Tuesday, March 14, 2006


SCyellowjessaminePicture courtesy of THIS SITE


Anonymous said...

Huckabee Not the Best for Homeschoolers
by Mary Pride

This is something new for me. For the last 22 years, my family has served the homeschooling movement without ever uttering a single word (in print OR behind the scenes) regarding national or state politics.

But now that one particular candidate-former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee-is experiencing a surge in popularity that the mainstream press attributes to the homeschool movement, I feel the need to say a few words.
With other media heavy hitters agreeing that homeschoolers as a group are making the difference for Huckabee, such as the December 17 New York Times piece, "Huckabee Draws Support of Home-School Families," we need to ask ourselves:
Do we want to yoke the homeschool movement's future to the political trustworthiness of this man?

Think of it. If Huckabee is elected, and then (like George W. Bush) takes actions that are deservedly unpopular (e.g., Bush's refusing to close our borders to illegal invasion), people might start saying, "It's the homeschoolers' fault!" They might say this even if we, personally, don't agree with Huckabee's post-election actions.

Here are some questions we should ask ourselves before we begin... or continue... to use our homeschool contacts to campaign for this man.
Is Huckabee the only candidate who supports homeschooling? No. While the Democratic candidates, and Republican John McCain, seem to sidestep the issue of homeschooling completely, among the Republicans Mitt Rommey supports homeschooling to the extent of proposing a federal tax credit for us. Fred Thompson claims he supports parents having "the ability to choose the best setting situation to meet the needs of their children-whether in a public, private, religious, home or charter school setting." Duncan Hunter supports more access to school facilities and more bucks for homeschoolers. And Ron Paul makes homeschooling one of the top issues listed on his official site, showing a knowledge of homeschool issues that dwarfs that of the other candidates.Huckabee, on the other hand, presided in 1999 over the enactment of Arkansas House Bill 1724, which the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) opposed at the time. (That's the same HSLDA which now is endorsing Huckabee.) The HSLDA Court Report story on this event led with the headline "Home Schoolers Lose Ground with New Law." The Court Report story says that it "gives Arkansas the unique distinction of becoming the first state in the nation to add restrictions to its existing home school law." As HSLDA's website continues the story:
Arkansas is now one of only 12 states to impose a deadline for beginning home schooling or requiring parents to provide advance notice to public school officials of their decision to do so. Because of this restriction, parents who encounter intolerable conditions at the public school, such as imminent danger to the safety or welfare of their child, will have to wait at least 14 days before withdrawing the child to begin home schooling or else face truancy charges for unexcused absences during the 14-day waiting period. No such restriction exists for parents who decide to immediately remove their children to attend a private or parochial school in Arkansas. This raises serious issues regarding the right of parents to direct the education of their children and equal protection of the law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In addition, Arkansas is now the only state in the nation with a law prohibiting a student from beginning home schooling if the student is in the midst of disciplinary proceedings at the public school...
Another discriminatory provision in H.B. 1724 states that any home schooling student who refuses to participate in the state testing program shall be subject to prosecution for truancy. Public school students refusing to participate in state testing would not be subject to truancy prosecution.
Prior law required parents moving into the state mid-school year to provide a written notice of intent to the local superintendent within 30 days. The new law requires parents to provide a written notice upon moving into a different school district during the school year, even though notice was given in their former district.
Huckabee is also the proud Republican holder of the New Hampshire National Education Association (NEA)'s endorsement. (Hillary Clinton won their endorsement for the Democratic nomination.) He was the only Republican candidate to seek the NEA's endorsement. This is disturbing on many levels. First, the NEA has consistently passed resolutions at its national meetings that call for homeschooling to be limited to children whose parents are licensed teachers, using state-department-approved curriculum. They also oppose the rights of homeschoolers to engage in ANY extracurricular activities in the public schools. Plus, their overall agenda is ultraleftist and anti-parental-rights to the core.
This is pretty slick. First, you oppose HSLDA when implementing a new Arkansas homeschool laws. Then, you get HSLDA's founder, Mike Farris, to endorse you years later. Finally, you cap it all by getting the most powerful organization opposed to homeschool freedom to endorse you. We should be long past the time when we trust someone just because he's a Baptist minister and because he says he likes to (to our faces) while he soaks up the help of our opposition as well.

Full article: http://www.home-school.com/news/huckabee.html

Esther said...

Thanks Anonymous!