Alert for all Missourians

Two bills have been introduced to the Missouri House which effect all families with school-age children. They are HB 1316 and HB 1748. Both of these bills are a long way from becoming law. At this point, it’s important to be aware of them and keep an eye on them.

HB 1316

declares that it is the natural fundamental right of the parents and legal guardians of unemancipated minors less than eighteen years of age to determine and direct the care, health care, teaching, and education of their children.

And . . .

(1) The right to make all health care decisions for such unemancipated minor. Such right of the parent or legal guardian shall supersede all other state laws regarding health care decisions for unemancipated minors; except that, no parent or legal guardian shall have the authority to require an unemancipated minor to have an abortion.

(2) The right to request reimbursement of a portion of the real estate taxes paid to the county of residence by a parent or legal guardian for moneys expended by the parent or legal guardian for the private or home schooling of an unemancipated minor. Such reimbursement shall not exceed that portion of such parent’s or legal guardian’s real estate taxes paid to the county of residence which would otherwise have been directed by the county to the school districts within the county in which such taxes are owed. Upon providing evidence satisfactory to the county of the expenditure of such moneys, the county shall provide such reimbursement.

Personally, I think the statement on parental rights is probably the most important part of the bill. As far as being reimbursed for homeschool expenses, that all sounds good. Is the mound of paperwork the government is going to require going to be worth it? What is considered a private or homeschool expense? Will I be able to include the fees we pay for my children to take private lessons and play on homeschool sports teams? What about fees that I pay for my children to be involved in a co op? What about the fees I pay to belong to a homeschool support group and attend a homeschool convention each year. How will I be able to be reimbursed for items I buy at used book sales?

The bill appears vague and leaves a lot of questions unanswered. My “gut feeling” on this one is that the paperwork involved and the probability that the government will use it as a way to try to track homeschoolers will not be worth it.

HB 1748 does two things. First, it lowers the compulsory school age in Missouri from age seven to age six. Second, it will require all kindergarten programs to be all-day programs. No more half day kindergarten!

167.032. Beginning with school year 2008, all kindergarten programs at public schools shall be full-day programs. The length of the school day for the kindergarten program shall be the same as for other elementary grades provided by the school district.

Folks, this incrementalism. It may not seem like a big deal to lower the compulsory attendance age one year from seven to six, but next will be the lowering of the compulsory age from six to five. This will go on and on until one day we’ll look back and wonder how the compulsory attendance age got changed from seven to two. This is how the libs take away our freedoms everyday. We would think it absurd to change the compulsory age from seven to two, but they do a great job of convincing us to give up a little at a time until they reach their goal and we’re sitting back wondering how we got to where we are.

Like I said, both of these bills are a long way from becoming law. So, don’t panic or get excited just yet. Keep on eye on them and write your representative if necessary. If you don’t know how to contact your rep, you can get that information on my homepage.

You can subscribe to weekly emails from Missouri Family Network letting you know what’s going on at the capitol building. MFN works entirely on donations so please send them a donation when you can.

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