2019 brings more attacks against Homeschool Freedom – for “potential” education neglect, child abuse, and child fatalities
NHN Officers remain committed to the fundamental right of parents to educate their children FREE from governmental oversight despite calls for increased regulation based on a few rotten apples – read it here:
Resource for policy makers and journalists: Homeschooling Backgrounder
- Homeschooling Backgrounder’s mission is to promote the use of credible data and reasoned analysis about homeschooling. The intent is to counterbalance current public criticisms of homeschooling that are based primarily on speculation, presuppositions, and opinions.
NEW STUDY RELEASED – National Home Education Research Institute (Dr. Brian Ray)
The Relationship Between the Degree of State Regulation of Homeschooling and the Abuse of Homeschool Children (Students)
The purpose of this study is to examine whether there is a relationship between the degree of state control of homeschooling and the rate of abuse or neglect by the parents (or other legally responsible caregivers) of homeschooled children ages 6 through 17.
- NHERI – Child Abuse of Public School, Private School, and Homeschool Students: Evidence, Philosophy, and Reason
- Answers to Good Questions – 2007 Nevada Homeschool Network pamphlet outlining the protection aspect of both the fundamental parental right to educate one’s one children free from government control while still protecting the “best interests” of the child.
- The Right of Parents to Raise Their Child (and conversely the right of the child to be raised by his/her family) – Frank Schnorbus, 2013 Fundamental Parental Rights Bill (SB 314) information pamphlet
- Fundamental Parental Rights – Scott Woodruff, ParentalRights.org Attorney, testimony on SB 314
Fighting the Good Fight – National Articles:
2/26/2019 – State Bills Foreshadow Frightening Trend Of Considering Parents Guilty Until Proven Innocent – Margot Cleveland, The Federalist
- Illinois House Bill 3560 defeat in a few short days. “Scott Woodruff, senior counsel with Home School Legal Defense Association told The Federalist that Bristow’s “bill struck a raw nerve among homeschool families.” “They don’t want to be treated like criminals. Who wants to be investigated for child abuse for absolutely no other reason than choosing to homeschool your child?” Woodruff said. “It also would have been a fabulous waste of the limited time that child protective workers have to protect kids who are in trouble,” Woodruff added.”
- Iowa House File 100 is still on the table. “That the Iowa bill seeks to target homeschool families under the auspices of “protecting the children” seems clear when you consider the law already provides a mechanism to enter homes when cause exists to believe children are suffering from neglect or abuse.”
- “But the mere proposal of these bills should serve as a wake-up call to all parents of the trend among policymakers to view them as the enemy. While these two bills focused on homeschooling, the same perspective on parental rights—that the state knows best, parents be damned—can be seen in legislative branches throughout the country.”
5/9/2018 – “The New Law of the Child” Attacks Parental Rights – posted by ParentalRights.org
- Last fall a law professor claimed “the reason that the parent-child relationship exists is because the state confers legal parenthood.” Now two more liberal law professors repeat the claim that the right of parents to raise and educate their children is granted them by the government. Thankfully, this time another law professor counters their claim in the same publication.
4/16/2018 – Parents in the Deadly California Cliff Crash Were Allowed to Keep Home-Schooling Despite Abuse Claims – Katie Reilly, TIME Magazine
- “No state prohibits parents from home-schooling their children because of a history of child-abuse allegations.” NOT TRUE! NV homeschool parents addressed this in 2007 in our homeschool law.
- This article reveals what NHN has always been concerned with… parents using the homeschool law to “hide” their abuse and/or neglect patterns; we were specifically concerned with those parents who would intentionally use our homeschool law to “hide” and not really educate the child.
- Therefore, we included a line that parents under investigation and/or convicted of abuse/neglect (but given a second chance as in this case in the article) could have their homeschooling reviewed by a NV Judge/NV-CPS or curtailed in conjunction with the violation of other NV child abuse/neglect laws.
- Monitoring by a judge could be employed to allow the homeschooling by THOSE parents to continue, without restricting the rest of us with burdensome government regulation:
NRS 388D.050 Educational plan.
- The parent of a child who is being homeschooled shall prepare an educational plan of instruction for the child in the subject areas of English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, including history, geography, economics and government, as appropriate for the age and level of skill of the child as determined by the parent.
- The educational plan must be included in the notice of intent to homeschool filed pursuant to NRS 388D.020. If the educational plan contains the requirements of NRS 388D.020, the educational plan must not be used in any manner as a basis for denial of a notice of intent to homeschool that is otherwise complete. The parent must be prepared to present the educational plan of instruction and proof of the identity of the child to a court of law if required by the court.
- This section does not require a parent to ensure that each subject area is taught each year that the child is homeschooled. [Emphasis added]
~Barbara Dragon, NHN Officer Emerita
4/16/2018 – Hard-Won Homeschooling Freedoms Are Under Threat and Must Be Defended, Kerry McDonald, Foundation for Economic Education
2019 BATTLES for Freedom – State by State
Click here for: HSLDA Bill Tracking (Federal or State)
States with legislation filed in 2019 (three victories so far!):
Connecticut – see the 2019 Win Column below.
Georgia – see the 2019 Win Column below.
Illinois – see the 2019 Win Column below.
- 3/18/2019 – Response to the Des Moines Register’s Call for Eliminating Iowa’s Independent Private Instruction – Homeschool Iowa
- 3/6/2019 – A Homeschool Mom Speaks Out – Crystal Ashby, letter to the editor Osceola Sentinel-Tribune
- 02/26/2019 – See story from The Federalist posted in national articles section above.
- 02/13/2019 – Iowa House Bill Requires “Health and Wellness” Checks of Homeschoolers – Shane Vander Hart, in Caffeinated Thoughts
- ” Iowa House Democrats’ assault on homeschooling families in 2019 continues in the form of yet another bill. HF 272, sponsored by State Representative Mary Mascher (D-Iowa).”
- “The bill reads, ‘The board of directors of a school district shall conduct quarterly home visits to check on the health and safety of children located within the district who are receiving independent private instruction or private instruction.’The bill also states that these home visits ‘shall take place in the child’s residence with the consent of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and an interview or observation of the child may be conducted.’If parents do not provide consent then the school district ‘the juvenile court or district court upon a showing of probable cause may authorize the person making the home visit to enter the home and interview or observe the child.'”
