Current Bills & Alerts

Current Bills and Alerts

If you have information on pending legislation that might affect homeschooling, please email the Legislation Monitoring Committee at


Bills & alerts on this page… (just click one of these to be taken directly to it)

HR610: Choices in Education Act of 2017 and HR899                  SB18: Bill of Rights for Children & Youth in California

AB713: Mandatory Kindergarten                                                 SB277: Elimination of Personal Exemption for Childhood Immunizations


California Student Aid Commission: Information on FASFA, Student Aide Programs, and Grants —

HR610 & HR899

There are currently two bills in Congress with the potential of affecting homeschoolers in California. HR 610 and HR 899. California Homeschool Network is aware of these bills and we are currently monitoring them. These bills are being monitored. Read more below on how this affects homeschoolers in California.

H.R. 610  Choices in Education Act of 2017


  • Introduced on January 23, 2017 by Representative Steve King (R) (IA)
  • Referred on January 23, 2017 to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.


  • This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states.
  • The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.
  • To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.


In most cases the California Homeschool Network (CHN) Legislative and Legal committees tend to take an observational position until the bill has started the process through the various committees.  AB610 has taken on a life of its own due to the fact that it actually mentions “homeschool” and other organizations have started taking a position on the merits of the bill.  With this in mind, we will present an initial review realizing that as the bill matures and is amended our position may also be amended accordingly.

  • The section that establishes homeschoolers as possible recipients for federal grants becomes the primary concern for CHN. You might ask why this is not an optimal idea considering that private homeschoolers do not receive any financial benefits from any governmental agency ranging from local school districts to the Federal Government.  This is a fair question, but let’s look at the intended and unintended consequences of this bill.
  • Until now, homeschooling in the United States has been primarily governed by the school districts, counties and the state you live in. This process allows for more “local” control permitting the community to set it’s own standards.  Yes this results in each jurisdiction interpreting the law differently and can cause some confusion but it does take into consideration “local” conditions and issues.  If this bill allows for the Federal government to distribute funds through the qualified states, this will sooner or later establish federal standards that must be met in order to qualify for the funds.
  • In the State of California we are privileged to have a fairly high level of homeschooling freedom within both the public and private sectors. To date, there has not been an official state definition of homeschooling which in our opinion has been a tremendous advantage.  If you are homeschooling through a public school or a charter school you are required to meet common standards that the state has encouraged the charters of follow.  If you are homeschooling through the private sector you have many more freedoms, especially in choosing the style of homeschooling and the curriculum.
  • If this bill is passed as is, a major concern will be the requirement that “homeschooling” must be legally defined by the Federal Government. This is where the danger lies.  For Charter students the standards may not be much different than they are now, but for the private homeschool family the changes may be a serious deterrent to homeschool freedom.  The legal definition of homeschooling that will be encouraged by the Federal government will most likely include the following requirements:
    • Must follow Common Core Standards or whatever Federal program that will replace it.
    • Family must be supervised by a state credentialed teacher or the parent must hold a credential.
    • Curriculum choices may become restricted (i.e. faith based curriculums like ABeka).
    • Homeschooling styles may become restricted due to the potential serious adherence to “scope and sequence” that may be implemented. This will possibly restrict families from participating in “delayed” academics or any other style that is not “time” sensitive.
    • All homeschoolers will be required to be “accountable” to both the State and Federal Governments through the process of mandated meetings and providing evidence of adequate work being accomplished.


The California Homeschool Network was founded on the principles of homeschooling freedoms and we feel that as this bill stands now our freedoms will be at risk.  Our current position is to watch the legislative process proceed and provide our members with a more definitive position when appropriate.  If the language does not change our position will change from “watch” to “oppose”.

From: California Homeschool Network’s Legislative Committee


To read these bills, visit: HR610:  and  HR899:

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SB 18:  Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California

CHN’s legislative and legal committees are aware of SB 18 and are monitoring it.  Here is our current information:

SB 18 did not go to the rules committee until the 12th. The rules committee meets every Wednesday afternoon, so they would not have had it for their meeting on the 11th. You should be able to find it on their docket on the 18th. The first committee hearing and vote is not likely to take place for at least two months.

Senator de Leon is the current head of the rules committee. You could make contact with his office for info or this number directly to the committee office 916-651-4120. Or just wait until a hearing is scheduled or it reaches the Senate floor.

If you would like to read the bill or get legislative updates via email you can go to this link and submit a tracking request:…/billNavClient.xhtml…

Bill Text – SB-18 Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California.

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AB 713:  Mandatory Kindergarten (Updated 8/31/15)

We are sad to report that this bill has been re-introduced.  Simply put, the bill states that beginning with the 2017–18 school year, a child shall have completed one year of kindergarten before he or she may be admitted to the first grade (in addition to the age requirement).  The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Shirley Weber (D) from the suburban San Diego area.

Read the bill here.


8/27/2015:  The bill was “held under submission” in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  This killed the bill for the year.  Here is the definition of that term:

HELD UNDER SUBMISSION  An action taken by a committee when a bill is heard in committee and there is an indication that the author and the committee members want to work on or discuss the bill further, but there is no motion for the bill to progress out of committee. This does not preclude the bill from being set for another hearing.

8/17/2015:  CALL TO ACTION

In a joint telephone conference with CHN (represented by Karen Taylor and Martin Forte), HSC, CHEA, HSLDA and FPM the conclusion was that this bill will pass and go to the Governor for his signature.  The timing is unknown but it most likely will be sooner than later.

Our consensus was to suggest to our memberships that a “Letter” writing campaign be initiated immediately asking the Governor to Veto this legislation.  It is very important to write this letter from a parental perspective, not a homeschool position since this affects all students universally.

In this case the recommendation is a letter, not an email.

Included below are some great talking points developed by Family Protection Ministries and HSLDA.  Take a look at them and determine which of the points below you would like to use.

Mail your letter to:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capital, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Summary of Concern:

Under current law, parents can choose to have their child skip kindergarten and begin at the 1st grade.  AB 713 would eliminate this current parental choice by mandating that every child attend kindergarten for one school year before they could be admitted to the first grade.  This would go into effect at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. AB 713 is an incremental step toward lowering the compulsory school age and expanding government control over children from birth to adulthood.

Opposition Points:

AB 713 would damage children.  Beginning formal education at age 5 or younger causes unintended harmful consequences to children, some of which last a lifetime.  Research* indicates that early formal childhood education not only causes both physical and behavioral long-term problems but that it also does not improve the child’s potential for being a better student later on.

Research demonstrates that:

Gains experienced by children who began their formal education at age 5 (or younger) disappear in just a few years. 

These same children, however, experience long-lasting adverse effects on their physical, behavioral, and educational development, including life-long vision impairment, and for many, detriments to mathematics and nonacademic readiness skills.

Boys are especially damaged by early entrance (age 5 and younger) into formal education. Boys’ cognitive and verbal skill development significantly lags behind that of girls at this age. As a result, boys do not do as well in the early years, at which time many experience failures leading to frustration, and for some, substance abuse and later criminal behavior.

For the sake of your own children, every parent should read “Early Childhood Education: Research Summaries of the Effects of Universal Kindergarten” Updated 2014 at

AB 713 would diminish the parental rights of all parents.  Under AB 713, parents who choose to delay their child’s entrance into kindergarten would be forced to undergo a time and financial penalty of adding a year of required schooling before graduation.  Enrollment into kindergarten prior to the first grade must remain optional for parents.

AB 713 would decrease beneficial parental contact with their children.  An extra year of development outside of school can be critical for a child at this early age.  Carl Zinsmeister, Adjunct Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, says, “Declining parental attachment is an extremely serious risk to children today.  The verdict of enormous psychological literature is that time spent with the parent is the very clearest correlate of healthy child development.”  Parents should continue to have the authority to decide what is best for their children.

