Happy new year from AFHE’s Government and Legislative Affairs Team. It’s amazing that we are almost to February!
As most of us are back into our homeschool routines after the holidays, ninety Arizona legislators have convened at the State Capitol, some of them for their first session. The new legislative session began January 14, but most legislators began preparing weeks in advance.
This will be the first regular session of Arizona’s 54th Legislature. Arizona lawmakers will be working countless hours this session, hopefully to further establish Arizona as one of the best states in which to live, work, and raise a family.
As we head into this new session, we remember the legislators who have devoted years to preserving homeschool freedom in our state. A special thank you to President Steve Yarbrough, who recently retired from the legislature. He has served in key leadership roles in both House and Senate, including as President of the Senate. Senator Yarbrough is an incredibly effective advocate of school choice and a dear friend to the homeschool community.
We are proud of the two bills AFHE supported the last two sessions. In 2017, we successfully urged the adoption of HB 2389, which requires government entities in the state of Arizona to recognize a homeschool diploma and transcript in the same manner as a public school diploma for employment. And, in 2018, we supported HB 2536, which extends the same college credits to homeschool students that public school students receive at our JTEDs (Joint Technical Education Districts such as West-MEC and EVIT). Both bills were sponsored by Representative Rusty Bowers, who was selected in November by the Members of the House of Representatives to lead their chamber as the Speaker. Speaker Bowers was the recipient of AFHE’s Friend of Homeschool Freedom Award in 2017, and we are glad to see him continue to lead with a commitment to excellence.
Arizona lawmakers have filed hundreds of proposed bills for the new session. The AFHE Legislative Team is already searching and reading through these bills to ensure the protection of your homeschool freedoms as well as those of the next generation.
We look forward to a wonderful session and want to invite you all to join us in prayer for continued success in our mission to preserve the freedom to homeschool in Arizona.
AFHE Board Member
Director of Government Affairs