CHEC believes it is very important that all homeschooling families in Colorado abide by our Colorado Revised Statutes which frame what we call ‘The Law.’ This Guidebook excerpt shares a bit of history regarding how those statutes — the Colorado homeschool law — came into being.
Value Your Colorado Homeschool Law!
In many places throughout Scripture God admonishes His people to pass on the memories of His faithfulness to their children and grandchildren. Our homeschool law in Colorado is an example of God’s faithfulness that should never be forgotten. It deserves to be passed on to new home educators for generations to come.
In the early 1980s, when homeschooling was starting to regain popularity in Colorado, the treatment of homeschooling families was arbitrary and unfriendly. Families were required to ask “permission” from their local public school superintendent if they wished to teach their children at home. The superintendent would need to approve the curriculum, and he or she often placed many other additional requirements on the families.
In the final analysis, many families were denied permission — even after trying to follow all the “rules.” At that time, their only recourse was to appeal to the State Board of Education — not exactly a neutral party! The Home School Legal Defense Association had to fight many battles in the courts for these families, winning mostly on the grounds of religious freedom.
As the homeschooling population began to grow, the arbitrary and unfair nature of the system became untenable for these pioneering parents. A first attempt was made to change the law in 1987, with Representative Bill Owens as the House sponsor and Senator Al Meiklejohn as the Senate sponsor of the bill. That first attempt failed, but determined reformers tried again the following year.
In 1988 the bill was sponsored again by Senator Al Meiklejohn in the Senate, but in the House it was now sponsored by Representative Dick Bond. Bond’s sponsorship was an example of God’s blessing (and sense of humor). Bond, a leading Democrat, was a staunch supporter of the public school system! Yet God chose him to lead the fight for homeschoolers in the House of Representatives.
The original bill asked for homeschoolers to file only a notice of intent. Period. No further requirements. During the negotiation process other requirements were added, but in the final analysis (through many miracles of God) this simple concept was really the core of the new law.
Many people worked tirelessly on our behalf to pass this bill, including Christopher Klicka, then with the Home School Legal Defense Association, Treon Goossen, and Rory Schneeberger. We owe each one of them a debt of gratitude.
On July 1, 1988, Colorado’s homeschool law was enacted and became C.R.S.§22- 33-104.5. With the passage of this law came the standardization of treatment of homeschoolers across the state. Furthermore, the principle that parents have the right to direct the education and upbringing of their children was finally put into statute.
Chapter is continued in the CHEC Homeschool Guidebook, available for preorder now!