Yesterday, I received an encouraging call from Representative Mark Gillen who is a member of the PA House Education Committee. As sponsor of HB1013, he informed me that the Ed chairman is considering putting our bill on the schedule to discuss in the committee. This is the bill we have been working on that will reduce the requirements on home educators. Mark also said that he has gone the extra mile in explaining to the House Ed Com what HB1013 is and what it is not. Apparently, they had some fears that this bill will leave the government school superintendents with no recourse or control over homeschoolers. Chairman Clymer is concerned that it will also end up being loaded with amendments.
There's enough worries to spread around but with Rep. Gillen's advise, I went ahead and presented an overture with Rep. Clymer's office for CHAP to meet with the Education Committee members. I also wanted to include their staffers since they are the ones who engineer legislations, lay out leadership decisions, and determine the realm of the possible. At least we can give them the benefit of perspective and who knows how God can use the occasion in our favor. I thought that this would keep the momentum going lest our cause get shelved. I left it open ended with the secretary. I expect to hear from Chairman Clymer's administrative assistant soon and requested that we be given a week's notice when they schedule this meeting.
In our desire to change homeschool laws, I feel the urgency to get this moving while we have the best possible situation in the Capitol -- with Governor, Senate and House all Republicans. I know it does not mean they are conservative, but the majority of us did elect them and this can be viewed as an advantage for us.
If something doesn't happen this year, our prospects in the future are not inspiring. Chairman Paul Clymer is not running for re-election. Plus this is even year so all PA House members are up for re-election. Another consideration is that we don't know how long until the bill hits the Senate and our friend and Senate Ed Com Chair, Mike Folmer, is also up for re-election. The other concern is this bill will expire if it doesn't get out of committee before December this year.
I wish that there's a way to measure homeschoolers' participation and get feedback, but it seems that all the Ed Com Reps know about HB1013 now as a result of our CHAP Legislative Day! I am anticipating committee hearing days down the road, and the budget meetings will be starting soon. We can be that shining example of true liberty and independence, asking for zero money and freeing up more tax funds for hopefully, worthy programs. If we tie this bill into saving the taxpayers money I think we have a good chance of getting this bill to the House floor and even passing it.
The battle will be long and it will get tough, but who knows if the LORD will grant us His favor in some way we least expect. Let's keep in mind the words of John Quincy Adams, "Duty is ours, the results are God's" .