- 01/25/2019 – House File 100’s Home Visit Mandate is Unconstitutional – Scott Woodruff, HSLDA
- “House File 100, a bill recently introduced in the Iowa Legislature, would allow officials to demand to come into a homeschool family’s home even if there is no evidence the family has done anything wrong and would empower an official to go to court if the family refuses. We believe this mandate is unconstitutional.”
- 01/20/2019 – “Wellness” Checks for Homeschoolers” – recent blog post by Homeschool Iowa in response to proposed bill.
- 01/16/2019 – Staed (elected state representative) Wants Iowa’s Public Schools to Do Wellness Checks on Homeschoolers – Shane Vander Hart, Caffeinated Thoughts.
- New 2019 bill proposed by Representative Art Staed (D-Cedar Rapids), called “Safety First,” requiring “health and wellness” checks by government officials of all homeschool students in their home. The 2018 bill died during the last Iowa legislative session… so they’re trying again, putting a different spin on it. Same old story though – because a few parents have abused their children (who by the way, were public school children) parents who choose to homeschool must prove they have no ill-intent towards their children and submit to government inspection of their homes – this is guilt by association.
- HSLDA Analysis of IA SF 2065
- 02/07/2018 – National debate about home schooling oversight hits Iowa – Colin Van Westen, The Spencer Daily Reporter – Spencer, Iowa.
- This article quotes Rachel Coleman of Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE), an east coast group that believes homeschool parents should be “accountable” to the government for the education of their children and are calling for MORE restrictive homeschool laws across the country.
- 01/18/2018 – Bill Would Turn Back Clock, Add Wasteful Red Tape – Scott Woodruff, HSLDA Attorney representing Iowa HSLDA member families.
States with threats to homeschool freedom but no pending legislation:
California (again? – see 2018 Victories below) –
- 01/12/2019 – Would stricter home-school laws have protected Turpin children? Measures withdrawn under pressure – Joseph Hong, Palm Springs Desert Sun
- CRHE is on the move again in CA calling for new bills to restrict homeschool freedom. However, one Assemblyman at least is not taking the bait.
“As a lawyer advocating for the rights of home schooling parents, Smith (J. Michael Smith, HSLDA President) saw this as a violation of constitutional rights.
“The bill presumed that all home schooling families give up their rights against unreasonable searches and seizures,” he said. “From a general perspective, any additional regulation of a home-school is not needed and is really not fair to the folks who are doing a great job.”
The bill, AB 2756, was later amended to remove these inspections following protests by the California Homeschool Network. The author of the bill, Assembly member Jose Medina, who represents the district that includes Perris, told The Desert Sun in April that he revised the bill after hearing parents’ privacy concerns.
The bill, which died in the Assembly in late April, would have created a home-school designation, distinguishing them from private schools.
A second bill, AB 2926 authored by Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman, sought to create to a statewide committee dedicated to the oversight of home schooling to set standards for teacher qualifications and conduct health and safety inspections.
Both of these bills were unsuccessful. Talamantes Eggman’s office did not respond to The Desert Sun’s inquiries. Medina declined to comment on home-school laws, but a spokesperson from his office said he will most likely not pursue more legislation.“
- 1/18/2019 – And if the original article wasn’t enough the newspaper’s editorial board supposedly wrote this, The California Legislature must address homeschool shortcomings exposed by the Turpin case. If California has a system of justice the Turpins will be punished for their crime – THAT is the way our system works. Laws regarding the abuse of children must be strong and enforced. But this newspaper seems to think that all parents choosing to homeschool are guilty by association. Because the Turpins broke the law all parents choosing to homeschool MUST subject themselves to home inspections by mandatory reporters to prove they are not abusing their children as the Turpins did. Shameful.
- CRHE is on the move again in CA calling for new bills to restrict homeschool freedom. However, one Assemblyman at least is not taking the bait.
- 01/11/2019 – Home-school groups say new regulations aren’t answer following 7-year-old’s death – Joe St. George, Colorado’s Own 2 News/FOX 31 – Denver.
- 01/10/2019 – Kafer: Tragic death of Caden McWilliams shouldn’t make home schooling a target – Krista Kafer, columnist for The Denver Post
- “Because of cases like these, some child welfare advocates are pushing for greater regulation of home schooling. That would be mistake. Home schooling is already well regulated. Additional regulations like health and safety checks for home schooled students would infringe on the privacy of law abiding parents, burden government agencies, and do little to help catch a minority of abusive parents.”
- As it turns out, the mother of Caden was charged with his murder in December 2018 which investigators estimated happened in May of 2018. The mother apparently “withdrew” him from public school later that summer to “homeschool” him after his death… an attempt to hide her crime by unlawfully using the Colorado homeschool law. And yet there some who say we must increase regulations on law-abiding homeschool parents to prevent such crimes. Read the article to understand how misguided they are.
- 01/09/2019 – Restricting Homeschool Families the Wrong Response to Tragedy – Mike Donnelly, HSLDA
- “Caden’s death is a tragedy, and Home School Legal Defense Association condemns the crime of child abuse. However, we feel blaming homeschooling or how homeschooling is regulated as a contributing cause of Caden’s death—or even the cover-up of his death—is misleading and irresponsible. Misdirected blame leads to ineffective solutions.”
- 10/08/2018 – For some, home schooling is not about learning. It’s about hiding child abuse: Colorado’s lax oversight for home-schooled children removes one common method of spotting abusive behavior. Karen Auge, The Colorado Sun
- “Both Knox and Runyan said states should require background checks on adults providing in-home education — 48 states including Colorado do not.
- 01/04/2019 – Restricting Homeschool Freedom Won’t Make Children Safer – Ben DeGrow, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- “The case for tightening the screws of state scrutiny on homeschool families is thin. There is no convincing evidence that children who are educated at home are in greater danger of abuse than their peers, nor is there data to suggest that states with intrusive homeschool regulations are more effective at protecting kids.”
- 01/3/2019 – More homeschool oversight hurts families, does nothing to protect kids, says national advocate – Isabella Isaacs-Thomas, Michigan Radio-NPR.
