Okay. I don’t normally post about such things here on the blog but this one really got to me and the nitty gritty needs to be shared.
HR 610 – Bad New for Homeschoolers
(click here to read a PDF version of the bill with page numbers cited below)
Need some more funds to homeschool your child(ren)? Me too! Sometimes the extras pile up quickly and that art project ran more than anticipated. So the thought of some extra money sounds like an absolute wonderful thing. Here is the major draw back with the government providing a little bit of funding to ALL homeschoolers in your state. Once the government starts handing out money to you (or anyone else) then the government thinks they have a right to say HOW that money gets used. And then they might say that because you took said money that you MUST now provide more documentation, more tests, more curriculum overview, etc to continue to use said funds.
“The government would now get to decide how much parents should spend on homeschooling: Paragraph (B) on page 6 requires that the federal education vouchers to parents who choose a homeschool “shall not exceed the cost of home-schooling the child.” Who will now decide how much it costs to homeschool a child? The government. Page 8 further requires that the federal education vouchers “be distributed in a manner so as to ensure that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.” This is not defined, meaning that government officials and public schools will decide what qualifies as an appropriate educational expense. HSLDA has heard over the course of 33 years from numerous parents who have elected to teach their children at home through a government-funded virtual or correspondence school. In their experience, they found their curriculum options shrunk as each choice had to pass a government litmus test.” (HSLDA)
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that when my husband and I decided to homeschool our children we did so BECAUSE we had no interest in having the government in our business. God granted us as guardians of these children, NOT the government. Therefore, why in the world would I want the government to get involved now? Who’s to say that any and all monies that my husband and I choose to spend on homeschooling isn’t appropriate? The government? I think not.
It Isn’t About the Money
There is so much more about HR 610 that I am firmly against, and it isn’t about the money. I am a firm believer in the phrase, “Give them an inch, they will take a mile” and from everything I have ever learned about the government, THAT is exactly what they will do. Nothing, I mean absolutely NOTHING is for free from the government, there are always strings attached. And I for one have no interest in being under scrutiny for the way that we homeschool our children. It isn’t like we have anything to hide because we don’t. It is simply because I believe that if any money changes hands between homeschool families and the federal government then homeschool families better be prepared to have the government come back knocking with their new rules, new limitations, new educational standards. Because that is exactly what will happen. Again, NOTHING is free when it comes to any money that the government offers.
“Creation of a “federal right to homeschool:” Page 3, Sec. 104 requires states to make certain assurances in order to receive their portion of federal education dollars. One of the requirements (paragraph (2)(A) on page 3) is that states “make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect … to home-school their child.” While this sounds good, HSLDA has fought — successfully—for decades to make sure that there is no “federal right to homeschool” because what could be created by a favorable Congress could be regulated by a future, hostile Congress. It is far better (and far more constitutionally sound) for education decisions—and homeschool freedom—to be protected at the state level. We ask our friends at the federal level to simply leave homeschooling families alone. The Constitution protects the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in its seminal cases of Meyer, Pierce, and Yoder. Federal legislation to “protect” homeschooling is unnecessary.” (HSLDA)
So according to the section quoted above, we as homeschoolers would be at the behest of the Congress, to be federally protected to homeschool. This sounds just dandy until Congress gets in a tizzy and changes hands again and there are those that oppose everything related to homeschoolers. Then what? We all get rounded up and carted off to jail because our “protected” freedom to homeschool gets revoked?! No. Just leave homeschoolers alone to homeschool. According to the above, the Supreme Court ALREADY ruled that there is no reason to freely “protect” homeschoolers. As long as the states handle the homeschooling laws to the homeschooling communities liking, then the federal government has no business in our homeschooling business. Leave homeschooling families alone!
