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House Bill 980 would give public schools state money for homeschool students just as if they were public school students, and give 10% to 25% of that money to the homeschool family.
This is a “gift” we don’t want! And it makes no sense to give public schools state money just because a certain number of homeschoolers happen to live in their district.
Right now, homeschoolers receive no government money. This has helped us preserve our independence for many years. If homeschoolers are permitted to receive government money—even if most families reject it—those in positions of power who yearn to impose more government control over homeschool families will become far bolder.
They will say that more “accountability” is needed to make sure that the families who choose to participate use the money the “right” way. And they will say that this requires more control over all homeschool families. They will find many who agree.
To receive money under HB 980, a family must submit their child to public school standardized testing. This is troubling enough. But it is only the tip of the government control iceberg compared to what will certainly follow if this bill becomes law.
02/10/2012 (House) First read
03/15/2012 (House) Hearing scheduled in House Ways and Means
This bill has been withdrawn by the sponsor, and is now dead.
One of the reasons homeschooling is so successful is precisely that we do not receive any government “help”! According to Dr. Lawrence Rudner’s landmark 1999 study, the average homeschool 8th-grade student scores an astonishing four grade levels ahead of public school students.
The children of homeschool families who spend $200 or less per year per child score, on average at the 78th percentile. This kind of success for that kind of money is simply amazing. Money is simply not the issue. (See table 3.8 in Dr. Rudner’s study.)
Some of those who work in the government think it’s dangerous that millions of children nationwide are being educated outside of government control. They view our freedom as a problem they need to solve!
What they fail to grasp is that our freedom from government control is actually a crucial component of our academic success. They fail to understand that government control is actually one of the reasons for the poor showing of public schools.
HSLDA and Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators are united in opposing this bill.
Thank you for standing with us for freedom!
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E-lert March 14, 2012: Delegate Alston to Withdraw Two Homeschool Bills