- HSLDA Attorney Michael Donnelly is interviewed to rebuttal a previous interview with Rachel Coleman of CRHE calling for increased regulations in Michigan to “protect children from abuse.”
- 3/20/2019 – Legislative Alert: Reference to “homeschooling” removed from Connecticut legislative bill. The TEACH Board
- 3/2/2019 – Why didn’t the State Education Commissioner tell the whole truth… – Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson, National Home Education Legal Defense LLC
- 3/1/2019 – Home- Schoolers Warn of DCF Monitoring After Rep. Email, Descend on Capitol –
- “The homeschool registration provision was buried in two sections of [Governor] Lamont’s bill to create a school regionalization commission – an idea that already faces significant push back – and comes following last year’s report by the Office of the Child Advocate that some abusive parents used the guise of homeschool in order to hide their abused children from the public eye.The governor’s regionalization bill requires home-schooling parents to register annually in person at their local school district and allows the district to make curriculum recommendations to those parents.”
- 2/21/2019 –S.B. No. 874 Session Year 2019
- HSLDA Position: Opposed
- 3/19/2019 – Georgia’s Legislators Feel the Heat, Amend Bad Bill – Dan Beasley, HSLDA Attorney
- 3/7/2019 – Lawmakers change Crocker bill to answer homeschoolers’ concerns – G.G. Rigby, Savannah Morning News
- 3/7/2019 – Over 1000 Georgia homeschoolers attended Georgia Home Education Association’s Capitol Day on March 6th the same day an onerous bill that would have restricted homeschool freedom was heard in committee. As has been the case in other states homeschool parents and advocates testified calmly and graciously against the bill. The result? The bill’s sponsor agreed to a rewrite of the bill totally removing all proposed homeschool restrictions. Today the revised bill was passed out of committee and goes to the floor for a vote before being heard on the other side of the house. Congrats to Georgia homeschoolers who stood for liberty from government oppression.
- HSLDA Update on HB 530 as of March 6, 2019:To the hundreds of homeschooling families who participated in the Juvenile Justice Committee hearing on H.B. 530 today, thank you! And well done. Your persuasive voices drew the attention of the bill sponsor, Representative Hitchens, and several Committee members who share your concerns about the original proposal and the first Committee substitute language (introduced right at the beginning of the hearing).After extensive discussions with GHEA President Joe Stone, Representative Hitchens and several committee members about HSLDA’s concerns, I reviewed a further amended version of the bill this evening that removes all the previously proposed burdens on homeschooling families.Representative Welch read the new proposed language to me, and it adequately resolves HSLDA’s opposition to the bill.If the substitute language is not as promised, I will be sure to notify you that additional advocacy is needed.Thank you for taking action to protect homeschooling freedom! Dan Beasley, HSLDA Attorney
- 3/4/2019 – Withdrawing Students From Public Schools To Homeschool – Analysis of HB 530 by Homeschooling Backgrounder
- 3/2/2019 – Legislative Alert: HB 530Threatens to Increase Homeschool Regulations – Georgia Home Education Association; Update on meeting with bill sponsor.
- 02/27/2019 – HB 530: Adds requirements for homeschooling families; removes student privacy protection; prohibits withdrawing a student from school to avoid requirements
- 2019-2020 Regular Session – HB 530
Education; prohibit parents or guardians from withdrawing or removing a child from a public school for the purpose of avoiding compliance with laws relating to mandatory attendance, school discipline, parental involvement, or parental responsibilities
- HSLDA Position: OPPOSED
- 2019-2020 Regular Session – HB 530
- 02/11/2019 – The dishonest attack on homeschooling in the Crocker murder case – Dr. Joel McDurman, The American Vision.
- “But hey, you know, state lawmakers may be imposing more regulations (on homeschooling) because we allegedly need to “do something” because of this tragic incident.How about instead of that, we do something even more obvious: how about we hold accountable the law enforcement agencies, the child services agencies, and public school authorities who knew something was not right, and yet let it alone anyway? How is punishing innocent homeschoolers going to help?It won’t. It will only be giving State bureaucrats more of exactly what they want: power and control over people’s lives, and to stamp out the competition of freedom and the free market.
- 10/23/2018 – Constitutional Right to Home-School? An interesting opinion from a Georgia Court of Appeals chief judge Stephen Dillard.
- In light of the bill introduced in February 2019 in Georgia calling for limits to homeschool freedom this is an interesting and hopefully winning argument AGAINST the bill.
- 02/26/2019 – See story from The Federalist posted in national articles section above.
- 02/19/2019 – Homeschool Registration Bill Tabled by Sponsor – Scott Woodruff, HSLDA attorney reports on the bill sponsor’s change of heart. He also explains why home visits of homeschool families is legally inappropriate and unnecessary.
- 02/16/2019 – Illinois Family Institute, Illinois Christian Home Educators, and HSLDA are cautiously optimistic that the sponsor of HB 3560 is going to withdraw the bill.
- 02/15/2019 – Illinois HB 3560
- Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the School Code. Provides that, after a home-schooling registration form is submitted, the State Board of Education must request a Child Protective Service Unit of the Department of Children and Family Services to investigate the home in which the home schooling will occur to ensure there is no suspected child abuse or neglect in the home. Provides that after the investigation by the Child Protective Service Unit is complete, the State Board must notify the school district in which the home is located that the child is being home-schooled. Provides that once every 2 school years, the State Board must inspect the academic records of a registered home-school student. Amends the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act to require a Child Protective Service Unit to investigate the home of a child upon a request from the State Board. Effective immediately.
- Synopsis As Introduced
Threat to Homeschool Freedom in other states STOPPED when parents show up in droves to protest restrictive bills based on “allegations” that homeschool parents are potential child abusers and that the state should be the arbitrator of the education a child receives:
- 5/15/2018 – Dear CA Legislators: Thank You For Listening! – Mike Smith, HSLDA President
- 5/4/2018 – Homeschoolers: We will not be scapegoats for the failure of government agencies to protect children – Dr. Susan Berry, Brietbart
- “In California, nearly a thousand homeschooling parents traveled to attend a legislative committee hearing in Sacramento to defeat a bill that sought first to mandate fire inspections of their homes and then to demand private information about the names and addresses of homeschooling families.”
