After reading the cover article, many of you may be thinking, "I'm a committed home schooler; my children will never be in the public school; my state has good laws. Why should I be concerned about the bureaucracy and excesses of the U.S. Department of Education? After all, when was the last time the federal government interfered with my home-schooling freedoms?"
Remember last February? A nuclear warhead was launched at the home-schooling community in H.R. 6.
What about Goals 2000? The all-encompassing goals set forth in this legislation repeatedly specify, "all children." As the states, seeking federal funds, begin enacting the mandated programs, we fully believe that school districts will attempt to force home schoolers' participation.
We very effectively shot down the H.R. 6 missile, and we can probably shoot down other attacks on our freedom.
Or we can help to close the missile factory.
The existence of the U.S. Department of Education is the only reason there are federal attacks on our rights as home schoolers. If we help to eliminate the federal role in education, we close down a substantial threat to our rights.
Attacks on our home-schooling freedoms are not the only reason we have to be concerned, however. All home schoolers are taxpayers. We have as much stake as any other citizen in seeing that tax money is not misspent. The $33 billion federal spending on education has served to create an addiction to centralization. Administrative and overhead costs of all educational spending has gobbled up 76 cents of every new dollar spent on education since 1972.
When there are three levels of government involved in education, taxpayers do not receive triple efficiency, only triplicate bureaucracy. Local control of government schools will save tax money for everyone.
I love home schooling as much as any of you do. Yet, we have to recognize that the vast majority of children are enrolled in the public schools, and this situation is not likely to change any time soon. We need to be concerned for their well-being. The best thing that could happen for public school students is for their parents to be given a much greater degree of control over their own child's education. The principle that all parents have the right to direct the education of their children is something that all home schoolers should embrace with enthusiasm and actively promote.
Finally, the political reality is that home schoolers are probably the group that will have to light the spark to get the wildfire going. So many others say, "We would like to see an end to the federal role in education, but we don't think there are enough members of the public who would call or write to change the political dynamics in Washington."
We need to show people that there really are a lot of us who believe in constitutional government. The Constitution gives no role to the federal government in education and it is time to put a stop to this unconstitutional activity. You can help ignite a political wildfire. Pass the word and call both of your Senators and your Congressman [(202)224-3121]. Make copies of the articles in this newsletter. A great many people believe in the principle of limited government. It's our job to coax them to act on their beliefs.
— Mike Farris