***** ***** ***** *****

Under AB 713, parents who would have chosen to delay their child’s entrance into formal education and skip kindergarten, would be forced to choose between either:

(a) starting their child’s formal education one year earlier, before they feel it is best for their child, or
(b) graduating their child a year later than they would under current law.

This is because 13 years of schooling would be required under AB 713 rather than the current 12 years of schooling.

The requirements of AB 713 would apply to all pupils in both public schools and in private schools, including homeschools.

Advocates of extending government control of all children from birth would be able to use passage of AB 713 as an incremental step toward establishing seamless, cradle-to-grave government-controlled education and development programs for all children.

Passage of AB 713 would be followed by the next incremental legislative step — making institutionalized preschool (pre-kindergarten) for every 3 and 4 year-old child universally available to all children and then the next step – making it universally mandatory for every 3 and 4 year-old child.


*   Rushing children into formal education by effectively lowering the age at which children begin formal education by mandating Kindergarten would exact a heavy toll on the development of many children and would weaken the role of parents in their lives.  This is diametrically opposed to the message parents are routinely given, that parents need to be more involved in their children’s lives.  However, parents cannot be more involved when the state either encourages or requires children to be with their parents for less time.  Research supports later rather than earlier entry of children into institutionalized settings for educational development to be the most beneficial.

*   AB 713 encroaches on the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.  It ignores the long-standing presumption that parents act in the best interest of their children, by requiring parents to enroll their children in Kindergarten rather than allowing them the choice specified in current law.  It disregards the parent’s understanding of what would be the best course of action for his own child’s education and development.  It is a detrimental one-size-fits-all mandate that would be forced upon all children by the government.

CHN Legislative Committee

8/5/15:  The State Legislature will reconvene on Monday, Aug. 17th after their summer recess.  The Senate  Appropriations Committee, which also meets on Monday, has not yet published a post-recess agenda.

7/8/15:  AB 713 passed the Education Committee on a 7 to 2 vote (all Democrats voting for and all Republicans voting against).  The bill was then referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

6/18/15:  Referred to Senate Education Committee.  AB 713 is on the Wednesday, July 8th agenda.  CHN is strongly opposed to this bill and urges its members and the general public to contact any or all of the committee members to voice opposition to this bill (as private citizens, not homeschoolers).  Here is the contact information for the Education Committee:

Name phone no. website
Carol Liu (D)(Chair) 916-651-4021
Sharon Runner (R)(Vice-Chair) 916-651-4021
Marty Block (D) 916-651-4039
Loni Hancock (D) 916-651-4009
Connie M. Leyva (D) 916-651-4020
Tony Mendoza (D) 916-651-4032
William Monning (D) 916-651-4017
Richard Pan M.D. (D) 916-651-4006
Andy Vidak (R) 916-651-4014

6/3/15:  AB 713 passed the Assembly on a 58 to 21 vote and is now heading to the Senate and is waiting for committee assignment.

6/1/15:  AB 713 was amended to add the necessary changes to the Private School Affidavit (PSA) as a result of mandating kindergarten.  Other non-substantive changes were made to the PSA requirements as well.  Remember to call your Assemblyman before the full Assembly vote!

5/28/15:  AB 713 passed the Appropriations Committee on a straight party line vote (12 Democrats to 4 Republicans with one Republican not voting).  The bill will reach the Assembly Floor for vote sometime during the week of June 1 to June 5.  Now is the time to call and/or e-mail your Assembly Representative to voice opposition to this bill.  Find your California State Assemblyman here.

4/22/15:  AB 713 was placed in the Appropriations Committee Suspense File due to its cost (greater than $150,000 from any source).  This means it will be not be heard in committee until after the budget has passed.

4/8/15:  The Assembly Education Committee passed AB 713 on a 6 to 1 vote.  No additional amendments were made.  The bill was referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  Get info about the Appropriations Committee here.

4/1/15:  CHN asks its members and others concerned about AB 713 to call members of the Assembly Education Committee prior to the committee hearing to oppose this bill.  Phone numbers are:kindergarten-abc-blocks-630x286

Patrick O’Donnell: (916) 319-2070
Rocky Chavez:  (916) 319-2076
Young Kim:  (916) 319-2065
Kevin McCarty:  (916) 319-2007
Miguel Santiago:  (916) 319-2053
Tony Thurmond:  (916) 319-2015
Shirley Weber:  (916) 319-2079

3/30/15:  The Assembly Education Committee has AB 713 on its 4/8/15 agenda.  Get info about the Education Committee here.

3/23/15:  After amendment, the bill was re-referred to the Assembly Education Committee.

CHN’s Position

CHN STRONGLY OPPOSES mandatory kindergarten for two primary reasons.  First,  mandatory attendance at kindergarten can be damaging for a child who is not ready.  Secondly, it is the right of the parents to decide if kindergarten is beneficial for their child, not the state.

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SB 277:  Elimination of Personal Exemption for Childhood Immunizations (Updated 6/30/15)

shotrecordThis bill was introduced on February 19, 2015.  It has two major components.  The first would eliminate the personal exemption for immunizations for most public and private elementary and secondary school students.  Some students in home-based schools would be automatically exempt from immunization requirements.  The second component would require school districts to notify parents of the schools’ immunization rates.
(Removed in 5/7 amendment.)

Read the bill here.


SB 277 Information

SB277 was passed by the State Senate and quickly signed into law by Governor Brown. This new law will go into effect for the 2016-17 school year and effectively eliminates all personal belief exemptions from vaccination requirements for all students enrolled in any private or public elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center in the state of California.

In the legislative process an amendment was included to exempt homeschool students.  The amendment states:

This section does not apply to a pupil in a home-based private school or a pupil who is enrolled in an independent study program pursuant to Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 51745) of Chapter 5 of Part 28 of the Education Code and does not receive classroom-based instruction.”

 Our interpretation at this point is that students whose families file a Private School Affidavit or are enrolled in a Private Satellite Program will be exempt from the immunization requirements.

In respect to home-based Charter Schools and Public Independent Study Programs, we believe that the exemption may apply to some students enrolled in these programs but homeschool families should consult with their program’s administrator as guidelines and requirements may vary from program to program. The term “does not receive classroom-based instruction” has not yet been adequately defined for the purposes of this law. The following sections of the California Education Code may provide some guidance:

EC Section 47612.5 (e) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and as a condition of apportionment, “classroom-based instruction” in a charter school, for the purposes of this part, occurs only when charter school pupils are engaged in educational activities required of those pupils and are under the immediate supervision and control of an employee of the charter school who possesses a valid teaching certification in accordance with subdivision (l) of Section 47605. For purposes of calculating average daily attendance for classroom-based instruction apportionments, at least 80 percent of the instructional time offered by the charter school shall be at the schoolsite, and the charter school shall require the attendance of all pupils for whom a classroom-based apportionment is claimed at the schoolsite for at least 80 percent of the minimum instructional time required to be offered pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 47612.5.”

Pursuant to EC Section 47612.5 (d)(1), “Non classroom-based instruction includes, but is not limited to, independent study, home study, work study, and distance and computer-based education”

Here, classroom-based instruction is defined as a student receiving more than 80% of instruction in the classroom with a certified teacher employed by the Charter or ISP.  This is important since it can be interpreted to suggest that Charter/ISP students taking classes at independent resource centers or co-ops would also be exempt. We understand that this uncertainty is troubling for families, but since there is another year until the law takes effect, there is time for families to make alternate plans, if necessary.

Students who have a Personal Beliefs Exemption (CDPH form 8262, 10/13) on file at a school prior to Jan. 1, 2016, will not have to show proof of immunization until the next “grade span” period (for most that will be the 7th grade).  In addition, the PBE is portable and can be transferred to a new school in California only within the applicable grade span period.

A limited medical exemption is still available and it is permissible for the doctor to consider the family’s medical history when making a decision.  If a new immunization is added to the list in the future, medical exemptions and personal belief exemptions (for the new immunization only) will be allowed.