- “#AB2756 was just defeated in the Assembly Education Committee,” tweeted Kiley. “Major victory for all the homeschool educators, parents, and students who came to the Capitol and made their voice heard.” Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R), Vice-Chairman of the CA Assembly Committee on Education.
- 5/3/2018 – Grassroots Victory in California – Mike Smith, HSLDA – video presentation. How the grassroots blocked two bad bills aimed at CA homeschool parents.
- 5/2/2018 – VICTORY in California – Mike Smith, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
- “It was like a war plan that might be drawn up to take an enemy’s territory. You first bomb the area to be taken, then the infantry comes in after to occupy the land. The difference was the homeschoolers took the role of both the artillery and infantry.”
- “But with all of your efforts, we could still have come up short. What made the difference? Your attitude through it all. You were firm, passionate, and committed, but you were not rude and overbearing. This was especially demonstrated at the hearing. You testified firmly to your opposition to the bill, but with respect for the system which gives us the right to redress our grievances. This outpouring of opposition with huge numbers, intelligent yet firm opposition to the bill, and your respectful demeanor positively impacted the committee members. They did not want to go on record as being against such an organized and powerful movement—homeschoolers.” [Emphasis added]
- 5/2/2018 – Homeschoolers defeat California oversight bill – Leigh Jones, WORLD
- 4/27/2018 – Defeat of AB 2756 Huge Victory for California Homeschoolers – Jonathan Keller, California Family Council
- 4/26/2018 – Anti-Homeschooling Bill Defeated in California – Pacific Justice Institute
- 4/26/2018 – Video excerpts from Assemblyman Kevin Kiley’s exchange with the author of AB 2756 – Exchange between Assemblyman Kiley and bill sponsor, Assemblyman Medina during the California Assembly Education Committee hearing on AB 2756. Lessons in diplomacy to effectively defeat a colleague’s bill. (Not to mention having over 1,000 citizens line up to express their opposition.)
- 4/26/2018 – Homeschool Lessons in Civics: How to Kill a Bill – David Taub, GV Wire
- 4/26/2018 – Homeschool Supporters Crush Plans for Greater Oversight – Vanessa Rancano, KQED/NPR
- 4/25/2018 – Move it to the “WIN” column! AB 2757 defeated in CA Assembly Education Committee in historic 7 hour hearing (3 hours on that bill alone). Reports to follow, but is official.
- 4/23/2018 – CHEA of CA, Family Protection Ministries, and HSLDA Call To Action – Oppose AB 2757
- 4/19/2018 – Homeschool Bill Drops Teacher Certification, But … – Mike Smith, HSLDA
- 4/16/2018 – California’s crazy-intrusive politicians can’t keep their hands off anything — Next up? Homeschoolers! Sam Sorbo, radio show host, author and homeschool mom. Opinion piece in FoxNews.
- 4/15/2018 – Oppose AB 2926 Protect Homeschooling in CA – Pastor Roger Jimenez, Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, CA – YouTube video.
- 4/10/2018 – California A.B. 2756 and A.B. 2926 – Video Discussion between Mike Smith, HSLDA President and Nathan Pierce, Family Protection Ministries (FPM) on behalf of CA homeschoolers on efforts to block to bad bills.
- 4/9/2018 – California Lawmakers Consider How To Regulate Home Schools After Abuse Discovery – Benjamin Purber, NPR – All Things Considered
- 4/4/2018 – Homeschoolers Cause Legislator to Back Down, But There’s More Work to Do – Mike Smith, President – HSLDA
- 3/28/2018 – Is Homeschooling Safe? New Bill Would Investigate – Mike Smith, HSLDA President – two bills in CA Legislature seek government control/monitoring of homeschooling.
- 3/24/2018 – The sad story of the Perris torture case doesn’t justify a bad homeschooling law – James R. Mason, HSLDA VP & Director of Litigation, Press Enterprise
- 3/19/18 – California, Maryland Politicians Use Horrible CA Crime As Pretext to Crush Homeschool Rights – P. Gardner Goldsmith, Media Research Center (MCR-TV)
- 3/12/2018 – Stands for You: An investigation into proposed homeschool legislation – Tom Tucker, KESQ News – Bill Sponsor Assemblyman Jose Medina initially agreed to be interviewed on camera about the bill but then refused.
- 2/20/2018 – Lawmakers threaten future of CA homeschooling – Timothy R. Snowball, Attorney with Pacific Legal Institute
- “We are left with the inescapable conclusion that AB 2756 is not really about the health and safety of privately educated children in California at all: It is about the desire of certain California lawmakers to shut down the ability of California parents to homeschool their own children through a breach of the Fourth Amendment.”
- 2/17/2018 – Turpin abuse case prompts California bill to tighten regulation of home schools – Anna M. Phillips, Los Angeles Times
- “Mike Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, a national advocacy group that opposes increased home-schooling regulations, called Medina’s proposal “the biggest threat,” to come out of California in recent years. He said the proposed language would violate home-schooling families’ Fourth Amendment privacy protections and single them out for unnecessary scrutiny.”
- 2/16/2018 – Sparked by California torture case involving 13 siblings, assemblyman seeks private school oversight – San Jose Mercury News
- 2/28/2018 – HSLDA Responds: Why Does California Want Fire Inspections for Homeschools?
- 2/4/2018 – State Now Assumes All Homeschoolers Are Child Abusers, Reveals Plans for Involuntary Home Visits – Rachel Blevens, The Free Thought Project
- 1/31/2018 – California overreacts and presumes every homeschooling parent is a child abuser – Jenna Ellis, Washington Examiner
- “California is seeking to treat homeschool families as presumptive child abusers. Lawmakers in that state have indicated plans to categorically require homeschool parents to prove — through home visits, interviews, and other government oversight — that indeed the parent is not abusive if they choose to exercise a legally protected and valid option for school choice. This measure would shift the burden to the parent to prove to the government’s satisfaction his or her parental fitness.This is absurdly unconstitutional.”
- Homeschool Legal Defense Association President Mike Smith said in a message last week to members and friends of the organization, “These efforts incorrectly assume that homeschooling is the problem here. Hasty legislation based on horrific and criminal behavior — behavior that has nothing to do with homeschooling — would be unfair to the thousands of law-abiding families in California who work hard to provide a safe and loving environment for their children.”
