweke — February 10, 2007 @ 10:15 am


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