Education bill raises concerns for homeschooling parents

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(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota governor Tim Walz’s education bill proposes some new changes for public schools, and one thing that is not always affected by education bills is homeschooling. But if passed this bill would require some changes to the homeschooling curriculum and now parents are speaking out.

“As a home school parent, we know what our child is learning. We know when a great time to test is, we know what their strengths and weaknesses are,” said Mya Stina-Hagen a homeschooling parent from Wykoff, MN.

She homeschools her four children. She says she is against the latest education bill proposed in the Minnesota Legislature. If passed, the bill would require homeschool parents to include ethnic studies in their curriculum and submit standardized test scores to their local school district.

“So, the bill is really taking the power out of the teacher in the classroom with is the parents in this case and giving it to someone who has no involvement with the student and that could also change how we teach our children because then we are having to teach based on a test that’s outside of what we are doing,” said Stina-Hagen.

On Tuesday she and more than 200 other homeschool parents gathered at the state capitol for the house education policy committee hearing.

“Homeschoolers typically score 15 to 30 percent higher than students on standardized exams,” said Karin Miller of Dakota County. She spoke at the committee hearing.

Stina-Hagen believes the passing of this bill would negatively affect her children’s learning.

“I think maybe if homeschoolers were somehow falling behind maybe that would be the case, but that’s not what happening,” said Stina-Hagen.

Rep. Laurie Pryor, chair of the Education Policy committee said this is part of the governor’s education bill, but the committee is considering dropping the homeschool requirements from that bill before moving it along.