- 5/22/2018 – KY Reaches Out to Homeschoolers – Tj Schmidt, HSLDA Attorney
- 4/27/2018 – Kentucky Legislative Update – HSLDA/CHEK
- 3/13/2018 – HSLDA and CHEK have been assured that HB 574 in Kentucky is NOT going forward and will die in committee.
CHEK and many of you, as constituents, have been assured that HB 574 will not move out of committee, long sigh of relief…..
BUT, we also have been told this will be discussed in the legislative interim.
Yes, the Chair of the Education Committee and several Representatives have responded with, “This bill is dead, but there will be discussion during interim”, or they responded with questions asking their constituents, “What would be acceptable oversight?”.
- Kentucky Rep Harris said this bill was recommended to him by several public school officials. TJ Schmidt of HSLDA recommends that if asked why there should not be more restrictions on homeschooling ask the person… “What are you trying to fix? What is the purpose in your bill?” Homeschooling provides parents the flexibility to educate their individual children dependent on their needs. Give your personal story on the success of your homeschool. Every state has a different level of requirements of parents… some more restrictive than others. But with all these differing levels of regulation homeschool children ARE all doing well and becoming productive members of society not dependent on their parents or the state after the age of majority… check out the research here, NHERI research-facts-on-homeschooling. Homeschooling works and does not need to monitored beyond existing laws (and some states need to reduce theirs in the name of FREEDOM)… we certainly don’t need more.
- 3/6/2018 – Kentucky HB 574 – Aggressive Encroachment of Private Home Education – CHEC of Kentucky Legislative Alert
- This bill would put Kentucky homeschoolers under regulations similar to what Nevada had back in 1988, the most restrictive time in our state’s homeschool history!
- 3/8/2018 – Boosting Term Limits, Busting Bad Homeschooling Bills Jim Waters, surfky.com “Liberty Buster: Rep. Chris Harris’ awful House Bill 574, which adds significant new mandates on the backs of Kentucky’s homeschooling parents and discourages those considering this approach to educating their children.When radical legislation like this is introduced every couple of years, it creates consternation in Kentucky’s homeschooling community and brings swift reaction.The good news is HB 574 isn’t going anywhere except in the legislative trash can where it belongs. Still, isn’t it remarkable that such a bad bill wasting taxpayers’ time and treasure even gets filed in Kentucky?”
- 3/7/18 – Is Homeschooling in Kentucky Under Attack? Richard Innes, Bluegrass Institute, “Based on this information, I would submit the legislature needs to spend a whole lot more time worrying about the state’s public schools before trying to chase after, at best, a few hundred students each year who might not – or, then again, might – be getting a decent homeschool education.”
- 2/7/17 – HSLDA: Enrollment Down? Let’s Harass Homeschoolers! TJ Schmidt, HSLDA Attorney for Kentucky. Looks like a school board in Kentucky began discussing homeschoolers at a meeting. Homeschoolers alarmed by the discussion contacted HSLDA leading Mr. Schmidt to say, “As I reviewed the Lee County School Board minutes, it became clear to me that the board was worried about money. Before the discussion of homeschooling families, board members talked about the fact that their overall enrollment is down. We wonder if their concern about whether homeschooling families are valid is related to a desire to get them back into the public school system in order to boost enrollment, and consequently, the district’s funding.” Could the discussions of the school board have been the precursor to the current Kentucky bill? We can only guess – but it is suspicious. Always “follow the money!”
- 3/14/2018 – Homeschoolers Send Home Visitation Bill Packing – Dave Dentel, HSLDA
- 3/12/2018 – Sponsor of HB 1798 withdraws his bill from consideration for this session of the Maryland Legislature. This bill was “fast-tracked” last Friday and pulled on Monday… GOOD WORK Maryland homeschool parents! However, parents will need stay engaged based on the Delegate’s last sentence in his email. Maryland Homeschool Association
- 3/19/18 – California, Maryland Politicians Use Horrible CA Crime As Pretext to Crush Homeschool Rights – P. Gardner Goldsmith, Media Research Center TV
- 3/9/2018 – Maryland Homeschool Legislative Update – HB 1798 – bill introduced late in the Maryland legislative session and is being fast-tracked. Maryland Homeschool Association
- This bill would require parents to annually inform their county school boards of their homeschool child’s primary instructor and of the primary location where homeschooling is taking place each year. Furthermore, in order to legally homeschool in the state of Maryland, parents would be required to allow a representative of the county board to observe instruction at the family’s primary homeschooling location (in other words, their home!) at least twice a year. Finally, this bill would require county school board employees who observe a family’s instruction and who believe a homeschool child has been subjected to abuse or neglect to report their suspicion to the proper authorities. [Emphasis added]
- HSLDA position statement/call to action
- Letter to Bill Sponsor from Scott Woodruff, HSLDA Attorney for Maryland member families explaining the right of Maryland families protection of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that this bill would violate.
- 3/11/2018 – State to Force Homeschoolers to Submit to Warrantless Home Inspections, Trampling Rights – Matt Agorist, Freedom Outpost
- “Freethinkers are a danger to the empire. And whether or not the lawmakers in California and Maryland will admit it, violating the rights of homeschoolers is not in the interest of public safety. It is in the interest of self-preservation.”
New Hampshire –
- 3/6/2018 – New Hampshire House Kills Bill to Add Oversight for Homeschool Students
- “As soon as the bill was introduced it faced overwhelming opposition from homeschool families, who turned out by the dozens (according to eye witnesses more like 700 hundred) to testify against bill during its public hearing. The bill came out of committee with a unanimous negative recommendation. It was voted down by the full House on a voice vote.”
- 2/13/2018 – Hundreds Rally at State House for Homeschool Freedom – HSLDA, “So many homeschooling moms, dads, and students showed up for the hearing (one account put the number at about 600) that it had to be moved from the committee room to Representatives Hall. And the families still didn’t fit!”
