April 3, 2018 — Taking Freedom to Protect Children?
March 20, 2018 — National Assault on Homeschooling Continues
March 12, 2018 — Eternal Vigilance: The Cost of Liberty
March 6, 2018 — All Hat and No Cattle
February 27, 2018 — Now: The Appointed Time to Defend Our Freedom
February 20, 2018 — Texas AG: School Districts Electioneering with Taxpayer Dollars
February 13, 2018 — A Tribute to Amazing Homeschool Families
February 5, 2018 — Public School Lobby Electioneering with Tax Dollars
January 30, 2018 — L.A. Times: Widespread and Disturbing Homeschooling Pattern
January 19, 2018 — Homeschooling Wrongly Implicated in California Child Torture Case
January 16, 2018 — Predicting Murder
January 8, 2018 — Do Democrats Hate Homeschoolers?
January 2, 2018 — New Year’s Resolutions
December 26, 2017 — Will We Enjoy Homeschooling Freedom in The Future?
December 19, 2017 — Judicial Elections: Why They Should Matter to You
December 12, 2017 — Time to Hold Texas Representatives Accountable
Should Families Have the Freedom to Homeschool? Settling the Debate on Calls for Oversight
Since the modern era of homeschooling, debate has raged between two opposing groups—those who believe that families should have the freedom to homeschool their children without interference, and those who call for more oversight and regulation.
In Texas, where we value freedom and individual responsibility, families consider that a crucial right of parents is the right to direct the care, control and upbringing (including the education) of their children, contributing to successful and responsible future generations.
Those promoting increased oversight of homeschooling families say that academic standards are uncertain and that homeschool students are susceptible to abuse. However, there is no evidence to support such fears. In fact, studies indicate that homeschoolers do better academically and are at less risk of abuse.
The empirical data overwhelmingly shows that homeschooling is a resounding academic success. In fact, homeschoolers score 15 to 30 percent above the national average as a group, regardless of regulation levels. As a result, most states have given families the freedom to homeschool with minimal government regulation.
Another allegation is that some states currently require homeschool parents to be certified teachers, and Texas is an exception. However, no state in the nation requires that homeschool parents be certified. Additionally, states with stricter homeschooling laws have not seen any differences in student performance compared to low-regulation states.
Despite the well-documented success of homeschooling nationwide, some nonetheless argue that homeschooling families should be subject to increased regulation. Although every study on the subject indicates otherwise, pro-regulation groups sensationalize recent news stories, using them to suggest that homeschool families are at greater risk of abuse and must be regulated.
A recent study on homeschooling and child abuse noted that: “A statistical analysis of 18 years of data from all the U.S. states found no relationship between the degree of state control or regulation of homeschooling and the frequency of abuse of homeschool students. … The lack of a correlation undermines the claim that there is some causal relationship between state control of homeschooling and abuse of students.”
There is no relationship between homeschool regulation and abuse. Furthermore, other studies indicate that homeschooled students are actually less likely than public school students to suffer abuse. Homeschooled students are not at greater risk.
In fact, many families choose to homeschool because of safety concerns with other educational environments. Nationally, safety ranks among the
top three reasons for choosing to homeschool. A poll commissioned by the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) last year showed that safety concerns were the fourth most common reason for choosing to homeschool in Texas. After the recent school shootings, THSC received a surge of calls from parents deciding to homeschool.
Just as Texas businesses and private schools enjoy great success because of our freedoms, Texas families (and therefore Texas children) thrive when they are free to make their own decisions. But on a hunch and devoid of any evidence, some still
recommend that homeschool regulation be radically increased.
For the good of children, we celebrate, support and empower Texas families with the freedom to direct the education of their own children. The premise that homeschooled children live unsafe lives is not supported by the facts.
Limiting homeschool freedoms would be a harmful knee-jerk reaction.
We believe that fit families have the right to raise and educate their children as they believe best. Texas families, THSC, and the homeschool community of Texas will vigorously oppose any radical legislation that would restrict this right.
Taking Freedom to Protect Children?
From a public policy perspective, opponents of freedom for homeschooling families are using every tragedy to push for government regulation of homeschooling just as they have with the Turpin abuse case in California.
Lawmakers there are now pushing legislation to require a “diverse advisory committee” to look at three specific areas of homeschooling: health and safety inspections, specific curriculum standards and certification of homeschool teachers.
Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, the author of AB 2926, responded to the flood of calls against her bill by saying, “Contrary to the concerns being expressed, the bill does not establish any restrictions or requirements on homeschools.
“Rather, AB 2926 simply requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a diverse advisory committee to provide suggestions to the superintendent and the Legislature on potential changes to the administration of in-home private schools, if appropriate and feasible. I believe this is a modest step to take to ensure we are achieving the best educational outcomes for homeschooled children.”
This is a clear effort to start a process that will end in restricting the freedom of homeschool families in California.
On the Rise: The War Against Families
While these frontal assaults against homeschool families are happening all over the country, we are also seeing attacks against families by medical and dental practitioners using the threat of calling CPS and alleging abuse or neglect if the family fails to follow the direction of the medical provider.
The assault by the state against the family seems to be escalating, and every time we see a horrible tragedy, those who are anti-family always argue that the only solution is more government control.
Homeschoolers should not panic or be fearful. This is not the first time that opponents of freedom for families have used this tactic, and we fully expect them to use the Austin bombing tragedy and the Turpin abuse case to try to justify legislation in Austin next year to limit the freedom of Texas families.
In the meantime, let’s take action in the Republican primary runoff and the general election in November to elect people who believe as we do—that families have a God-given right to raise and educate their children. More information on the runoff election will be coming soon.
Thank you for joining the call for Keeping Texas Families Free!
National Assault on Homeschooling Continues
Driven by focus on the Turpin abuse case in California, Maryland and Kentucky have joined the list of states (including Hawaii, California, New Hampshire and Ohio) where legislation has been filed to restrict the right of families who choose to homeschool their children. Such legislation is also being discussed in other states.
Homeschooling: A Safe Educational Choice
A newly released study undermines the narrative that homeschool children are at greater risk of abuse than those in public school and that state regulation of homeschooling would make these children safer. Just as research shows that regulation of homeschooling does not increase student performance, neither does regulation of homeschooling make children safer.
The Brewing Storm for Families and Homeschoolers
This renewed debate of the extent of freedom that parents should have over the rearing of their children reflects the conflict between the two major responses to the question of who should make decisions for children: the parents or the state.
This conflict is growing as we see more court cases where the state removes children from families because someone disagrees with legitimate parenting decisions the parents make for their children.
This is another reason it is so critical for the Texas homeschool community to be active in the political arena. As we have seen over the years, it is much better to deal with elected officials who know homeschoolers and agree with us that families have a God-given right to make decisions for their children than to have to fight legislators who disagree. Once the wrong people are elected, stopping bad legislation is significantly harder.
Combat the Storm!
We are very thankful for the great response to our call to the Texas homeschool community in the recent Republican primary. The runoff in May will be critical to finish this effort and prepare for next year’s legislative session and any possible legislation that would limit the God-given rights of families.
Specific needs of pro-homeschool candidates in the approaching runoff will be a chance for you to get involved in the battle for liberty! Subscribe to the Homeschool Advocacy and News email to stay informed about the upcoming election.
We believe that parents should be empowered to raise the next generation of leaders. Thank you for standing with us in Keeping Texas Families Free!
Eternal Vigilance: The Cost of Liberty
Throughout history, threats to freedom have always existed. From biblical times to more modern ones, there are always those who seek to take away God-given freedoms—and those who are willing to overcome that opposition.
Threats Back Then
Recently, I was reading the book of Esther, and I realized the great courage and trust in God that both Mordecai and Esther displayed. “… But when Haman saw Mordecai … that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai.” (Esther 5:9) Haman was enraged because Mordecai
did not fear him.
That same day, I contemplated the challenges and sacrifices our Texas forefathers faced in 1836 when they wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence on Mar. 2, even while the Alamo was under siege. The world is and always has been a place in which
threats to freedom exist because of the sinful nature of man.
Threats Right Now
Today, there is the very real threat against homeschooling that we have been working so hard to make people aware of and to oppose before it’s too late. We continue to defend the belief that law-abiding families have a God-given
right and calling to raise their children.
However, many believe that government rather than families should make decisions for children. That conflict is becoming more and more apparent as is evidenced by a recent Ohio
case—in which the state removed a child from fit parents because they would not agree to help the child transition to a different sex.
The question today is, who makes decisions for children…the state or parents?
Sometimes THSC receives complaints that we spend too much time and resources on political efforts—but we are painfully aware of what is at stake. Those we elect will pass the policies that affect our liberty. We will not be dissuaded from our mission of Keeping Texas Families Free. Our focus is one
reason that homeschooling is so free in Texas!
If history teaches us anything, it teaches that there will always be threats to freedom, and those who fail to respond until it’s too late will lose their freedom.
The Plea: Eternal Vigilance
I appreciate Mordecai’s urgent message to Esther—pleading with her to use her position to seek the king’s help to save God’s people. He closes the appeal with these words: “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place … And who knows whether you
have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Perhaps God has raised up the homeschool movement not only for the blessing and benefit of our children, but to prepare us for such a time as this, when the liberty of families to raise their children is being threatened.
“Some one has justly remarked, that ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’ Let the sentinels on the watch-tower sleep not, and slumber not.”
– “The Virginia Free Press and Farmers’ Repository,” May 2, 1833
We believe that the best place for children is in a home with loving parents and that homeschooling is the best education model. We fight for families on many fronts. Please consider donating today to help us continue
our mission of Keeping Texas Families Free!
All Hat and No Cattle
I’m always amazed that every Republican in Texas runs as a family values-based conservative when they are seeking election or re-election, even though their voting record is often debatable as to whether they are really conservative.
Some legislators start as champions for Texas families and then move towards big government the longer they are in office.That is why we often say that there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies in the legislative process. We support legislators and other officials as long as they support our issues.
Modern-Day Cattle Rustlers
I was thinking of this whole issue as I’ve been watching a couple of races in West Texas: those of Sen. Kel Seliger and Rep. Ken King.
Seliger represents Amarillo and Midland and has spent over a million dollars telling voters how conservative he is because he knows that’s the kind of representation Republican voters expect. The reality is something altogether different.
Seliger argued in Austin that families could not be trusted with more authority over their children’s education. In fact, he is openly opposed to homeschooling. Seliger has been rated by the non-partisan Baker Institute of Rice University as the most liberal Republican in the Texas Senate.
He was the only Republican senator to vote against property tax reform last year and is the only Republican senator to refuse to support conservative Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for re-election. He has been endorsed by a liberal group that supports the radical homosexual agenda.
State Rep. Ken King is also spending lots of money to advertise how conservative he is. King has consistently opposed increased freedom of families to raise and educate their children as they see fit. He has a bad pro-life record, an opposition to border security funding, and is ranked as the third most liberal Republican in the Texas House by Rice University.
To use a Texas term: as conservatives, these guys are all hat and no cattle. That is why we are supporting Mike Canon for the Texas Senate against Seliger and homeschool dad Jason Huddleston for the Texas House against King.
Vote in the Primary
Today, Mar. 6, is your last chance to vote in the primary election. Consider voting for these pro-family, pro-homeschooling candidates!
Visit THSC.org/Endorsements for a list of candidates who will fight for your family’s liberty. We believe that families raising their children is a God-given right and that parents should be empowered to raise the next generation of leaders. By voting for pro-family candidates, you are contributing to Keeping Texas Families Free!
Now: The Appointed Time to Defend Our Freedom
I have written and talked about the potential risk facing Texas homeschoolers due to the national effort underway to regulate homeschooling based on the the Turpin abuse case in California. This coupled with the concerted effort by public school unions to get Democratic voters to vote in the Republican primary against pro-family candidates could be the making of a perfect storm for Texas families and homeschoolers.
Some have questioned our call to action and whether or not there is a real risk because no one has yet filed such legislation in Texas or even publicly discussed doing so. I responded to those comments by pointing out that waiting until that time is too late.
Review the videos of debate on the floor of the Texas House last year regarding legislation that would have seriously put families at risk. It is not a stretch to believe that legislation regulating homeschooling could be filed next year.
The time to take action against this threat is now! A report on the first few days of early voting indicate that there may be over 10% of Democratic voters in the Republican primary. That is enough to swing a close campaign!
In the last two election cycles, some legislative races have been decided by as few as two dozen votes.
Voter turnout will be the key in how many of these races are decided—and how they are decided could literally affect homeschool freedoms in Texas. Remember that the goal of the public school lobby is to defeat candidates who support educational freedom for Texas families!
I earnestly urge you to vote early and to support candidates endorsed by Texas Home School Coalition. You can find a list of pro-family candidates here.
Please encourage your family and friends to vote as well. Our success in electing candidates will directly affect our ability to protect the freedom of families in next year’s legislative session!
We believe that families raising their children is a God-given right and that the best place for children is in a home with loving parents. Now is the time for action!