HB3344 – Valid Home School Program and Vaccinations (1998)

February 1998 – Attempts by the Illinois Department of Health to tie homeschooling with medical neglect which then led to proposed legislation requesting supervision of all homeschools.

Ricca Slone, representing the 92nd District in the Illinois House of Representatives, proposed bill HB 3344 that would have removed Illinois homeschools private school status (as provided by The People vs Levison) and would have included assessments (testing and portfolios) and the submission of health records (including vaccines).

Every statewide homeschooling organization (led by the Ad Hoc Committee for Illinois Home Education Legal and Legislative Matters, HOUSE, ICHE, CHEC, and others) united in a grassroots effort while the bill was still in the House Rules Committee.

On March 20, 1998, as if to back up the proposed bill, an article (part 1, part 2) was published in McHenry County's Daily Herald, entitled "Whooping Cough Alert Hits County" where the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) brought to light that several months earlier three area homeschooling families had a total of 11 cases of whooping cough among their children. The article argued that the Dept of Health had no vaccination records for these children, erroneously suggesting that no vaccinations had occurred.

The MCDH then led to a hearing on March 26, 1998 with testimony by representatives of the MCDH and a rebuttal by Mrs. Fran Eaton. Please see the full text of her rebuttal here.

The bill was tabled shortly afterward, and in January of 1999, the bill was adjourned, never having been assigned to any substantive committee for review.