- 1/25/2018 – Homeschoolers turn out in force to oppose oversight – Dave Solomon, New Hampshire Union Leader
- 1/25/2018 – Home schooling advocates flood State House in opposition of oversight bill – Ethan DeWITT, Concord Monitor
- 11/13/2017 – Legislator Apologizes for Calling Homeschooling “Child Abuse” – Mike Donnelly, HSLDA
- 1/2018 – HSLDA response to New Hampshire HB 1263 (click “New Hampshire” in drop-down box to access HSLDA full position statement):
- QUESTION: I’m concerned about children who are falling through the cracks. What is a less burdensome way for a homeschooled child to be checked on other than this?” ANSWER: “In answering this question, it is appropriate to acknowledge the concern of the legislator. The truth is there are cases of abuse or neglect, but this often-repeated concern makes a pre-suppositional mistake that homeschooling has something to do with children falling through the cracks and that it is the duty of the state to check up on homeschooled (or any other) children proactively without evidence of harm – this is not the case.Absent evidence of a reason to do so, checking up on children proactively is not a state responsibility or duty. Parents are endowed with the inalienable and constitutionally protected fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children (U.S. Supreme Court decision Pierce v. Society of Sisters) and are entitled to a constitutional presumption to be acting in the best interest of their child (U.S. Supreme Court decision Parham v. J.R.).“That some parents “may at times be acting against the interests of their children” . . . creates a basis for caution, but it is hardly a reason to discard wholesale those pages of human experience that teach that parents generally do act in the child’s best interest. . . . The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.”If there is a reason to believe parents are not acting in their children’s best interest, current laws provide sufficient means for state involvement to protect the safety and education of all children.”
- QUESTION: If the state is going to be funding homeschooling under the school choice bill we should have more oversight.* ANSWER: “Homeschoolers who accept funding under the proposed school choice bill will have to submit to whatever required measures are imposed for receiving that funding. However, families who do not receive funding should not have to submit to additional regulation. The homeschool community is not looking for money from the state; all we want is to be left alone. When members of the community violate the laws and there is evidence of that, then they should be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law. Absent a reason to believe someone is violating the law, that person should be left alone.” [Emphasis added] Mike Donnelly, HSLDA Attorney for New Hampshire
- *BUYER BEWARE: This is the reason NHN opposed and blocked the inclusion of “homeschooling” in the 2015 NV-ESA Bill – SB 302 (although the bill did pass, to date it has not been funded and is not operational). Nevada homeschoolers value their LIBERTY over funding. The History of the NV Homeschool Law tells us that accepting one penny of taxpayer funding WILL return us to over-burdensome regulation by the government in return for the money.
- 2/21/2018 – Massive Opposition Kills Hawaii’s Anti-Homeschooling Bill – Alex Newman, The New American
- According to people in attendance – parents showed up in droves filling four rooms and hallways to overflowing… so much so that the Fire Marshall showed up to shut the hearing down because TOO many people were in the building! The bill died then and there.
- From the article, “By contrast, the available evidence “shows that homeschooled children are abused at a lower rate than are those in the general public, and no evidence shows that the home educated are at any higher risk of abuse,” explained Dr. Brian Ray, who leads the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) and is perhaps the world’s leading scholar in the field.”
- 2/21/2018 – State Legislature Couldn’t Ignore Hundreds of Motivated Homeschoolers – Peter Kamakawiwoole, HSLDA
- 1/29/2018 – Red Alert (Not a Drill): Three Bills would require Approval, Criminal Background Checks of Homeschool Parents – Peter Kamakawiwoole, HSLDA
2018 BATTLES (unresolved) – State by State:
- 6/18/2018 – After Its Agencies Fail To Prevent Child Abuse, Connecticut Scapegoats Homeschoolers, Susannah Dominic, The Federalist
- 6/10/2018 – Bureaucrat Subpoenas Records of Homeschoolers to Build Case for Regulation – Dr. Susan Barry, brietbart.com
- 6/6/2018 – Homeschoolers Will Not Be Scapegoated: JOINT STATEMENT OF CONNECTICUT HOMESCHOOL ORGANIZATIONS – One state official in CT is going after parents who withdraw their children from public school to homeschool in an attempt to cover the mishandling by government officials of the reported abuse and eventual death of a truant public school child in Connecticut.
- 5/9/2018 – Facebook Live: HSLDA, NHELD, & Connecticut State Homeschool Leaders discuss false report from the Connecticut Office of Child Advocate linking homeschooling to child fatalities.
- 5/8/2018 – Homeschoolers Will Not Be Scapegoated in Tirado Death – Peter Wolfgang, Family Institute of Connecticut in addressing a Press Conference called to clear homeschool families of false statements made in a CT Legislative Hearing by the CT Child Advocate last month.
- 5/4/2018 – Homeschoolers: We will not be scapegoats for the failure of government agencies to protect children – Dr. Susan Berry, Brietbart
- “In Connecticut, as in California, government bureaucrats are attempting to regulate homeschooling families following a tragedy that was not about homeschooling, at the same time they claim they are not attacking parents who choose to educate their children at home.”
- “Homeschooling parents will not be the scapegoats for the failure and incompetence of these agencies. Homeschoolers are not going to be the scapegoats for the failed child protection system, not going to be scapegoats for the failed educational system, and not going to be scapegoats for the failed judicial system. No one in the legislature should listen to the Child Advocate’s recommendations for changing any laws, especially when she is the only one who has seen any of the facts and evidence here. We made FOI requests of all these agencies in February to obtain the underlying information so we could all be on the same page to have a dialogue, to look at things rationally … we have received zero, nothing from the Child Advocate, zero, nothing from DCF.” [Emphasis added] – Attorney Deborah Stevenson of National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD)
- “Addressing the fact that there are various levels of regulation of homeschooling in existence among states in the U.S., Kamakawiwoole also observed, ‘There is no data to suggest that child abuse and neglect fatalities are lower in states with high regulation and higher in states with low or no regulations.’” [Emphasis added] – Peter Kamakawiwoole, HSLDA
- 4/27/2018 – “Numbers Don’t Lie”: A response to the Office of the Child Advocate’s report on homeschooling – Peter Kamakawiwoole, HSLDA
- Regarding the 4/26/18 story in the Hartford Courant and repeated in other publications: “The Courant’s editorial board opines that “far too many parents aren’t providing safe environments for quality education to happen.” But the only definitive finding of unsafe home environments in the OCA’s report is the isolated example in “Case Example (3),” which also happens to be the only case study in the report where allegations against the family were found to be substantiated. One isolated example does not establish a trend.” [Emphasis added]
- 4/26/2018 – Child advocate finds some homeschooled children subject to abuse, neglect – Clarice Silber, The CT Mirror
- 4/26/2018 – Hundreds of Connecticut Children Home Schooled in Households Where Abuse, Neglect Suspected – Josh Kovner, Hartford Courant
- 3/7/2018 – Target 8: Home school students says Missouri needs more regulations –
- Example of how when just one parent fails in their responsibility to provide a sound education to their child (and keep good records) ALL parents become suspect and the government steps in to “regulate” homeschooling.
