HB 3063 will have a hearing before the Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Human Services this Wednesday at 8:30 am. One of the Recommended Amendments would establish a new system to track “the immunization status of children who are homeschooled students.” (Download the HB 3063 bill languageand the Recommended Amendment language.)
The Subcommittee members and the Amendment sponsor need to hear from you about the advisability of such a tracking system.
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The New Tracking System
The new system would likely tie together the existing statewide Immunization Information System with a new statewide registry of homeschooled students maintained by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
Currently, the Education Service Districts (ESDs) maintain education records on homeschooled students. But those records stay within the local ESD unless an individual student’s records are requested by the ODE.
The ODE would need to establish a new system to obtain records on the identities of all individual homeschooled students from the ESDs. These identity records would then be combined with the individual immunization records.
Purpose of Tracking Homeschool Immunizations
What could be the purpose of this new tracking system on homeschoolers? I doubt it is to satisfy idle curiosity of legislators.
A more likely scenario is that immunization rates of homeschoolers would be used to justify imposing immunizations on homeschooled students — just like public and private school students. Of course with concerned public and private school parents withdrawing their children to homeschool, homeschool rates of immunization would just decrease, making us a bigger target for mandated immunization.
So far, the rationale (dubious, to my mind) for mandating immunizations in public and private schools and child care centers has been the daily close proximity of many students. A new justification would be needed for forcing immunizations on homeschoolers. No such reasoning has publicly surfaced at this point.
Note that there would probably not be any new reporting requirements for homeschoolers right now. But the tracking system would be in place. And that tracking system will probably result in later attempts to forcefully immunize homeschooled students.
Call to Action
Call or email the Subcommittee members and the Amendment sponsor and explain in your own words why you are concerned about the bill and this amendment. For example, you could speak to concerns over unnecessary collection of personal data or the apparent move toward mandated vaccinations.
Either the collection of such information is not truly necessary and is therefore a waste of time and taxpayer money as well as concerning for privacy issues, or it is being collected to potentially justify steps toward mandated vaccinations of homeschoolers, which is a violation of parental rights. Be sure to use your own words and voice your personal concerns over the issues.
If you can attend the hearing to testify, that would be helpful:
Date: April 24, 2019
Time: 8:30 A.M.
Room: HR F
Who to contact:
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D), Amendment sponsor
Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Human Services
Senator Lee Beyer (D), Co-Chair
Representative Rob Nosse (D), Co-Chair
Senator Dallas Heard (R)
Senator Rob Wagner (D)
Representative Cedric Hayden (R)
Representative Andrea Salinas (D)
Representative Sheri Schouten (D)
Representative Duane A. Stark (R)
OCEANetwork Freedom Watch Team
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