Although it seems far away, the 2017 85th Texas State Legislature is approaching quickly and groundwork must be laid to protect parental rights.
As THSC prepares for the coming legislative session, three key legislative priorities have become the obvious points of focus for the 2017 legislature. THSC is drafting bill language and soon will be partnering with home school and parental rights friendly legislators to author and carry the bills to law.
Three Legislative Priorities for THSC in 2017
1. CPS Reform
THSC runs into issues regularly with how CPS conducts investigations.
With one careless report and a prejudiced investigation process, a child can be traumatically ripped from his or her family. As the only organization looking into specific CPS reforms, THSC is identifying the key issues to ensure parents get a fair process from beginning to end when dealing with CPS investigations.
One of the most commonly used THSC member benefits is having letters written to CPS on behalf of families unjustly targeted or unfairly treated. This problem is so serious that THSC offers an attorney who specializes in CPS matters as a THSC membership benefit. CPS reform legislation would give parents a fair chance in the legal process.
So serious, an attorney is on retainer. #KeepTXFamiliesFree #ReformCPS Click To Tweet
2. Parental Rights
Loopholes in several areas of Texas law currently allow non-custodial third parties, such as estranged in-laws or angry family members, to sue parents for access to or possession of their children.
Vindictive in-laws or family members can legally sue to remove children from their homes for undefined periods without even an accusation of abuse or neglect. THSC has been in contact with families whose children were removed from the home for several years without even an accusation against the parents that they were in any way abusive or neglectful.
Loving and diligent parents are watching abuse of their children allowed by Texas family law. In order to make sure that these protections are passed, THSC needs the help of Texas home schoolers to turn up the heat on our legislators to pass these reforms and protect Texas children and parental rights.
3. UIL Policy Reform
Last, THSC is planning to reform the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL) discriminatory policy that does not allow home school students to participate in UIL sanctioned extracurricular activities.
While Texas normally leads the charge in home school freedom, home school students in 35 other states already enjoy the rights that are denied Texas home schoolers. We believe that it is time for this to change. Home school parents in Texas are forced to choose between providing the education they deem best for their child, and career and scholarship opportunities available through UIL.
This bill would give home school students access to activities such as science fairs, robotics teams, and orchestras within their school districts. While many home school parents are able to enroll their children in home school extracurricular leagues, many more either do not have access to these opportunities or else cannot afford them.
Supporting Home School Families
THSC and the home school community successfully fought against discrimination from participation in dual credit classes, PSAT testing, parent taught driver’s ed, and for equal access in college admission. THSC has never been afraid to stand up for the equal rights of all Texas home schoolers.
We are truly honored to be able to fight on behalf of the home school families and parents within this great state. Please keep an eye on our website and social media profiles this summer and fall as we move toward the 85th Legislature.
Be sure to sign up for our email notifications in order to receive legislative updates as we get closer to the legislative session.
Are you a home educator? Consider joining THSC today and start using your member benefits immediately–including access to that THSC CPS attorney on retainer!