- 2/4/2018 – In Defense of the Nevada Homeschool Law – NHN Position Paper is support of Nevada’s existing homeschool law.
- 1/23/2018 – Homeschooling child abuse can happen here too. – Cameron Etchart, special to the Reno Gazette Journal
- 1/24/2018 – Response from NV Homeschool Advocate – Barbara Dragon, NHN Officer Emerita. Posted in the Comments section of the article and on the RGJ’s Facebook post. Many people posted comments refuting Mr. Cameron’s position… as of 3/22/18 they have now all been removed.
New Mexico –
- 10/27/2018 – World is their classroom, but are New Mexico home-schoolers learning? Robert Nott, Santa Fe New Mexican. The title alone tells you exactly where this article is headed… regulations on homeschool parents must be increased so the state can “protect” children. NOT! That is the parent’s right and responsibility! Prosecute those that don’t educate their children but don’t regulate every one else to death – deregulate homeschooling now! And to further irritate me (Barb), if I read one more article quoting the SAME so-called “experts” calling for increased regulation I think I’ll scream! Where is the balance in journalism (you laugh, I know)? Well enough is enough, even if we have to take on one journalist at a time and educate them then so be it – To the author of… article in Santa Fe New Mexican dated 11/20/2018.
- 11/21/2018 Addendum – Mr. Nott sent a thoughtful reply thanking me for the email and expressing appreciation for the information and links… he has been “learning more” about the topic in the wake of the article being published. That is good thing!
- 11/08/2018 – Dr. James Jones: Home schooling damaging Polk County system, Larry C. Bowers, Cleveland Daily Banner. This article condemns homeschooling in Ohio not because of the lack of regulation but because public schools are loosing funding when parents pull their kids to homeschool. This is not true and one study commissioned by NHN in 2007 disproves this theory.
- “There is a trend statewide, that is greatly impacting school districts, especially small, rural districts,” said Jones. That trend is home schooling. Of the 70 students Polk County lost, Jones said almost all were to home schooling.
- Jones reiterated the current challenges he sees for the school system.”Over the past five years, there have been new standards, tests and evaluations, which have been tough on our teachers and our school system, ” said Jones. “And, home schooling is causing the bottom to fall out of public education. There is a whole new subculture regarding home school, and no one hates it more than me.“
- 11/12/2018 – Homeschooling in Oklahoma: A push for more oversight, Caroline Vandergriff, Channel 8, ABC, Tulsa. Good grief… for umpteenth time “Rachel Coleman” is quoted as an “expert” on all things homeschool. Do these “journalists” have no other sources… oh wait, we do! See Homeschooling Backgrounder for truth and rebuttals to the so-called facts printed in this article.
- 4/27/2018 – Homeschooling offers safety, success – and freedom – Tim Lambert (THSC) opinion piece published in the Houston Chronicle
- 4/26/2018 – Should have the freedom to homeschool? Settling the debate on calls for oversight – Tim Lambert (THSC), opinion piece published in The Texas Tribune
- 4/22/2018 – On Education; Parents Know Best – Tim Lambert (THSC), opinion piece published in My San Antonio
- 4/17/2018 – Should Families Have the Freedom to Homeschool? – Tim Lambert, Texas Home School Coalition – YouTube video
- 12/1/2018 – Letter: Michael Farris, Purcellville, Letter to the Editor of Loudoun Now in response the Loudoun County School Board Meeting by Michael Farris, attorney and founder of HSLDA.
- “Editor: Yes, there were misrepresentations regarding the proposed lobbying agenda for Loudoun County School Board. But the central misrepresentations were made by members of the Board.They claimed in emails sent to people like me that they were not proposing a repeal of the religious exemption alternative for homeschooling.Currently there are two methods for homeschooling under Virginia law. Either a family obtains a religious exemption or it must submit to the school district’s supervision and review per the homeschool law.While purporting to leave the religious exemption in place, the Board was seeking to require all homeschoolers to comply with the public school regulatory alternative. Thus, the religious exemption would be an empty shell. That is a de facto repeal. And the Board members spoke in error to say to the contrary.Finally, how can a government entity take taxpayers’ money to lobby for removal of the existing rights of citizens. That is unconstitutional in spirit and deed.”Michael Farris, Purcellville[The writer is the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College.]
- 11/30/2018 – Woodruff Asks Loudoun Now for Apology for “Misinformation” Accusation. Letter from Scott Woodruff requesting an apology and retraction for misreporting by Danielle Nadler in her 11/28/18 article on the school board meeting (see below).
- 11/29/2018 – Update on Loudoun School Board Meeting by Scott Woodruff, HSLDA Attorney.
- 11/28/2018 – School Board to Revisit Homeschool Stance After Backlash Prompted by Misinformation by Danielle Nadler, LoudounNow. Be sure to read the comments section, homeschool parents were NOT misinformed as the title of this article indicates. See HSDLA Attorney Scott Woodruff’s warning letter to Loudoun County homeschool parents below.
- 11/26/2018 – Stop Loudoun School Board’s Effort to Repeal Religious Exemption , by Scott Woodruff, HSLDA Attorney.
West Virginia –
- 11/15/2018 – Superintendent: Enrollment down by more than 4,000 students this year in West Virginia public schools, By Shauna Johnson – Metro News, The Voice of WV. Another article saying “we’re loosing kids to homeschooling, therefore we must regulate them more because a few might not be receiving a quality education.” (paraphrased) FACT: West Virginia has “moderate” (vs. “low” or none) homeschool laws as compared to other states.
