One of the few positive things those believers of individual freedom can point to in Illinois, the right to home educate ones children, is under attack, not surprisingly, from the Illinois State legislature. State Senator Ed Maloney, Democrat of Chicago, is introducing a bill that would require all home-schooling parents in the state to register with the local school boards where they live. “Leave it to the politicians in Springfield to take away one of the few relative freedoms left in our state,” exclaims Lupe Diaz, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Illinois.Conservatives weigh in here.
History has repeatedly shown that registration is only the beginning of what would eventually become licensing, control of curriculum, certification of parent teachers, discipline and physical plant that would quickly erode the very reasons that parents choose to home school.
Diaz adds, “The facts speak for themselves. Home schoolers consistently score higher on achievement tests and college entrance exams. Their grade point averages are higher in college than their public student counterparts, they stay in school at a greater rate and finish college at a higher rate than those students from government schools. Also, social problems commonly associated with the government schools such as gangs, use of illegal drugs, teenage suicide and teen pregnancy are rare among home schoolers.”
So why the control, why the regulation? Sen. Maloney says it is for accountability purposes. But why should parents be accountable to local school boards? Certainly, the government schools have a poor track record for excellence.
Update: This would force private school parents to register as well. Illinois Family Institute:
Existing school code permits the voluntary registration of non-public school students with the state. If SB 136 were to pass, it would compel all parents or legal guardians of home or privately schooled students to register with the state. Registration that is now voluntary would become compulsory. The arguments used to justify such compulsory registration are specious and reveal underlying flawed assumptions.More. I imagine this would add insult to injury to some parents of Evanston High School students. As usual, government stands sense on its head--schools need to be accountable to parents, not the reverse.
Pressure from all sides of the political spectrum.
There was an error in our press release of this morning. It stated that the proposed registration bill would require home educators to register with local school boards. That is in error. The bill would require that they register with the state Board of Education.We regret the error. The argument still stands.