It All Sounds Good
Until you really dig deeper. Again, it isn’t about not wanting to receive some extra money, that sounds amazing! But at what cost? The cost is this, that all I have ever done to get the government OUT of our lives will let them slip back in by allowing HR610 to pass the House of Representatives. Reports to the state are enough for me in my homeschooling journey. I do what I need to do. Begrudgingly but I follow the rules. The government would like to have TOTAL control the education in this land. For every single conspiracy theory you can think of and then some. Let’s look at the BIG picture, shall we? What is one of the easiest ways to control a large group or crowd? Simply, convince them that you are all on the same page. You are all in the same boat. You tell them what you want them to hear and believe, and they will tend to believe and follow anything you ask of them. Including mass education.
As homeschoolers we buck the norm, and that doesn’t sit well with the higher ups in charge. How can you control the masses if not all of the mass is on the same page?! You cannot. How do you control the masses if there are individuals that question your every move? Demand to be more in the know? This is why homeschoolers are an issue. We do not fit into any particular box and that scares them. A lot. So, they want us to be “counted”. The answer is NO. I will NOT be counted. And neither will my children. If I had wanted to produce children into the mindless masses of our country I would have not headed the calling of God, and I would have put them into the public education system. There is not need for me (or you) to provide ANY more information than is required by our state. NONE.
“States would need to track homeschooling students: Numerous provisions in H.R. 610 require states to count the number of eligible students in their state. Page 4 says “The State shall distribute funds . . . based on the number of eligible children in the public schools . . . and . . . the number of eligible children . . . whose parents elect to send their child to a private school or to home-school their child.” Page 5 requires “on an annual basis” that school districts count the number of eligible students who attend public schools, and “whose parents elect—to send their child to a private school or to home-school their child.” There is only one way that states and school districts can do this: by requiring homeschooling families to register with them, and be tracked by the school district. This will be especially problematic in states that do not require homeschooling families to file a notice of intent with the local school district. H.R. 610 will require homeschooling families in all 50 states to register with the local school district. This would be just the first cost of “free government money.” (HSLDA)
How You Can Help
This is what we need to do. Contact our representatives and share with them the following information: : “As a homeschooling parent, I oppose H.R. 610. I do not want to receive federal vouchers. Government money will ultimately lead to government control and regulation, which will stifle the success of homeschooling. I am grateful for your past support of homeschool freedom, and urge that you protect the future of homeschooling by rewriting H.R. 610 to ensure that homeschools, and homeschools defined by state laws as private schools, do not receive federal money.”
We need them to do the following:
“Elimination of language protecting homeschool freedom in U.S. Code: Page 2, paragraph (a) repeals in its entirety the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was most recently reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act. While HSLDA applauds this repeal language, as we believe that the federal government has no constitutional authority to make education decisions which should be left to state and local authorities, this full repeal would also eliminate HSLDA’s language fully protecting homeschool freedom from all federal control.” (HSLDA)
We cannot sit around and simply discuss this, we must take action. By the grace of God social media is actually beneficial for something like this. Get on social media and POLITELY request your opposition to HR610.
You can reach these congressmen by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. If one of these members of Congress represents you, you can find his direct phone numbers and email addresses here.
If you live outside of these districts, we encourage you to take to social media to politely (but firmly) remind these congressmen that homeschooling families do not want federal vouchers. That you oppose HR 610. You can also send each congressman a letter via the U.S. Postal Service.
It Is Not Too Late
I recently read that the veteran homeschoolers that gave us the ability to homeschool, did the hard work. Now we sit in our homes and take advantage of the freedoms that they fought for. We cannot just sit back and let this amazing freedom slip through our hands just because we are slightly enticed by the prospect of some extra money. Is is tempting? You bet it is, that is precisely WHY they offer it. It sounds goooood. Really good. But take your eyes off of the “pretty little shiny object” and get your head in the game. This could be one of the quickest ways that homeschoolers begin losing ALL of the homeschool freedoms that we now enjoy.
We seriously cannot let some money be the cause of this homeschool movement. I know that the men that are behind this bill believe in it, but I also know that they don’t have the full picture of the impact that this bill will ultimately have on our nations homeschooling families. Let them know today.
Fight the good fight y’all, this is one you cannot sit on the sidelines for. Make your voice heard Mama, it is not too late.
In His Grace,
Original Article Source found at HSLDA