HOME EDUCATION IN FLORIDA
BECAUSE OF HEF.
In 1984, there were no laws in Florida that made home education legal, but the Dickinsons desired to change the law. Craig and Brenda contacted Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Orlando) and Sen Dick Langley (R-Clermont) and worked with them to pen and introduce a bill. The bill passed the Legislature, but Gov. Bob Graham's staff placed the bill on a recommend veto list. However, the Dickinsons met with the Governor, Craig was able to address his concerns, and the Governor signed the bill into law. When the sunset provision was up two years later, Governor Martinez signed it permanently into law.
It was a miracle that such a controversial bill passed in just one session with Republican sponsors in a Democratically controlled Legislature with a Democrat Governor.
As a part-time lobbyist, Craig worked diligently to fight attempts to add regulation to the law. In 1990, he defeated six proposals to change the requirements, but another challenge passed in a massive bill which could have shut down home education.
Lobbyist is Needed.
After the 1990 session, it became obvious a full-time lobbyist was needed. Craig and Brenda invested their time and money touring the state to inform support groups of the need, and the Home Education Foundation (HEF) was established in 1991.
In 1992, Craig was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma cancer and passed away in 1993.With the loss of her husband, the challenge of raising and educating two children, and the overwhelming responsibilities associated with lobbying, Brenda considered dissolving HEF. However, she felt directed to continue the work and has been the full-time home education lobbyist since 1993.
We are full-time lobbyists. We serve families in Florida by protecting their home education freedoms, creating opportunities, speaking on their behalf at the Capitol, organizing the grassroots lobbying efforts. informing them about issues that affect them, assisting them with challenges to their home education program.
We want to give parents the freedom to direct their child's education and provide families with a broad range of choices and opportunities to meet the education needs of their children.
WHAT HEF HAS DONE.
Since the 1980's, HEF and Brenda as the key lobbyist have worked diligently to develop relationships with legislators, state agencies, community organizations, and persons of influence within the home education community throughout Florida. Each year, HEF monitors approximately 1,800 - 3,000 bills depending on the Legislative Session to make sure that bills that are written do not negatively impact home education. When situations arise, we seek alternative solutions, language options, and we consult with respect and a collaborative spirit to prevent restrictive legislation.
From the 1980s to Today
Home Education Legal
Home Education law passed.
1994 - 1996
Lobbied to get dual enrollment
No Survey Database
Elimination of the child abuse provision and database survey requirements.
Craig Dickinson Act
Extracurricular activities at public schools or private schools for home education students.
FLVS at no cost
Creation of a Public virtual school which was established in 2000 as the Florida Virtual School
State College Admission
Admission to state colleges with an affidavit, in lieu of a high school diploma or GED.
Inclusion of home education students in the Bright Futures Scholarship Programs
Parents in Charge
Revisions to home education law clarifying that parents were in charge of all aspects of a home education program.
H.E. Review Committee
Creation of the Home Education Review Committee to keep truants from registering in a home education program to avoid compulsory attendance
Re-write School Code
Served on a Educational Governance Task Force to re-write entire school code.
The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES-UA), formerly the Gardiner Scholarship.
Transfer of Credit
Transfer of Credit Rule for home educated students entering public schools.
Personalized Education Program (PEP)
Special Thanks to our Board of Directors for all that they do for us and make possible, working behind the scenes for the families in Florida.
Founder, 1st Generation Lobbyist
Without HEF and Brenda, home educators would not enjoy the freedoms Florida Law provides parents to educate their own children. As Craig and Brenda pioneered home education in Florida, it became clear that a full-time lobbyist in Tallahassee was needed and HEF was created to help ensure this. Brenda and HEF safeguard existing legislation and evaluate future legislation to protect home education in FL.
After coming home to raise and home educate her daughters in their early years, Lynn established Applied Technology Academy (ATA) as a successor corporation with over a decade of providing technical training for the US military, DoD contractors and corporations.
Sue Puchferran and her husband of 40 years home educated their four children. In southeast Florida, Sue co-founded the Home Education Enrichment Day (HEED). Sue has served on the Home Education Foundation board since 2008
Jason Crawford is an outside the box thinker. He's a Creative Director for CCS Marketing in Tampa, FL. He's a husband of nearly 20 years, father of 4, and a believer that God leads and he follows.