From: Patti Harrington
Subject: Please OPPOSE SB80 S1 as amended
Date: Thu Mar 13 13:28:13 MDT 2014

Good morning, Representatives –


Local school board members and their superintendents are not yet convinced that SB80 S1 has been sufficiently amended to make it acceptable.  The concept and enormous policy implications of SB80 S1 need much more study.  Please OPPOSE SB80 S1 as amended.


Consider what the amended SB80 S1 still requires:


1.       A private or home school student may take online courses that do not align with their SEOP.  That right is currently denied to students who are enrolled in public schools, both charter and traditional.


2.      Line 257 indicates that an online course credit taken by a private or home school student can be acknowledged either by the online course provider or by the student’s parent or guardian.  In what form?  In writing, or verbally?  Should proof be required such as an end of course exam result or transcript?


3.      Line 265: If an online course provider rejects a course credit acknowledgement for a private school or home school student, the online course provider shall notify the student’s parent or guardian and include an explanation for the purpose of assisting the student with future online course selection.  So the provider must put their decision in writing, but an acknowledgement in writing is not required?  This burdens the provider and doesn’t sufficiently document proof of online credit.


4.      Line 303 in the amendment and the language that follows indicates a private or home school student who enrolls in an online course and who may need additional services related to Special Education, may demand such from the student’s school district of residence.  Who will perform the assessment for Special Education classification?  The online provider, the private or home school, or the resident school?  Who will make the referral for assessment for Special Education – the online provider, the parent, or the resident school which doesn’t even know about the student?  Who is responsible for parent rights per IDEA – the online provider or the resident school?   The amendment indicates the school of residence may claim “add-on” WPU Special Education funding (Section 53A-17a-111) but it is unclear in the amended bill if the student generates regular enrollment funding for the time s/he is in the resident school.  This, too, should be the case.  In many ways, as it relates to required resident school Special Education services for private school students, this is a voucher – a Special Education voucher.   


There are far too many questions about SB80 S1 to consider it good policy at this point.  Please OPPOSE this bill.  The Master Study Resolution lists item number 21 on  line 77, which is evidence enough to suggest such policy questions need thorough study:  “Ghost” Student Enrolling – to study “ghost” student enrolling, recruitment, and funding between private companies and local education agencies.


The concept and enormous policy implications of SB80 S1 need much more study.  Please OPPOSE SB80 S1 as amended.


Dr. Patti Harrington

Executive Director

Utah School Superintendents Association

860 E. 9085 South

Sandy, UT  84094

801-566-1207 (office)

801-913-7566 (cell)