Home : Legal : 2018 Issues : HB 1798|
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Legislative Update on HB 1798
DEFEATED 3/12/2018 at 1:25pm MDHSA spoke directly to Delegate Turner. The bill will
NOT be going to hearing this session.
UPDATE 3/10/2018 at 5:15pm Delegate Ebersole's office has sent out emails and has
spoken personally with homeschoolers in the community that he is withdrawing his name as co-sponsor from HB 1798. This
is a small but great victory for Maryland homeschoolers' grassroots efforts. Keep calling and emailing Delegate Turner
and Delegate Kaiser and let them know this bill needs to be withdrawn immediately!
- 2018: HB 1798 - County Boards of Education - Home Instruction Program - Observation of Instruction and
Reporting of Abuse and Neglect
This bill would require parents to annually inform their county school boards of their homeschool child's primary
instructor and of the primary location where homeschooling is taking place each year. Furthermore, in order to legally
homeschool in the state of Maryland, parents would be required to allow a representative of the county board to observe
instruction at the family's primary homeschooling location at least twice a year. Finally, this bill would require
county school board employees who observe a family's instruction and who believe a homeschool child has been subjected
to abuse or neglect to report their suspicion to the proper authorities.
latest update on HB 1798 from the General Assembly.
Status: Despite its late introduction date, the House Rules Committee has fast-tracked this
bill to the House Ways and Means Committee. As of 4:00pm on March 10th, no committee hearing has been set.
Important to Know: Delegate Frank Turner from Howard County is the primary sponsor of this
bill, along with Delegate Anne Kaiser (Montgomery) and Delegate Eric Ebersole (Baltimore and Howard Counties).
Delegate Kaiser is the chairwoman of the House Ways and Means Committee and holds the power to schedule bills for hearing.
What You Can Do: The primary call to action right now is to work to have this bill withdrawn
before it goes to hearing. The only way to withdraw a bill is to put pressure on its sponsors.
Take a look at our talking points below and then call or email all 3 sponsors of HB 1798 and ask that they immediately
withdraw the bill. If you send an email, be sure to mark your subject line with Re: HB 1798 - Homeschool bill OPPOSED
Frequently Asked Questions About HB 1798
Talking Points About HB 1798
There are many arguments about why this bill is unnecessary and, more to the point, an over-reach of authority by the
state of Maryland. In addition to your own thoughts, we offer a few talking points that you can use when you contact
the bill's sponsors to ask they withdraw this bill.
NOTE: Many homeschoolers have found that they get more attention and a better response from a legislator or their
staff if they focus on just 1 or 2 talking points.
- Mandatory Reporters. As licensed educators, homeschool liaisons are already required to report
suspicision of neglect or abuse to the proper authorities, should that occur during a homeschool review conducted
at a local library or other mutually agreeable location. If the state is going to begin mandating pre-emptive home
visits in an effort to ensure that no child is being abused, then this bill should be amended to include children
who attend private schools. Read more about
mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse in Maryland.
- Duplication of Effort. COMAR 13A.10.01.E already
allows county school boards the option to "observe instruction" of homeschool families. One of the key differences
between the existing homeschool regulation and the proposed bill is the location of where the observation would take
place. COMAR states that the review and/or observation be "at a time and place mutually agreeable to the representative
of the local school system and the parent or guardian". The proposed bill would require the observation to take
place at the primary location where the family homeschools.
- Cost Prohibitive. Requiring county homeschool liaisons to drive and make home visits to thousands
of families, twice a year, will create a significant financial burden for cash-strapped school boards.
- No Evidence. No scientific study or statistical evidence exists to demonstrate a link between
homeschooling and child abuse. Simply put: Homeschool children are not at greater risk for abuse than children who
are educated by other means.
- Violation of the 4th Amendment. Read
the letter that HSLDA sent to Delegate Turner explaining their opinion of how the current bill would create an
unconstitutional mandate when no probable cause exists to enter a person's home.