TEACH CT - The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers

LEGISLATIVE NEWS & ALERTS


2014 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE (Posted 7/23/14)


Your help is still needed to defeat the UNCRPD!

 

UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (UNCRPD)

In July of this year, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-6 to approve the  UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).  The Senate is now back in session and the UNCRPD will go to a vote.  Calls are needed to defeat the UNCRPD.  

Please let the Senate know that Americans are opposed to surrendering our sovereignty, parental rights, and the rights of people with disabilities to the United Nations.  Please call and e-mail Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Chris Murphy and urge them to reject the UNCRPD.  We need every homeschooling parent to make their voice heard.  Bad bills can be repealed, but once a treaty is ratified there is no going back. Sen. Blumenthal can be reached at 202-224-2823.  Sen. Murphy can be reached at 202-224-4041.

Why Oppose the UN CRPD?

The Threat to Homeschool Families and Parental Rights.  TEACH opposes the UNCRPD because it provides that “in all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”  If ratified by the Senate, government officials could use this section to override parents’ decisions for their child with a disability.  In 2013 in Britain, where the CRPD has been ratified, a mother lost custody of her disabled son because the court ruled that homeschooling was “not in his best interests.”  CLICK HERE to learn more>>

The UNCRPD also promotes abortion and requires a national registry of all children with disabilities (the term “disability” is not defined).  Our nation has the best laws to protect Americans with disabilities.  The treaty is unnecessary and weakens US leadership.  CLICK HERE to learn more about the treaty>>

Answering False Assurances.  Some Senate staff may argue that the UNCRPD may be amended with reservations, understandings and declarations (“RUDs”), but the UNCRPD’s Article 46 says that “Reservations incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be permitted.”  Who will make that decision?  We cannot trust our freedom to five justices on the Supreme Court to make the right ruling.  Additionally, a future Senate could withdraw RUDs.  CLICK HERE for more details>>

Another false assurance being offered is the recent Supreme Court ruling in Bond v United States. Bond, however, was a narrow ruling that never addressed the treaty power issue.  The concurring opinions of Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito show that our concern about UN treaties is justified. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Bond case>> 

Your action defeated the UNCRPD in 2012.  By God’s grace we can do it again. Please call now. Thank you for continuing to stand for our God-given parental rights!

Is anything too hard for the Lord?  Genesis 18:14


WATCH LIST      

MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SCREENINGS

1) Connecticut Public Act 13-3 established a task force to study the behavioral health services in the state.  Following the murders at Newtown, this act had as its particular focus the provision of health services for people sixteen to twenty-five years of age.

    The task force met throughout 2013 and issued a final report in April.  Its first recommendation includes mandated screening for behavioral health problems by primary care providers for children ages 0-25 years old.  Parents of children who suffer mental illness stated repeatedly in public hearings that diagnosis was not the problem they faced; rather, they suffered from lack of access to services and poor coordination of services. TEACH supports coordination of care services.  We will continue to monitor legislation that would, however, be overly broad and intrusive, such as:    

CT Senate Bill 471 - 2014 (NOT CALENDARED for a vote). This bill would have required mental health screenings for school-age children.  At a public hearing on March 19, only two of the 21 people submitting testimony spoke in favor of the bill overall.  Thirteen opposed a section of the bill which lessened educational requirements for those in the mental health profession.

2) Connecticut Public Act 13-178 calls for DCF to provide a statewide children’s behavioral health plan.  Throughout 2014 an Advisory Committee has held open public forums to hear the concerns regarding children’s mental and behavioral health.  A draft plan is scheduled for completion in August 2014, with a final report to the legislature in October 2014.  Video testimony available of some of the forums shows parents once again detailing the frustration of seeking access to coordinated care services.  TEACH will continue to monitor the reports when they become available.

COMMON CORE – not just a public school issue

The 2014 CT Legislative Session saw the unusual move of a petition by Republican House members to bring two of the proposed Common Core bills to a Public Hearing.  These were HB 5331, which would have reduced classroom evaluations and teacher goals, as well as protection for the privacy of teacher evaluation data, and HB 5078, which called for a delay in and study of the impact of implementation of Common Core standards.

If you are wondering, "What is Common Core?", CLICK HERE>>

The Common Core standards implemented in the public schools will impact homeschoolers as well. ACADEMICALLY, the SAT has been redesigned to align with the standards.   The College Board has a financial stake in Common Core, so it makes sense that it would align with it.  In the WORK FORCE, we have seen the first rejection of homeschooled students for jobs based on a faulty argument that they had failed to obtain a diploma legally recognized in Ohio.  (See Homeschoolers Need Not Apply.)   As stated by HSLDA counsel, there is a concern that the “college and career ready standards” of Common Core will result in job discrimination of homeschool graduates.  In the FAMILY there is concern that the data tracking that is a large part of Common Core will eventually reach homeschool families, via avenues such as:

CT House Bill 5381 – 2014 (NOT CALLED for a vote).  This bill provided for the tracking of personal data of UConn graduates, including personally identifiable information.  This data tracking was designed as the rollout of the P20 WIN system, also known as the “Preschool through 20 Workforce Information Network”.  The P20 WIN system is designed to provide data to “education and workforce leaders”.  The bill did not specify the types of data to be shared, the people or entities with whom it would be shared, or the purpose for which it could be used.  It constitutes a massive invasion of privacy.

Future concerns: The P20 WIN system was designed at the federal level and adopted by the CT State Board of Education.  The P20 Council remains active and it is likely we will see additional legislation in an effort to get the system underway.

Parents across the country have awakened to the dangers of Common Core, as well as increasing violation of parental rights, such as in the case of Justina Pelletier

We ask you to pray for our nation and its leaders, and to continue to stand with us to preserve homeschooling and parental rights.  Thank you for your faithfulness and persistence!

“O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.”  Psalm 140:7


PREVIOUS ALERTS

We are happy to report that some of the bills we were watching last year died in committee this past session.  Thank you for all you did to defeat these bills!

2013

HB 6499  - An Act Concerning Children's Rights and the Results-Based Accountability Assessment Program - This bill incorporated the language of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as CT State policy guidelines.  The policies advanced in the UNCRC allow the government to override every decision made by the parent, thereby threatening the right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.
STATUS:  WAS NOT CALLED FOR A VOTE

SB 169  - An Act Concerning the Mental Health Needs of Children
Would have provided for mental health assessments from birth to grade 12.
STATUS:  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 374 - An Act Requiring Behavioral Health Assessments
Would have required mental health assessments for homeschooled children.  
Thanks to all who braved a terrible storm to testify at Wesleyan!
STATUS:  DIED IN COMMITTEE AS OF APRIL 5, 2013

SB 793 - An Act Concerning Exploitation of a Minor
Would have re-defined "physical injury" to include nonphysical "coercion".
STATUS:  DIED IN COMMITTEE

SB 877 - An Act Concerning the Entrance Age for When a Child May Enter Kindergarten 
Would have lowered the entrance age for kindergarten, excepting only on the basis of a
doctor's recommendation.
STATUS:  DIED IN EDUCATION COMMITTEE

HB 5534 - An Act Concerning Mental Health Screening for Children
Would have required mental health screening of children at their yearly exams.
STATUS:  DIED IN PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE

Thank you for your faithfulness in contacting your representatives!