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Homeschooling families wanted freedom more than 'free' money

Homeschooling families wanted freedom more than 'free' money


Homeschooling families wanted freedom more than 'free' money

Homeschooling parents in Alabama were ringing alarm bells in recent weeks over well-meaning legislation and over a jaw-dropping comment from their state’s highest-ranking election official.

One key advantage of homeschooling is it allows parents to oversee a child’s education without government bureaucracy, which is why Alabama families were concerned by a proposed Parent’s Choice Program. That program would allow tax dollars to follow a child to a private school, or to their homeschooling family,

Homeschool Legal Defense Association was flooded with requests for help when state lawmakers proposed the funding because parents understood accepting the funds would presumably come with stipulations.

"It's problematic for homeschoolers,” explains Dan Beasley, an HSLDA attorney, “because freedom is necessary for homeschooling to flourish, and government funding always comes with some kind of government regulation."

Beasley, Dan (HSLDA) Beasley

In fact, parents and HSLDA were alarmed when the state’s superintendent of education, Eric Mackey, claimed in a senate hearing about the program that most states require a “home visit” to a homeschool family by a state employee.

That claim was wildly untrue, HSLDA says, to the point that no state currently requires it although some have attempted it in the past.

Beasley tells AFN that lawmakers listened to parents’ concerns and now a new version of HR 452 was introduced that removed homeschoolers from the funding allowance.

“And so we're still fully analyzing that [legislation],” the attorney says, “but we're far less concerned about the new version of the Parent's Choice Program."