A banner image with a yellow background reading "Protect Nebraska's Homeschooled Children -- Say No to LB 1027" with a grey outline of the state of Nebraska.

CN: mention of child abuse

Right now, Nebraska lawmakers are getting ready to vote on LB 1027, a bill that destroys even the most basic protections for homeschooled children. Nebraska has only one legislative body, and if the bill passes there, it will go straight to the state’s governor, who will most likely sign it. That vote could happen as soon as Thursday, Feb. 23.

It’s now or never. We need your help to fight Nebraska LB 1027 and protect homeschooled children’s right to a quality education in a safe home.

What LB 1027 does

This bill is part of a wider strategy to completely dismantle any protections for homeschooled children across the country – we’ve already seen similar bills in places like South Dakota, Vermont, and Ohio. We cannot allow Nebraska to join those states that leave homeschooled children without help.

Under current Nebraska law, home educators can operate their schools as private schools, and they’re only required to file enrollment paperwork — a simple form for each child that includes an executive summary of the academic calendar and the student’s birth certificate. LB 1027 would eliminate all but the basic contact form, which is a problem for two reasons. First, having a birth certificate makes certain types of identification abuse impossible in Nebraska. Second, asking parents to write an overview of their academic calendar is a low bar, and responsible home educators are doing much more than that.

Under current Nebraska law, school districts and Health & Human Services can look into possible educational neglect in homeschool settings. They don’t have the adequate resources to follow up on those complaints, but the option does exist. In at least one case, Nebraska prevented a homeschooling parent from going on to homeschool her younger child after they discovered she had been torturing her eldest. If LB 1027 passes, Nebraska would not have the power to investigate and therefore stop heinous child abuse.

At CRHE, we often hear from divorced or separated parents trying to advocate for their child who is being neglected by their homeschooling co-parent. In many states, a co-parent in a shared custody arrangement has no power to make choices for their child’s education. However, under current Nebraska, parents have to make these decisions together. LB 1027 would radically change this arrangement and give one parent unilateral power to make one-sided decisions about homeschooling without input. A child needs everyone in the family on board for homeschooling to work.

How can I help?

Nebraska residents and Nebraska homeschool alumni: Call and email your elected officials.

If you’re a homeschool alum living in Nebraska or were homeschooled in Nebraska, tell your story to the politicians working this bill. Were you educationally neglected, or did you see educational neglect happening around you? What did that mean for you and your community? Share your experience, and explain how vulnerable homeschooled children can be. Remember: as homeschool alumni, the most powerful tool we have is our stories.

If you’re an ally living in Nebraska, reach out to your local representative, especially your legislators on the Education Committee. Tell them how harmful this bill will be for Nebraska’s children.

“Hello, Senator [__________]. My name is [_____] and I reside/was homeschooled in district [___]. I am calling you concerning LB 1027, and I am asking you to vote against it. This bill makes it impossible to help homeschooled children who are being educationally neglected. It also substantially affects family law, and leaves the door open for bad-faith actors to exploit the law by giving them the power to make unilateral, one-sided decisions instead of respecting the balance between co-parents. I urge you to reject this harmful bill.”

John Arch (R), (402) 471-2730, jarch@leg.ne.gov

Mike McDowell (D), (402) 471-2710, mmcdonnell@leg.ne.gov

Justin Wayne (D), (402) 471-2727 jwayne@leg.ne.gov

Tom Brewer (R), (402) 471-2628, tbrewer@leg.ne.gov

Bruce Bostelman (R), (402) 471-2719, bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

Ben Hanson (R), (402) 471-2728, bhansen@leg.ne.gov

Carolyn Bosn (R), (402) 471-2731, cbosn@leg.ne.gov

Rick Holdcroft (R), (402) 471-2642, rholdcroft@leg.ne.gov

Tom Brandt (R), (402) 471-2711, tbrandt@leg.ne.gov

Jana Hughes (R), (402) 471-2756, jhughes@leg.ne.gov

Myron Dorn (R), (402) 471-2620, mdorn@leg.ne.gov

John Lower (R), (402) 471-2726, jlowe@leg.ne.gov

Julie Slama (R), (402) 471-2733, jslama@leg.ne.gov

Beau Ballard (R), (402) 471-2673, bballard@leg.ne.gov

Megan Hunt (R), (402) 471-2722, mhunt@leg.ne.gov

Brian Hardin (R), (402) 471-2802, bhardin@leg.ne.gov

Everyone: Spread the word about what’s wrong with LB 1027.

  • Talk about Nebraska LB 1027 on social media.
  • Share CRHE’s posts on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter/X.
  • Talk to your friends and family about how under-regulated homeschooling is. Most people in good faith assume homeschooling has regulations and are surprised to learn that’s not the case.
  • Advocate for school districts to get the funding and resources they need to find and stop educational neglect.