News: SB 1152 Signed

AFHE is pleased to announce SB 1152 signed by Governor Brewer!

April 11, 2011

AFHE is pleased to announce that Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1152 on April 7, 2011!

SB 1152 amends A.R.S. §15-802(G)(2) to read “For purposes of this section: ‘Homeschool’ means a nonpublic school conducted primarily by the parent, guardian or other person who has custody of the child or nonpublic instruction provided in the child’s home.”

AFHE worked with Senator Rich Crandall from District 19 in Mesa to sponsor this legislation. Senator Crandall is Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. We sought this bill because since the revision of Title 15 in 1983, which created the definition of homeschooling in Arizona’s compulsory education statute, the Internet has changed how public schools deliver educational services. Public schools and charter schools are not limited to their brick-and-mortar locations any more, and have used the concept of “virtual” schools to include delivery of services directly to their enrolled students’ homes.

Homeschooling is not the same as distance education. The primary distinction is that homeschooling is privately funded whereas distance education is funded through what is known as the ADM allocation for public school students which is a combination of state and federal taxpayer money. Students taught using ADM money must also meet all state standards and comply with state mandated testing. Teachers must also be certified by the state in order to qualify for ADM funding.

Parents, support group leaders, and individuals who provide private resources to the homeschooling community have expressed frustration that our state law left this distinction vague. The passage of SB 1152 into law should help to clear up the confusion!

Homeschools are now referred to by one word not two so that our identity is better “branded.” For children for whom an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool has been properly filed with the county in which the child resides, “Homeschools” are specified as “nonpublic schools conducted primarily by the parent or guardian.” And “instruction provided in the child’s home” is also specified as nonpublic.

AFHE thanks Senator Crandall for sponsoring this bill and for guiding it through the legislative process. His support was invaluable! Others we would like to thank are Cathi Herrod and Deborah Sheasby of the Center for Arizona Policy as well as Representative Doris Goodale, the House Education Committee Chairwoman. And finally, we are grateful to our Governor, Jan Brewer, for signing SB 1152 into law, and for her support of our school choice throughout her years as a legislator and now as Governor of our state.

Carol Shippy
AFHE Legislative Liaison