Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Status of HB1013 Report

by Mark & Corie Moore

We sat down with Chairman Paul Clymer yesterday to get an update on where the Education Committee stands on our homeschool bill. Many of you are wondering if all the phone calls, emails, and CHAP's lobby efforts at the capitol are making a difference. Rest assured that "your labor is not in vain". We are deeply appreciative to all of you for working, praying and participating, even when it's a huge inconvenience.

Here is a brief overview of what Rep. Clymer and the Ed Com legislative staff had to say.

- Rep. Clymer is on our side and supports the bill, but he will not put it for a vote unless he's sure it will pass. If he schedules it and it does not pass, he says that it will be bad for our cause. The legislature has committees for the purpose of ironing out potential issues in the procedural steps with the goal of passing any given bill. He estimates that we only need maybe 2 more votes to pass it, although only 4 of the 25 members are actually signed on to the bill.

- The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators [PASA] does not want to give up the oversight. However, Rep. Clymer says that we can have all 3 benefits* (see below) of the bill if we can secure 13 or more votes from the 25-member committee regardless of what the supervisors want. Republicans have majority so the proportion is 15Reps/10Dems but some Republican Representatives are on the fence. If the Democrats get majority status after the November election, the numbers will be reversed between the 2 parties making it harder next time around.

- If we can't get the vote, we can still get 2 of the 3 changes we want, but Rep. Gillen, the prime sponsor of the bill, would need to give up or modify the superintendents' review of the portfolios.

- We're working towards passing it without amendments so that when it gets to the full House, we have something to bargain with.

- They plan to provide us Homeschool diplomas: downloadable and printable diploma to be signed by the parent and the senior year evaluator - via the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

- We can still pass this bill by the first week of June!!!

I hope that's encouraging to all of you as it is to us. This is a good step in the right direction. Lord willing, we can get more regulation chipped away from the heavy mandates in the next legislative year.

For now, here's what we need to do: A number of Ed Com members would say they support homeschooling. Call and ask them to show their support by signing on to House Bill 1013 in its current form (no amendments). Once we have the simple majority or greater, Chairman Clymer will have to schedule it for a vote.

The legislature is normally in session at the Capitol Monday to Wednesday, from 11:00 AM. They may have caucus or committee meetings earlier, but there's greater chance of reaching them in the morning or late afternoon. On Thursdays and Fridays, they are in their district offices. If you are able to successfully contact and get them to sign on to the bill, please email us at with the details of your conversation so we can track our progress.

If your last name begins with A-F, please contact:

Rep. Mike Carroll (D)
Email at
(717) 787-3589 

Hon. Jim Christiana (R)
Email at 
(717) 260-6144

Hon. Bernie O’Neill (R)
Email at 
(717) 705-7170

If your last name begins with G-K, please contact:

Hon. Kathy L. Rapp (R)
Email at 
(717) 787-1367

Hon. Joe Emrick (R)
Email at 
(717) 260-6159

Hon. Harold A. English (R)
Email at
(717) 260-6407

Hon. Mike Fleck (R)
Email at 
(717) 787-3335

If your last name begins with L-R, please contact:

Hon. Seth M. Grove (R)
Email at 
(717) 783-2655

Rep. Mark Longietti (D)
Email at
(717) 772-4035 

Hon. Mike Reese (R)
Email at
(717) 783-9311

If your last name begins with S-Z, please contact:

Hon. Justin J. Simmons (R)
Email at
(717) 783-1673

Hon. Dan Truitt (R)
Email at 
(717) 260-6164

Hon. Jake Wheatley Jr. (D)
Email at
(717) 783-3783

Check out our new video on CHAP's legislative efforts and share it with as many homeschoolers as you know.

Onward and forward. 

- - - - - - - - - - - -
* The 3 beneficial changes HB1013 will have to the current law are:

1) Eliminate the public school superintendent’s review of portfolios;
2) Ensure that the home education program may continue during the time of any appeal of an adverse ruling by a hearing examiner;
3) Require that a high school diploma issued by the supervisor of a home education program be recognized the same as a diploma issued by the commonwealth.

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