Home School Court Report
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MAY / JUNE 1994
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H. R. 6

Cover Stories
A Victory for the Children

Freedom Works—Ask the Home Schoolers


The Anatomy of a Victory

Press Quips & Quotes

Across the States

Mr. Chairman . . . Congressional Quotes

Mr. Chairman …

…taken from the Congressional Record

“These people have what we now can clearly all understand and agree is an extraordinary commitment to the preservation of their own freedom as parents and educators….

“This is an extraordinarily important thing. Clearly we have seen that the people who love this freedom for themselves and their family will rise to the defense of that freedom.”

—Representative Richard Armey (R TX-26)

“I support the … Armey amendment…. The Ford amendment only talks about home schools, and there are private schools that are equally involved in this intrusive attempt or apparent attempt to require certification of them.

“Mr. Chairman, I am satisfied that that was not the intention, but there is a well-known road paved with good intentions, and it is well to specify what the gentleman is talking about.”

—Representative Henry Hyde (R IL-6)

“;Believe me, if those parents teach their children as well as they are organized, which I am sure they do, then their kids are getting a great education.”

—Representative Gerald Solomon (R NY-22)

“Mr. Miller says he did not intend for his amendment to apply to home schools. If this is true, then I have two questions to ask. First, why was Mr. Armey’s original amendment to protect home schooling rejected in committee? And second, why was the teacher certification provision included in the bill when it is already a requirement for public school teachers to be certified in all 50 states?”

—Representative Tom DeLay (R TX-22)

“Our public schools are among the finest in the world—but, they have no monopoly on educational wisdom.

“Abraham Lincoln was a home schooler.

“John Kennedy attended private schools.

“So does Chelsea Clinton.”

—Representative Ken Calvert (R CA-43)

“Mr. Chairman, today, with over 3,000 of my constituents who have called on this issue since last Friday, I rise in strong support of the Armey amendment to H.R. 6. These lists represent … the single largest outpouring on any issue I have received since I came to Congress in 1991. In all these calls, not a single person expressed support for imposing teacher certification on home or private schools.”

—Representative Jim Ramstad (R MN-3)

“But this amendment never did have any impact on home schoolers. That never was intended…. Unfortunately, that was locked onto for political reasons to generate scare tactics, and unfortunately my colleagues have received many phone calls from people who have been misled and who misunderstand this amendment. But that was to the ends of certain individuals’ political purposes. Those same people, unfortunately, because of scare tactics, have spent their money, taken their children out of school, and come here to lobby. I hope that is a good civics lesson, and that is certainly their right to do so.

“What went on here in the last 4 or 5 days has nothing to do with the language in this bill. It has to do with some other agenda of organizations that decided they were going to steam up a lot of parents and a lot of individuals who are genuinely deeply concerned about the education of their children, their right to have their children in private schools, and the right to teach their children at home. That right is honored by this committee, by this legislation, and, I believe, by every Member of this Congress. But somebody could not pass up the political opportunity to gin those people up and arouse them and have them spend their time, their money, and their resources beseeching the Congress on a problem that never existed.”

—Representative George Miller (D CA-7)

“If we were really interested in improving our schools we should be listening and talking to those who have opted out of the current educational system. Let’s talk to the 51 percent of the people in Minnesota who said that if they could move their children at no cost, they would opt out of the public school system.

“If we were really interested in improving our schools we wouldn’t be stifling creativity and new learning approaches, we would be encouraging them. Contrary to what our committee believes, one size does not fit all.”

—Representative Peter Hoekstra (R MI-2)

“Mr. Chairman, as I was leaving home last weekend to return to Washington, I attempted to call my Washington office and was surprised to find the line busy. I tried again, and again, and again to no avail. When I finally got through, I was told that hundreds of angry parents had tied up the phone lines, all concerned about the detrimental effects H.R. 6 would have on the education of their children.”

—Representative Philip Crane (R IL-8)

“There was unfortunate language adopted in the committee that was ambiguous enough so that it could be, as it has been, misconstrued to apply to, quote, ‘home schools,’ whatever those are. In my State that is somebody who disobeys the compulsory school attendance law and keeps their child at home instead of sending them to school. But, be that as it may, they feel they have the privilege to do that, and they can argue with their own State about whether that is permitted. We do not try to settle that one way or anther here, and I hope we will not try to create the impression today that we are settling that argument one way or another because it is none of the Federal Government's business, frankly, how the States regulate compulsory school attendance.”