Again, this is a preliminary analysis. The CHN Legislative Committee will be consulting with the other homeschool advocacy groups (HSC, FPM, CHEA and HSLDA) and issuing updates as required.

CHN Legislative Committee

SB 277 History:

6/30/15:  Governor Brown signed SB 277 into law.  The law goes into effect on July 1, 2016 for the 2016-2017 school year.  Here is his signing message.

6/29/15:  The Senate “concurred in” the amendments and the bill was passed again in the Senate by a 24 to 14 (2 no votes recorded) vote.  The bill was engrossed, enrolled, and sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.  Governor Brown has 1 month to sign or veto the bill.

6/25/15:  SB 277 passed the Assembly on a 46 to 31 (3 no votes recorded) vote and was returned to the Senate.

6/18/15:  SB 277 was read for a third time,  amended again and ordered to another third reading.  The amendment added a clause to the section pertaining to medical exemptions stating that a physician can consider the family’s medical history when making a decision about exempting a child from an immunization.

6/11/15:  SB 277 was amended again and ordered to a second reading.  Amendment summary:

1.  The homeschool students eligible for an automatic exemption to the immunization requirements have been clarified. The 6/11 amendment did not change the private school exemption; we believe all families who either file a private school affidavit themselves, or who belong to a PSP, are exempt.   However, the amendment did address public school pupils.  The exemption will include public ISP and home-based Charter school students as long as they do “not receive classroom-based instruction.”  In other words, if your children are in any kind of public homeschool/classroom hybrid program, they may not be exempt from the immunization requirements.

2.  Phase-out time period for the Personal Beliefs Exemption (PBE) was added.  Any parent who files a Personal Beliefs Exemption before Jan. 1, 2016, will exempt their child from the immunization requirements at any school in the state until the next “grade span.”  The grade spans are defined as:  birth to pre-school, pre-K (transitional kindergarten) to 6th grade, 7th to 12th grade.  Except for the students with PBEs as described above, on July 1, 2016, the provisions of the law will go into effect for students admitted into an institution for the first time, or before admission to 7th grade.

3.  Students who have an IEP will not be prohibited from accessing any special education or related services if they don’t meet the immunization requirements.

6/9/15:  SB 277 passed out of the Health Committee on a straight party line vote, with 12 Democrats voting yes, and all 6 Republicans voting no.  Bill now goes to the Assembly floor for a vote of the full Assembly.  It’s not too late to call your Assemblyman (see link below to find your Assemblyman).

5/28/15:  SB 277 was referred to only one Assembly Committee – Health.  The bill will be heard on Tuesday, June 9 at 1:30 pm.  You can listen to the hearing here.  Information about a Capitol rally can be found here.  We urge you to call members of the committee to voice your opposition to the bill.  Note that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to vote yes on this bill, so you may want to devote your efforts to the Democrats. Here are the phone numbers:

Democrats Republicans
Rob Bonta (Chair) (916) 319-2018 Brian Maienschein (Vice Chair) (916) 319-2077
Susan Bonilla (916) 319-2014 Rocky Chavez (916) 319-2076
Autumn Burke (916) 319-2062 Tom Lackey (916) 319-2036
David Chiu (916) 319-2017 Jim Patterson (916) 319-2023
Jimmy Gomez (916) 319-2051 Marc Steinorth (916) 319-2040
Lorena Gonzalez (916) 319-2040 Marie Waldron (916) 319-2075
Roger Hernandez (916) 319-2048
Adrin Nazarian (916) 319-2046
Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (916) 319-2054
Freddie Rodriguez (916) 319-2052
Miguel Santiago (916) 319-2053
Tony Thurmond (916) 319-2015
Jim Wood (916) 319-2002

5/14/15:  The bill was passed by the entire Senate on a 25-11 vote, mostly along party lines.  The bill was sent to the Assembly where it was read and is currently awaiting assignment to committee.

