Hi homeschooling friends,
Ever since this new ESA bill passed the house and the senate I’ve been doing a lot of research on what it means and what the legal implications are.
In summary there are basically six categories of education in Arizona (public, private, charter, online charter, homeschool, ESA contract students). So homeschooling is one category and ESA contract students is a completely separate category. All categories have their own laws/requirements.
What I don’t get, is why for whatever reason, the Arizona law is written to make ESA it’s own separate category. I don’t understand why it can’t be one in the same. Homeschoolers who accept ESA and homeschoolers who do not.
It being it’s own category has legal implications and is worth doing the research. I confess I don’t fully understand the legal implications. But it is important to know that you are not “legally” under the homeschool statutes and provisions/protections if you sign the contract for ESA, you are not supposed to file the homeschool affidavit or if you have already filed it you are supposed to ask for it to be revoked.
but— beyond that—I can’t see how practically they are any different right now. Both of them allow you to homeschool as you choose* and both of them don’t make you take any testing.
(*and by “choose” I mean you can select whatever curriculum you want, but of course when you accept ESA money it does come with strings attached. And some of the things that I think you should be able to spend it on —you cannot— and that seems annoying to me. But it is what it is.)
AFHE sent an email recently and seems to be in support of it. And the Goldwater Institute and Love Your School (who are hosting the webinar) are in favor of it. I sent an email to HSLDA to see if this will affect status with them since you are revoking legal status as a homeschooler. I will let you know what I hear from them.
I think this bill is great for public schoolers….. I love that part actually – free market….take your tax money to great schools. Even private Christian ones if you want.
As for us homeschoolers….I will say I am cautiously in favor of the bill for homeschoolers, my reservations are mostly because I don’t understand why you have to give up your legal status as a homeschooler to accept it. It has a Trojan horse sort of feel that makes me be hesitant. And maybe that is my lack of understanding… or perhaps it is my general mistrust of the government …lol… probably all of the above. I need to learn more and see how the department of education will practically enforce the new law (they make the parent handouts that have all the rules, they essentially interpret the statutes and decide how it should practically work).
So I’m not opposed to accepting it — as for now and how it is currently going to be written in the law — it seems great. I scoured the statutes that pertain to both ESA and homeschooling, as well as read the entirety of the new bill… and it looks good. $6500 or so per student – spend the money on things the Dept of Ed. allows (and currently it is pretty broad- but just not every single thing you would want).
And I will be on the webinar to learn more (link at bottom). It’s worth noting the webinar will be from two groups who are not actually homeschooling groups and are strongly in favor of school choice and the new law— none of that is bad— it is just worth noting— but I think we all have critical thinking hats as homeschool moms, take the info for what it is and think it through and do research. I’ll be really interested to hear back from HSLDA as they are homeschool lawyers and this is all they do round the clock—defend homeschool rights for the last 30+ years. I’ll forward you what they respond when I hear. Also, Ducey still hasn’t officially signed the bill (but he’s been praising it so he will) but I’m sure we’ll learn more as all this unfolds.
Webinar: Tuesday 7/5 at 12pm,
Update– the Webinar has passed but if you want more info you can contact the Goldwater Institute