Homeschooling under attack in Michigan

I’m frustrated by a state that cannot balance the budget without raising taxes. I’m frustrated by a state that is losing jobs and thinks taxing businesses will not hurt. I’m frustrated by a state that has a multitude of problems and focuses on something that isn’t broken.

We are a homeschool family. We choose to home school our children in part because we can control what our children are exposed to and when it occurs. It is inevitable that they learn about homosexuality. But, it doesn’t need to occur when they are 6. It can occur after our children have learned and understand our values and are best prepared to make their own choices. They do not need to be indoctrinated in the current environmental movement. We will teach them to be good stewards of the environment through camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, etc. They will learn that using data will help them make the right decisions and that not understanding the data may lead them to making wrong decisions. I can go on.
I graduated with honors with a BS in Curriculum and Instruction. I was a certified math teacher in Louisiana. My wife and I also have engineering degrees. We do not think public school is evil. But, we do think we are more capable of preparing our children for life.

And we do not believe the government has the right to be involved in the development of our curriculum beyond requiring basic courses – math, reading/spelling, science, and social studies. Typically, we follow local school schedules. But, we leave some flexibility to take vacations when other people are in school.

Government involvement in our lives is a burden not a benefit. And we need to tell them to butt out – not quite so bluntly. The foundation of our country was built largely by the sweat of the homeschooled citizens. I, for one, think they did a pretty good job.

Here’s the message from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. If you homeschool and are not a member, you should join.

March 24, 2008 

Michigan:  Homeschool Freedom in Michigan under Attack! 

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends, 

House Bill 5912 has been introduced. It would require all
homeschoolers to register with the local superintendent. The bill also
would require homeschoolers to turn in the names and ages of each
child who is being educated at home and the name and address of legal
guardians or parents doing the educating. 

The bill has 24 co-sponsors, and the environment towards homeschoolers
in the House is very hostile. Many legislators came out against
homeschooling while they were discussing a bill which would require
the compulsory school attendance age to be lowered. They cited lack of
accountability as a need to regulate homeschoolers. 

Therefore, we need to contact the sponsor and co-sponsors of this
legislation immediately to let them know that Michigan homeschoolers
do not need or want these types of restrictions. 

REQUESTED ACTION 

1. Contact the primary sponsor of H.B. 5912, Representative Brenda
Clack, and give her this message in your own words: 

"Please withdraw H.B. 5912. Homeschooling is successful and working in
Michigan. Since it is not broken, it does not need to be fixed." 

Contact information for Representative Clack:
Rep. Brenda Clack: 517-373-8808, brendaclack@house.mi.gov 

2. Please call the co-sponsors of the bill and give them this message: 

"Please withdraw your support for H.B. 5912. This bill infringes on
the freedom of parents to homeschool their children. Homeschooling is
successful and working well in Michigan. We have fought hard to be
free and want to remain this way." 

We recommend that in addition to calling the assigned representatives,
that you also send an email to ALL 24 co-sponsors AND send a blind
copy to elerts@inch.org. 

CO-SPONSORS OF H.B. 5912 

If your last name begins with A-I, please call the following members: 

Joan Bauer: 517-373-0826, joanbauer@house.mi.gov
Bob Constan: 517-373-0849, bobconstan@house.mi.gov
Marc Corriveau: 517-373-3816, marccorriveau@house.mi.gov
Robert Dean: 517-373-2668, robertdean@house.mi.gov
Kate Ebli: 517-373-2617, KateEbli@house.mi.gov
Barbara Farrah: 517-373-0845, barbarafarrah@house.mi.gov
Richard Hammel: 517-373-7557, richardhammel@house.mi.gov
Ted Hammon: 517-373-3906, tedhammon@house.mi.gov 

If your last name begins with letters J-R, please call these members: 

Shanelle Jackson: 517-373-1705, shanellejackson@house.mi.gov
Bert Johnson: 517-373-0144, bertjohnson@house.mi.gov
Robert Jones: 517-373-1785, robertjones@house.mi.gov
Kathleen Law: 517-373-1799, kathleenlaw@house.mi.gov
Richard LeBlanc: 517-373-2576, richardleblanc@house.mi.gov
Gabe Leland: 517-373-6990, gabeleland@house.mi.gov
Mark Meadows: 517-373-1786, markmeadows@house.mi.gov 

If your last name begins with letters S-Z, please call these members: 

Fred Miller: 517-373-0159, fredmiller@house.mi.gov
Gino Polidori: 517-373-0847, ginopolidori@house.mi.gov
Joel Sheltrown: 517-373-3817, joelsheltrown@house.mi.gov
Mike Simpson: 517-373-1775, mikesimpson@house.mi.gov
Alma Smith: 517-373-1771, almasmith@house.mi.gov
Virgil Smith: 517-373-0589, virgilsmith@house.mi.gov
Aldo Vagnozzi: 517-373-1793, aldovagnozzi@house.mi.gov
Lisa Wojno: 517-373-2275, lisawojno@house.mi.gov
Advertisements

4 Responses to Homeschooling under attack in Michigan

  1. Sue says:

    Note that the wrong e-mail address is listed for Rep. Kathleen Law. It should be kathleenlaw@house.mi.gov. I contacted my rep today!

  2. Henry Cate says:

    “I’m frustrated by a state that has a multitude of problems and focuses on something that isn’t broken.”

    The focus on problems with homeschooling often seems like a “Man bites dog” kind of story. It happens so rarely that people sit up and take notice.

    While on the other hand hundreds of thousands of children graduate from public high schools around the United States not knowing how to read. Never mind all those that dropped out. This is just business as usual.

  3. ChristineMM says:

    Sorry you are going through this also. Connecticut is having a problem too but in a more under-handed, back door politics kind of way. What started as a bill to make it clear cut on the process to disenroll a student from public school, to keep the decision in the parent’s rights, a bill was written. What came out of the Education Committee was an entirely different bill which now has oversight of ALL homeschoolers including kids who have never been in the school system. Also the crazy thing is the current bill no longer lets the parent decide to disenroll the student from school–instead the parent can file papers to request this disenrollment but the decision is to be made by the principal after consideration of ‘equivalent instruction’. In CT we have never had an ‘equivalent instruction’ review by school before. And again the parent does not get to decide it, it doesn’t say that at all in the current language of SB162. We are at a point where we as citizens need to decide if we want to ask to kill the whole bill or to amend the language back to the original intent.

    I wanted to share also, did you read Facts Not Fear? It is a book about good ways to teach kids about the environment and to not use fear and ‘the terrible humans who are ruining the Earth’ mentality. They also do not support teaching stuff based on junk science or using only certain studies because they back up what the teacher or school wants the child to believe about X topic. I think you would like the book.

    I found your blog through a HS mom on a local HS chat list.

  4. onemom says:

    One of the reasons we returned to Michigan was because of the ease of homeschooling, now we have to fight to keep it that way. I am in total agreement with you about HSLDA … I would not want to do this without them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: