Thursday, June 29, 2017

Homeschoolers Don’t Need Federal Help | The American Spectator

Homeschoolers Don’t Need Federal Help | The American Spectator:

Homeschoolers Don’t Need Federal Help

For the first time in the 38-year history of the U.S. Department of Education, the secretary of Education recently hosted a delegation of homeschooling advocates and legal defenders.
The cordial nature of the occasion was no surprise; Secretary Betsy DeVos was a friend of homeschooling during her years as a private-sector advocate for school vouchers and public charter schools. Notably, in a 2013 interview with Philanthropy Magazine, she said, “Homeschooling represents another perfectly valid educational option. We’ve seen more and more people opt for homeschooling, including in urban areas. What you’re seeing are parents who are fed up with their lack of power to do anything about where their kids are assigned to go to school. To the extent that homeschooling puts parents back in charge of their kids’ education, more power to them.”
DeVos’s take on homeschooling contrasts sharply with that of her predecessor in the final year of the Obama administration, John King, who fretted that homeschooled children “aren’t getting the range of options that are good for all kids.” That kind of government-knows-best attitude partially explains so many families are becoming home educators and expanding their options independently via homeschool co-ops and other independent arrangements.
What did the delegation from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) want from a new secretary who is philosophically simpatico? In short, just for her to leave homeschooling alone. No need to extend federal school-choice funding via vouchers or the like, which the Trump administration has been actively calling for.
In an analysis of a bill filed earlier in 2017 by two House Republicans seeking to convert all federal school aid to vouchers and include homeschool students among the school-choice beneficiaries, Will Estrada, a federal relations specialist for HSLDA, pinpointed the peril in enacting legislation purporting to guarantee a “federal right to homeschool.”
That which “could be created by a favorable Congress could be regulated by a future, hostile Congress,” Homeschoolers Don’t Need Federal Help | The American Spectator:

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