- “…along with the number of students withdrawing from public schools for home schools or private schools.”
- “I certainly don’t have a problem with home-schooled students, but I do have a problem with the qualifications and the criteria that has been established for those home-schooled students,” Paine said.In most cases, he told BOE members, he believed high-quality education was being provided to those schooled at home.However, he added, “The law has changed significantly from the time when I was a teacher, a principal and otherwise and so I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are circumstances where it’s being abused and I fear for those kids that they’re not receiving a quality education.”Interesting to note however, he offers no specific statistics proving such a claim. In fact, we would argue the opposite is true… homeschoolers clearly outperform their peers in public school school with or without state regulation.
Other articles on the threat to homeschool freedom based on false allegations against homeschoolers.
1/18/2019 – Sanctions: Guilt by Association? – Scott Woodruff, HSLDA, also responds to the ThinkProgress article on medium.com
- “Homeschooling is a world-wide movement. Part of HSLDA’s mission is to reach across borders, cultures, ideologies, religions, political views, and more to find common ground and bring the opportunity of homeschooling to every nation on earth. Sometimes finding common ground is the first step in the path to peace.”
1/17/2019 – Dear ThinkProgress: Try to think a little broader — if you can? – Mike Donnelly, HSLDA Attorney & Secretary of Global Home Education Exchange (GHEX), published on medium.com.
- Donnelly responds to a false (and wacky!) narrative against HSLDA and Global Home Education Exchange, a world-wide organization seeking to promote parent-led home education around the globe.
- Question: who’s behind this attack and why? The article itself gives the answer: “[HSLDA] is probably the major player who’s driven American homeschooling in the last 30 years, and they’ve always been a very far-right, religious-right organization,” said Kathryn Brightbill, a legislative analyst with the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, a nonprofit that advocates for accountability in homeschooling. This is the same group behind most of the articles written and legislative bills called for in the last year declaring homeschoool parents potential child abusers unless heavily regulated by the state.
2/23/2018 – From HSLDA:
On Wednesday we noticed several negative articles linking child abuse and homeschooling in a number of states. By the time we got to the third article, we realized that it was essentially the same article with only minor tweaks (picture, headline, contributor, and first few paragraphs) which target specific states—and they were all being published by Patch.com.
Some of you were seeing the same articles and contacted us expressing concern about the messaging.
Although Patch purports to be local news, this series is clearly a campaign.
What’s the best response? Comments from their local audience—you! A few of you have reported that comments with viewpoints opposed to that of the authors are being deleted or marked as spam, or the article is deleted and re-posted with no comments. But this appears to be a localized phenomenon and must be happening at the discretion of local Patch editors or moderators.
Calm, reasoned, caring, and compassionate responses from local homeschoolers are the best antidote to attempts to misrepresent homeschooling families. Patch.com invites articles from people like you. If you want to write something, check out our resource Responding to Calls for Increased Homeschool Regulation: Some Things to Consider at http://ow.ly/mhZE50gBYik
Also, let your friends and family know about the opportunity to respond as readers, homeschooling parents/grads, and friends of homeschooling families.
HSLDA is here to protect your right to homeschool. If legislation is introduced in any state, we will be there to make sure that hasty legislation does not discriminate against and unjustly burden homeschooling families who are raising their children in a safe, loving, and educationally rich environment.
2/22/2018 – For a change of pace, here is an article on three Harvard students that were homeschooled and why the FREEDOM their parents and they enjoyed got them to where they are today. THIS is the dream of a clear majority (if not nearly all) TRUE homeschool parents: Homeschooled en route to Harvard.
1/24/17 – This was published in the Reno Gazette Journal – Homeschooling child abuse can happen here too by Cameron Etchart. In response, Barbara Dragon, NHN Officer Emerita, wrote a reply that was posted in the Comment section of the article and on the RGJ’s Facebook post. As the reply seems to keep being marked as “spam” we are publishing her response here – for the record.
1/23/2018 – Evil, Not Homeschooling, Caused the California ‘House of Horrors’ – Cheryl Magness, The Federalist
1/23/2018 – Dr. Brian Ray of National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) wrote on child abuse occurring in American homes back in 2016… at this time it is worth a read,
Child Abuse of Public School, Private School, and Homeschool Students: Evidence, Philosophy, and Reason
NHN appreciates Dr. Ray’s fact-based ideas and philosophical positions. NHN has worked for two decades with loving families devoted their children’s academic success and emotional well-being. We believe overwhelmingly that PARENTS LOVE THEIR CHILDREN more than the government ever can or will.
Nevada had a similar case to the current reported case of massive child abuse by a California couple. Back in 2006 two children living in Carson City, Nevada had been similarly caged in their home while other children in the family, who lived in the same household, went to public school every day. NO ONE ever said anything about the two abused children being caged in a bathroom in the home. It wasn’t until one of the children escaped and was seen wandering around by local police officer. So, the sad fact is that child abuse happens every day… whether a child attends public school, private school, is homeschooled, or as in that case – never attended a school at all.
NHN grieves for abused children everywhere. In 2007, when we lobbied for SB 404 – The Homeschool Freedom Bill, we addressed this issue head on. Using governmental statistics we showed that in Nevada 81% of all child abuse reports come from non-school related sources; nationally it was 83.9%. We pointed out that private and homeschooled students do not become “invisible” from CPS by not attending public school. For more check out the pamphlet, Answers to Good Questions.
1/22/2018 – Don’t Blame Homeschooling For Child Abuse Cases Like the Turpins’ – G. Shane Morris, The Federalist
- “The point is this: Just as no one would suggest cracking down on schools in Fairfax County, Virginia because schools in Chicago, Illinois are failing, we shouldn’t crack down on the incredibly successful nationwide homeschooling movement because two disturbed parents allegedly abused their freedom to take away the freedom of their children.””On a more fundamental level, those who want to place additional barriers in the way of homeschooling families have a different worldview. They see the state, not the family, as ultimately responsible for rearing and educating children. They believe stifling cherished freedoms that benefit millions is the answer to rare and tragic cases of abusive parenting. It’s not. As the product of homeschooling, I should know.”
1/18/2018 – The Horror of Homeschooling – Alan Jacobs, Snakes and Ladders