HB 2557 – Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act (Official Page)
For several years THSC has been working hard to change the law to protect the fundamental right of parents to direct the care, control and education of their children.
On March 28, 2011, the Texas House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence held a hearing on HB 2557. THSC had two family law attorneys, who have practiced for more than 20 years, give testimony. THSC also offered written testimony from three other attorneys (one of whom is a former district judge), all of whom supported the bill. Read the written testimonies of Chris Branson Attorney at Law; James A. Pikl Attorney at Law; and Gregory E. Wilhelm, J.D., M.A., former Texas trial court judge.
THSC is cautiously optimistic that this bill can be voted out of committee and pass the House.
HB 196 (Official Page)
This bill is sponsored by Representative Amando L. Walle (D) and would require that homeschool students withdrawing from a public school sign a form.
This bill is unnecessary, and we oppose this legislation for several reasons, including:
- THSC already recommends that parents notify their public school via certified letter when withdrawing their children for the purpose of homeschooling.
- The TEA is already amending their internal policy to require the latter. Why require this by state statute when TEA policy will accomplish it?
- The bill doesn’t specifically state that a parent does not need to come in person to deliver the letter. This leaves school personnel with the ability to ask the parent to come to the school itself, which in these kinds of scenarios can lead to confrontation, intimidation, and a bad experience for everyone.
- Anytime there is legislative change there will be some districts that misinterpret the intent. We have already had reports of some school officials misinterpreting the impending policy change as an attempt to “go after” home schoolers.
SB 207 (Official Page)
SB 207 is sponsored by Senator MarioV. Gallegos (D), is the companion bill to HB 196, and is opposed by THSC for identical reasons. See above.
HB132 (Official Page)
This bill is sponsored by Representative Pete Gallego (D) and would prohibit students without a high school diploma from receiving a driver license (with certain exceptions).
We oppose this legislation due to the inevitable confusion that will arise when determining whether a homeschool graduate has really received a highschool diploma or whether a student is still “enrolled” in homeschool.