5/7/15:  The bill was again amended, this time to remove the requirement that schools and school districts disseminate data on each schools’ immunization rates to parents.  This means that there is no longer a financial burden on the state which would require the bill to pass through the Appropriations Committee.  The bill may be sent to the Senate floor for a full vote as early as the week of 5/11 to 5/15/15.  Now is the time to contact your own California Senator (phone calls preferred) and urge him/her to vote no on SB 277.  You can find your State Senator here.

5/5/15:  The bill was amended, adding two new passages of note.  The first is an addition to Section 120338 of the Health and Safety Code which basically says that any new immunizations which are added to the list of required immunizations will be subject to exemption for medical reasons and personal beliefs (as well as the homeschool exemptions).  The second addition, to Section 120370 of the Health and Safety Code, states that any children who are exempt from immunization and are exposed to one of the listed diseases, may be temporarily excluded from school until transmission is no longer possible.

4/28/15:  The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 277 on a 5 to 1 vote.  The lone no vote was cast by Sen. Anderson and Sen. Moorlach did not vote.  The bill heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee next.

4/22/15:  The Senate Education Committee passed SB 277 on a 7 to 2 vote.  Dissenting votes were Connie Leyva (D-Chino) and Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster).  Click here for good coverage of the hearing from the Sacramento Bee.  The bill now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it will be heard on Tuesday, April 28th.  If you are concerned about the loss of parental rights generally, and/or in regards to immunizations, please call some or all of the committee members before the hearing to register your opposition to SB 277.  Here are the phone numbers:

Hannah-Beth Jackson (Chair):  Phone 916-651-4019, Fax 916-651-4919

John Moorlach (Vice Chair): Phone 916-651-4037, Fax 916-651-4937

Joel Anderson:  Phone 916-651-4038, Fax 916-651-4938

Robert M. Hertzberg: Phone 916-651-4018, Fax 916-651-4918

Mark Leno: Phone 916-651-4011, Fax 916-651-4911

William Monning:  Phone: 916-651-4017, Fax: 916-651-4917

Bob Wieckowski: Phone 916-651-4010, Fax 916-651-4910

The bill was also amended again on 4/22.  Section 120335 (b) now reads, “The governing authority shall not unconditionally admit any person as a pupil of any private or public elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center, unless, prior to his or her first admission to that institution, he or she has been fully immunized. This subdivision does not apply to a pupil in a home-based private school or a pupil who is enrolled in an independent study pursuant to Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 51745) of Chapter 5 of Part 28 of the Education Code.”

Unfortunately, this wording still does not completely clarify which homeschooling students would be exempt.  Students whose families file PSAs  and students in public ISP programs would appear to be exempt.  It is still not clear if any students enrolled in a PSP would be exempt.  Some home-based charter school students may be exempt, but what about hybrid home-based/school-based charter schools?

4/21/15:  At a contentious hearing on April 15th, the Senate Education Committee vote was delayed until April 22nd.  Phone calls or faxes opposing SB 277 to any or all of the Committee member will be very helpful.  Note that 2 committee members have been added since the April 15th meeting (Sens. Runner and Monning).  Here are the phone numbers:

Carol Liu (Chair):  Phone 916-651-4025, Fax 916-651-4925

Sharon Runner (Vice-Chair):  Phone: 916-651-4021, Fax: 916-651-4921

Marty Block:  Phone 916-651-4039, Fax 916-651-4939

Loni Hancock:  Phone 916-651-4009, Fax 916-651-4909

Connie M. Leyva:  Phone 916-651-4020, Fax 916-651-4920

Tony Mendoza:  Phone 916-651-4032, Fax 916-651-4932

William Monning:  Phone: 916-651-4017, Fax: 916-651-4917

Richard Pan, M.D.:  Phone 916-651-4006, Fax 916-651-4906

Andy Vidak:  Phone 916-651-4014, Fax 916-651-4914

4/10/15:  SB 277 will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on April 15th.  Phone calls or faxes opposing SB 277 to any or all of the Committee members will be very helpful.  Remember to identify yourself as a concerned parent – not a homeschooler.  Here are the phone numbers:

