Bulletin #14 - The Federalization of Homeschooling 12/03/2003

 

Did you know: There are nine pieces of federal legislation currently being considered by Congress which include the words "home school" in them, or refer to existing legislation that includes home school.

 

Those bills are listed below, and if you want more information about them you can look up the details on Thomas - US Congress on the Internet, at http://thomas.loc.gov/

 

1. H.R.12 : To make changes to the Higher Education Act of 1965 incorporating the results of the FED UP Initiative, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep McKeon, Howard P. (Buck) [CA-25] (introduced 1/7/2003) Cosponsors: 36
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2003 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Fed Up Higher Education Technical Amendments of 2003 - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to make various technical revisions regarding access to student aid programs.

Revises the HEA general definition of institution of higher education (IHE) to include one that admits as regular students those who have been home-schooled (as well as high school graduates or those with equivalency certificates), thus conforming it with provisions that make such home-schooled students eligible for student aid under HEA title IV.

 


2. H.R.282 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit for contributions for the benefit of elementary and secondary schools. Revises definition of "school"
Sponsor: Rep Hoekstra, Peter [MI-2] (introduced 1/8/2003) Cosponsors: 23
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 1/8/2003 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

 


3. H.R.516 : To amend the General Education Provisions Act to clarify the definition of a student regarding family educational and privacy rights.
Sponsor: Rep Kennedy, Mark R. [MN-6] (introduced 1/31/2003) Cosponsors: 14
Committees: House Education and the Workforce
Latest Major Action: 1/31/2003 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

 


4. H.R.612 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals a credit against income tax for tuition and related expenses for public and nonpublic elementary and secondary education.
Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 2/5/2003) Cosponsors: 8
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 2/5/2003 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

 


5. H.R.615 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the Hope Scholarship Credit to be used for elementary and secondary expenses.
Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 2/5/2003) Cosponsors: 8
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 2/5/2003 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

 


6. H.R.2732 : To amend selected statutes to clarify existing Federal law as to the treatment of students privately educated at home under State law.
Sponsor: Rep Musgrave, Marilyn N. [CO-4] (introduced 7/15/2003) Cosponsors: 79
Committees: House Education and the Workforce; House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 7/28/2003 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Education Reform.

 


7. S.18 : A bill to improve early learning opportunities and promote preparedness by increasing the availability of Head Start programs, to increase the availability and affordability of quality child care, to reduce child hunger and encourage healthy eating habits, to facilitate parental involvement, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Daschle, Thomas A. [SD] (introduced 1/7/2003) Cosponsors: 21
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Major Action: 1/7/2003 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

 


8. S.1562 : A bill to amend selected statutes to clarify existing Federal law as to the treatment of students privately educated at home under state law.
Sponsor: Sen Craig, Larry E. [ID] (introduced 8/1/2003) Cosponsors: 5
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 8/1/2003 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

 


9. S.1793 : A bill to provide for college quality, affordability, and diversity, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] (introduced 10/28/2003) Cosponsors: 6
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Major Action: 10/28/2003 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

 

 


What we are witnessing is the federalization of home education!

As more and more federal legislation includes the undefined term of "home school" we are giving the federal government the right to legislate what we do and how we do it. Eventually the term "home school" will have to be defined somewhere - either by federal statute or by a federal judge. Most of these bills have to do with what homeschoolers are or are not entitled to. This means we are giving the federal government (Congress) the power to decide that. Even if the statute will do some positive things for homeschoolers in the short run - it will surely hurt us in the long run because we are allowing the federal government to decide to include homeschoolers in various aspects of federal funding (scholarships, IRS code, etc.). Once this happens, we will of course have to show accountability on whatever terms the federal government will decide.

 

This practice must be stopped - and any existing legislation that includes the term "home-school" must be repealed. We cannot allow the federal government to continue this unconstitutional practice!

You must contact your congressional representatives and tell them that homeschoolers cannot be included in federal law - it is unconstitutional, and since we do not accept federal funding we are exempt from their programs anyway.

 

 

Attorney Deborah Stevenson - Executive Director of National Home Education Legal Defense. www.nheld.com or email : info@nheld.com

Judy Aron - Director of Research, NHELD imjfaron@sbcglobal.net