“I’ve never seen a lobby more powerful and scary,” said Ellen Heinitz, the legislative director for Michigan state Rep. Stephanie Chang, who ran up against HSLDA backlash when she tried to pass home-schooling regulations a few months ago. “They make the anti-vaxxers seem rational.”
The above quote was taken from a Slate article that reports on the struggle that one New Jersey State Senator faced when trying to pass legislation to require parents to notify the state that they were homeschooling their children, submit proof of annual physicals, and to complete the same yearly tests that other New Jersey students had to take.
The response to this bill was quick and incredibly aggressive:
Soon afterward, a small group of home-schooling parents began following Weinberg around the capitol. The barrage of phone calls from home-schooling advocates so jammed her office phone lines that staffers had to use their private cellphones to conduct business. “You would have thought I’d recommended the end of the world as we know it,” said Weinberg. “Our office was besieged.”
Ultimately the state senator, Loretta Weinberg, dropped the bill and has little success with modified versions of it, removing the testing requirements, since.
Slate also reports similar obstacles which halted legislation in other states. Including Michigan which is where we get that quote at the top.
Now for those who simply do not trust the government, and do not want them educating their children, this might seem like no big deal, but there are some very troubling statistics:
- Forty-eight states have no background check process for parents who choose to home-school. Two have some restrictions. Arkansas prevents home schooling when a registered sex offender lives in the home, while Pennsylvania bans parents previously convicted of a wide array of crimes from home schooling.
- Fewer than half of states require any kind of evaluation. In some of these, including Washington, New Hampshire, and Georgia, home-schooled students are tested, but these tests are not submitted to the school district, and there are no ramifications for failure. Others, like Oregon, require parents to submit the test scores only if the local districts request them. A third category of states, including Maine, requires that test scores be submitted but set no minimum score.
- Seventeen states have no required subjects for home-schooled students. Of the 33 states that do, 22 have no means of checking whether a parent is actually teaching those subjects.
- In 40 states, home-schooling parents are not required to have a high school diploma, even if they intend to home-school through 12th grade.
- Twenty-five states do not require home-schoolers to be vaccinated. Another 12 mandate vaccinations but do not require records. Only five states require home-schoolers to submit proof of vaccinations at any time.
However as many of you know I have very strong reservations concerning home schooling, ESPECIALLY religious homeschooling, based on my own experiences and interactions with home schooled children over the years.
So I will simply suggest that you read the article over at Slate and perhaps come back here afterwards to share your thoughts, whether they be pro or con.