Carol Liu (Chair):  Phone 916-651-4025, Fax 916-651-4925

Bob Huff (Vice-Chair):  Phone 916-651-4029, Fax 916-651-4929

Marty Block:  Phone 916-651-4039, Fax 916-651-4939

Loni Hancock:  Phone 916-651-4009, Fax 916-651-4909

Connie M. Leyva:  Phone 916-651-4020, Fax 916-651-4920

Tony Mendoza:  Phone 916-651-4032, Fax 916-651-4932

Richard Pan, M.D.:  Phone 916-651-4006, Fax 916-651-4906

Andy Vidak:  Phone 916-651-4014, Fax 916-651-4914

4/9/15:  A “homeschool” amendment was added to the bill and SB 277 was read for a second time.  The following line was added to Section 120335 (b): This subdivision does not apply to a home-based private school if all of the pupils are residents of the household or are members of a single family.

4/8/15:  SB 277 passed the Senate Health Committee by a vote of 6 to 2.  Chairman Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa) abstained, and Sens. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) and Richard Roth (D-Riverside) voted no.  The bill heads to the Senate Education Committee next.

4/1/15:  CHN asks its members and others concerned about SB 277 to call members of the Senate Health Committee prior to the committee hearing to oppose this bill.  See our analysis and position on this bill below, as well as phone information for the Committee members.

3/24/15:  The Senate Health Committee has SB 277 on its 4/8/15 agenda.  Get information about the Health Committee here.

3/5/15:  SB 277 was referred to the following three committees:  Education, Health, and Judiciary.  As of 3/8, the bill was not listed on any of the committee agendas for the next few weeks.

2/21/15:  This bill is waiting for assignment to committee.

CHN’s Position


This legislation is designed to eliminate the personal belief exemption requiring a child be vaccinated in order to attend school.  SB 277 would require most children in both public and private schools be vaccinated unless they had a medical exemption.  Two amendments dealing with exemptions for homeschoolers have been made, but it is still unclear exactly which homechoolers would be exempt.

The current measles outbreak has fueled the fire for legislation like SB 277 to insure that all students are vaccinated.  While the current participation rate in all or part of the vaccination requirement is about 96%, there are schools where the immunization rate has fallen below the level for herd immunity.


SB 277 has two main issues of concern to parents. The first obvious issue is that of vaccinations.  Vaccinations have always been controversial. The issue of whether children should receive any particular vaccination is beyond the scope of the California Homeschool Network’s charter, and we remain neutral on this subject.

The second issue is the right of parents to make health decisions for their children. This is the issue that CHN will take a position on.  There is a long and successful tradition in this country that respects the right of parents to make important decisions for their children in the areas of health, religion and education.  SB 277 would inject a serious obstacle in this important right of the parent.  If you look at this legislation and other actions by government (local, state or federal) you will see a trend toward fewer parental rights.  Current examples would be AB 713 (mandatory kindergarten bill), day time curfews, helmet laws and a host of other actions eroding the right of parents. It is clear that each diminishment of parental rights makes it easier to attack the next parental right. We do not want to see the next attack on parental rights be the right to make educational decisions for our children. As homeschoolers, it is in our best interest to keep parental rights strong.


After careful analysis the Board of Trustees is taking the following position and making the following recommendations:

  1. CHN is in STRONG OPPOSITION to SB 277 based upon the serious threat this legislation has on parental rights.
  2. While we understand that this legislation does have a major effect on homeschoolers, we do not advocate that we make this a homeschool issue.  This law is designed for all students, regardless of educational choice.  In no way are homeschool students the exclusive target of this proposed legislation.  Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler, but as a concerned parent.
  3. UPDATE (4/13/15):  CHN has joined with other Homeschool Advocacy Groups HSLDA, HSC, CHEA, and FPM in STRONG OPPOSITION to SB 277.  All five groups are working together to oppose the bill based on its threat to parental rights.
  4. CHN will be tracking this bill as it moves through both houses of the state legislature and will recommend action at various points along the way.

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