Home-schooling issues come to forefront at 'Coffee Wth the Legislators'
About 50 people came to listen and voice their concerns Saturday morning during Coffee with the Legislators at Dickinson City Hall. Llora Knight, who lives near Dickinson, spoke to Rep. Mike Schatz, R-New England about her frustration in home-sch...
About 50 people came to listen and voice their concerns Saturday morning during Coffee with the Legislators at Dickinson City Hall.
Llora Knight, who lives near Dickinson, spoke to Rep. Mike Schatz, R-New England about her frustration in home-schooling restrictions in the state.
"When speaking with you at the North Dakota Home-School Legislative Day, you promised to support the home-school bill and that would have been House Bill 1211," Knight said.
However, she said when amendments were proposed to remove 80 percent of reforms on the bill, Schatz did not speak up.
"I was disheartened to say the least," Knight said.
The bill addresses home-school testing, among other topics.
She added that the state's home-schooling requirements are among the most restrictive in the nation.
Schatz said the bill was going to be defeated and the amendments allowed it to pass.
"They took out what they needed to take out and that's why nothing was said about it," Schatz said. "The situation was handled seeing what's going to pass and what's not going to pass. I can agree with you on almost everything that you're talking about, except if you can't get it passed, it doesn't do a whole lot of good."
Knight said what did pass wasn't satisfactory to her.
LaVonne Goetsch from Belfield also spoke out about home-schooling restrictions.
"I have some members of my family that home-school," Goetsch said. "They don't want to move to North Dakota on account of the home-school laws."
She added that they have six children.
"They don't want to be restricted in the way that they're teaching their children," Goetsch said. "And I think that's something that should be talked about because I know there are others who are going say they don't want to come to North Dakota because of their home-school laws."
Others spoke against a bill on "distracted driving."
Kelly Armstrong, a criminal defense attorney in Dickinson said it's not needed.
"Currently, in North Dakota code, we have what is called careless driving, care required, driving on road laned for traffic, reckless driving -- it doesn't seem like there's a new bill, it seems like it's a new adjective," Armstrong said. "The reason it bothers me is pretty simple: it's already covered."
He added something which is a distraction to one person might not be to another.
Sen. George Nodland, R-Dickinson agreed and said more emphasis should be placed on a texting.
"I think the texting while driving is the bill that we're going to work with," Nodland said.
Ralph Muecke of Gladstone said the bills would be hard to enforce.
Lynn Hartman from the Dickinson Ambulance Service asked legislators to support House Bill 1044, which addresses ambulance services.
"As you know, a lot of the volunteer ambulance services around the state are struggling to keep their doors open," he said. "That struggle is ongoing and it's being accelerated in the western part of the state by energy development."
Nodland agreed. Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Dickinson asked how ambulance service has changed locally in recent years.
"From 2006 to the end of 2010, our call volume has increased about 68 percent," Hartman said.
Gary Kostelecky, Stark County interim emergency manager, also spoke in support of the bill.
Several others at the meeting voiced support for retaining the Fighting Sioux nickname at the University of North Dakota.