—Representative William Ford (D MI-13)

“Let me talk for just a minute about mothers and fathers. Mothers and fathers, all experts agree, are critical to the education of our young people. They are critical to the success of our society, and they are critical to bringing down crime rates, bringing down irresponsible behavior, and rebuilding American society. So why is it that the education bill that we have put together for work on the House floor today is a bill that divides American families and takes American mother and fathers who choose to home school away from their children?

“There are a lot of things that mothers and fathers cannot provide to their children. A lot of moms and dads in this country cannot guarantee a large sum of money to their children, they cannot guarantee them automobiles, and maybe some of them cannot guarantee good clothes. Maybe some of them cannot guarantee that they can afford a college education, but what many of them give to their children is themselves, and they give themselves to their children in home schooling. They spend a lot of hours in home schooling, preparing themselves. They sacrifice greatly, because they are paying taxes to support the public schools, and yet, because they consider their children to be the real treasures of their lives, they undertake to sacrifice and they home school their kids.

“I respect those moms and dads, and I think it is time for Congress to respect those moms and dads.

“There is no President of the United States, there is no Congressman, there is no school administrator, and there is no teacher who is as important to the education of a young person as his or her own parents, and for that reason alone we should vote down H.R. 6.”

—Representative Duncan Hunter (R CA-52)

“Mr. Chairman, I plant to vote for the amendment with the understanding that we will have the language corrected before it becomes law so that we do not have 6 million telephone calls instead of 1 million, and because I believe we could get to that point.”

—Representative William Goodling (R PA-19)

“Let me say, Mr. Chairman, from all the cards, letters, flowers and phone calls I have had from these school children, I can tell you the face of freedom has a happy smile on it. Let us keep that smile glowing in America today.”

—Representative Richard Armey (R TX-26)

On February 24, 1994, 374 United States Representatives voted for the Armey amendment. The 53 representatives who voted “no” are listed below:

Neil Abercrombie (D HI-1)
Gary Ackerman (D NY-5)
Xavier Becerra (D CA-30)
Lucien Blackwell (D PA-2)
Bob Carr (D MI-8)
William Clay (D MO-1)
Barbara Rose Collins (D MI-15)
Cardiss Collins (D IL-7)
John Conyers, Jr. (D MI-14)
William Coyne (D PA-14)
Ronald Dellums (D CA-9)
Ron de Lugo (D VI)
John Dingell (D MI-16)
Don Edwards (D CA-16)
Thomas Foglietta (D PA-1)
William Ford (D MI-13)
Barney Frank (D MA-4)
Henry Gonzalez (D TX-20)
Dan Hamburg (D CA-1)
Earl Hilliard (D AL-7)
Harry Johnston (D FL-19)
Dale Kildee (D MI-9)
Mike Kopetski (D OR-5
John Lewis (D GA-5)
Robert Matsui (D CA-5)
Jim McDermott (D WA-7)
Carrie Meek (D FL-17)
George Miller (D CA-7)
Norman Mineta (D CA-15)
Patsy Takemoto Mink (D HI-2)
James Moran, Jr. (D VA-8)
Jerrold Nadler (D NY-8)
William Natcher (D KY-2)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D DC)
John Olver (D MA-1)
Major Owens (D NY-11)
Donald Payne (D NJ-10)
Charles Rangel (D NY-15)
Mel Reynolds (D IL-2)
Carlos Romero-Barcelo (D PR)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D CA-33)
Thomas Sawyer (D OH-14)
Pete Stark (D CA-13)
Louis Stokes (D OH-11)
Al Swift (D WA-2)
Edolphus Towns (D NY-10)
Jolene Unsoeld (D WA-3)
Nydia Velazquez (D NY-12)
Bruce Vento (DFL MN-4)
Peter Visclosky (D IN-1)
Maxine Waters (D CA-35)
Melvin Watt (D NC-12)
Sidney Yates (D IL-9)

The following 12 representatives did not vote:

Michael Andrews (D TX-25)
Sam Gejdenson (D CT-2)
Gene Green (D TX-29)
Alcee Hastings (D FL-23)
Joseph Kennedy, II (D MA-8)
Barbara Kennelly (D CT-1)
Greg Laughlin (D TX-14)
John Murtha (D PA-12)
Bobby Rush (D IL-1)
Mike Synar (D OK-2)
Craig Washington (D TX-18)
Charles Wilson (D TX-2)