Wednesday, June 4, 2014


by Corie Moore

The House Education Committee voted House Bill 1013 out of committee with 17/25 members' support. We need to make sure we thank them in the Education Committee -- all the Republicans (Rep. Mike Fleck was on leave and missed the vote) and 3 of the Democrats: Representatives Mike Carroll, James Clay, Jr., and Jake Wheatley, Jr., for their votes. It will give them a shot of encouragement they seldom receive.

Those of us following the vote were thrown for a loop when we heard that it passed but was reported as amended! We thank HSLDA's Dee Black for helping us discern what it meant:

"It doesn’t change anything in the original bill about removing superintendents from evaluations. It changes the provisions for getting a homeschool diploma, but I don’t think any of these are too burdensome. It doesn’t give the Dept. of Ed. any authority to determine whether a student is entitled to a diploma. It just standardizes the form for the diploma."

There were 4 attempts to amend HB1013 but only one was approved. State Representative Mark Gillen amended his own bill to strengthen the points he's trying to accomplish. You may read the amended bill and compare it with the original text if you're interested, and get help understanding how to read it.

The video of the June 4 meeting is available by going to the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus site. Simply select "Videos" on the left side menu, click "Education" on the menu in the middle, and watch the video dated 6/4/2014.

Representative Mark Gillen sends his greetings to everyone!

Please take the time to return the greetings by thanking him for his diligence. He continues to make the case before the legislature that homeschooling is "fraught with interference in Pennsylvania."  

Pray for him also as he continues to advocate for us - for wisdom and insight, boldness, and favor before House and Senate leadership. He will continue to argue for the passage of HB1013 -- when the loudest voice and weightiest issue in Harrisburg is, and as always, about the budget. 

What's the next step in the process? After being scrutinized by a Standing Committee - the Ed. Com in this case, HB1013 has taken the traditional stop into the Rules Committee. If this was a bigger issue, this is the time when each political party will be discussing it in an attempt to muster full party support or opposition. Our hope is that they will simply rubber stamp what House Ed Com passed but that's not guaranteed. It is important for you to contact and educate your own Representative, urging him/her to support HB1013, give them the studies that show homeschool success, give them the facts of how we compare with other states, and don't hesitate to briefly share your unique story and conviction for homeschooling. You may call, email or write them, even visit. Find your legislator's information by entering your address in this site.

NOTE: We are meeting with a key staffer under Rep. Mike Turzai on Thursday morning. The bill went to his committee but do not lobby the committee at this point - just pray.

We thank you for your dedication to pass HB1013 with us. 


  1. Please comment on whether the amendment will take away our capability to have an independent organization provide our children's high school diplomas. Most universities don't look positively on parent-issued diplomas and to lose this independent review option would be a terrible loss for homeschoolers in PA.

  2. DL777, thank you for asking. HB 1013 does not affect the legitimacy of a diploma issued by an educational entity – such as a diploma program -- that is already recognized by the state. HB 1013 simply adds a new "pathway” for homeschoolers to receiving a state-recognized high school diploma that is accessible to homeschooling parents. This new pathway is optional and parents may still choose to issue diplomas directly or they may still choose to use a diploma program. Neither of these options have been removed from the existing homeschool law. I hope this alleviates your concern.

  3. Please share this update: