> Idaho--Legislator Contemplates Homeschool Restrictions
> Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
> We have been receiving calls from Idaho members who have been
> contacted by Representative Donna Boe. Rep. Boe told these members
> that she is planning to introduce a bill in the Idaho Legislature to
> require homeschools to be registered and be annually tested.
> She told these members that according to the Idaho Constitution, it is
> the state's responsibility to educate the children. She indicated that
> she wants to know what homeschoolers think about this proposal.
> To help her, homeschoolers may want to email her through the Idaho
> legislature website at http://www.hslda.
> her at (208) 332 1038 and let her know whether you would support this
> proposed bill. You may want to briefly share with her the benefits of
> your homeschooling and your thankfulness for the current freedom you
> have to teach your children in Idaho.
> Thank you,
> Chris Klicka
> HSLDA Senior Counsel
This lovely missive was waiting in my inbox this morning when I logged on. Truthfully, I don't know enough about the proposed bill to be for or against it. My gut reaction is that I'm opposed to regulating homeschooling. On the flip side, it might be a good idea to register our homeschooled students with the local school district- just so they're accounted for somewhere. Idaho is one of the least regulated states in the nation for homeschooling. We simply fall under child abuse and neglect laws- there are no laws specific to homeschoolers. Is that a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Possibly it just is what it is.
We're in a budget crunch at the moment so I also have to ask how the testing and registration will be funded. Will the money come out of the state budget? The school district's budget? My budget? Who will administer the testing?
Will the testing establish parameters for "acceptable" education at home results? If a child is special needs (or simply a poor test taker) how will that affect and effect the results of the testing? Will there be a limit on how poorly a child can test before they're forced to enroll in a public school? How will this affect private and parochial schools? Homeschool in Idaho is on equal legal footing with private school now- will this bill change that? What happens if the public school children fall below the "acceptable" limit that affects homeschool enrollment? Will those children have to change schools? Is there a possibility their parents could lose custody?
If there is no limit on how poorly you can test- what is the point of the testing? How will compliance be enforced? Who will fund enforcing compliance? What will the total real cost of this bill be? Is the cost an acceptable expense during this time of economic crisis? Is there an indication that Idaho homeschool students are being neglected and that this legislation is necessary? If there isn't any sign of a problem- why is this legislation being introduced?
Why? Why? Why? How? How? How much? How Often?
I think a whole post of questions must set a new record for me, but I wanted to get all my thoughts down and out there for public consumption. There are no deep thoughts here. If anyone has input on any of these questions (or new questions you came up with on your own) please leave me a comment.