By Carolyn Martin (CHEC Director of Government Relations)
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 16:25
A decade or so ago, there was a thriving homeschool support community out on the Western slope of Colorado. That was until a public charter school opened. The school was specifically tailored to homeschoolers — offering resources and classes using government monies while still allowing students to be considered homeschoolers. The end result was the decimation of the long-established Christian homeschool support group; it has never recovered.
Today, in the wake of the pandemic and the failure of school choice advocates to pass a bill last year to give government money to homeschoolers, all kinds of new schemes are springing up promising “free” stuff to homeschoolers. Those promoting these programs claim their desire is to give parents choices allowing them to get out of the government-run schools, all the while, binding families to continued government controls and regulations. One program is even making headway getting government funding into Christian private schools for homeschoolers.
Whichever way the government money is funneled to homeschoolers, and even if you do not take the money, the dangers to the homeschool community at large exist. Consider that when government monies come into a market, prices are raised to meet what the government can pay. For example, some part-time public-school programs rent churches to hold their classes, which has caused the cost for parent-led co-ops to rent space in churches in those areas to skyrocket. In addition, government requirements on curriculum and services will limit what is available to the entire homeschool community. As we saw on the Western slope, homeschoolers not participating in government-run programs will suffer the loss of supports in the community. These dangers are real.
Well-meaning school choice advocates are changing the homeschool landscape — and not for the better. There is no true freedom in the choices they are trying to sell us. We need to push back and demand that educational freedom, free from government control, be the mantra that drives education policy.
Warning: there is a growing list of well-meaning, conservative organizations who have jumped on the school choice bandwagon and are advocating for policies across the nation for state funding of homeschoolers. As school choice becomes a hot policy issue, be careful who you support.
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Director of Government Relations
Leave a Reply