A bad home school testing bill has been filed at the Arkansas Legislature.

H.B. 1587 by Rep. Jim Wooten (R – Beebe) requires home schoolers to take a nationally recognized norm-referenced test every year in order to receive an form of public funds.

The way this bill is written, home schoolers in Arkansas would have to test if they receive any type of public assistance or any type of grant or scholarship paid for with state or federal funds.

The testing requirements in H.B. 1587 do not seem to be connected to the LEARNS Act that Gov. Sanders recently signed into law.

The LEARNS Act creates a voluntary school choice program in Arkansas, and it requires private school and home school students to take a norm-referenced test each year in order to participate in that voluntary school choice program.

Most home schoolers would not be eligible to apply to be part of the LEARNS Act’s school choice program until 2025.

H.B. 1587 would take effect this summer, and it would require home school families to take a state-mandated test in order to receive any type of public funds.

It seems highly unlikely that H.B. 1587 will pass at the Arkansas Legislature — especially with less than a month left in the 2023 session.

However, it is worth pointing out that the State of Arkansas used to require home schoolers to take a state-mandated test.

In 2009, Arkansas’ home schoolers performed better on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills than 61% – 80% of the students who took that test, nationwide.

According to the 2013-2014 Home School Report from the Arkansas Department of Education, in 2014 home schoolers in grades 3 – 9 scored anywhere from the 51st percentile to the 65th percentile on that same test.

In fact, home schoolers in Arkansas performed so well on standardized tests that the Arkansas Legislature finally ended state-mandated home school testing in 2015.

There is simply no reason to bring home school testing back.

You Can Read H.B. 1587 Here.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.