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Senate Approves Bill that Removes Homeschool Curriculum Requirements

Parents who homeschool their children in Utah will not be required to follow any state curriculum guidelines under a bill that passed the state Senate Monday. The debate centered around whose responsibility it is to see that children are educated – parents or the government.

The bill’s sponsor Republican Aaron Osmond explained to the Senate that parents who teach their children at home do not want to be constrained by state curriculum guidelines, and that some of the parents are concerned about the influence of national Common Core Standards in Utah.

“Homeschool parents feel that there are different curriculum and different approaches to education that they would like to pursue in preparing their child for college and careers,” Osmond said. “They feel it is unfair to ask them in their affidavit to agree to follow state curriculum guidelines.”

Furthermore, Osmond said the state has no enforcement mechanism to ensure that families are following those guidelines. Democratic Senator Jim Dabakis was one of five who voted against the bill, saying that some parents may not be up to the task and that someone needs to make sure that the children are taken care of.

“I’m just worried that with no accountability by the state whatsoever that these children, will be lost in the mire,” Dabakis said. 

“When the good Senator from Salt Lake says that someone needs to make sure that these kids are watched out for, I think that someone he’s referring to the government, and I take issue with that, “ said Republican Senator Deidre Henderson, one of 22 who supported the bill.“ Parents are ultimately responsible for their children.”

Senate Bill 39 now goes to the House for consideration

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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