As reported in the November/December 1999 Court Report, Irelands fledgling home school movement faced a serious threat from the legislature last year.
The Irish Senate approved a bill requiring home school registration and periodic assessments at the whim of public school authorities. Worse yet, the bill required home visits, inspections, and assessments by the education welfare officer.
Irish home schoolers asked for Home School Legal Defense Associations help. In response, we launched a nationwide alert and U.S. home schoolers sent hundreds of letters and calls to the Irish embassy in Washington, DC. HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka and Irish attorney Elisabeth Bruton strategized organizing Irish home schoolers and lobbying the legislature.
Although Parliament did pass the registration requirement this summer, mandatory home visits and assessments for all home schoolers were removed from the bill.
On behalf of Irelands home educating families, Elizabeth Bruton wrote,
Thank you for the invaluable help given by HSLDA and your members in lobbying for changes to the proposed home school legislation. Home schooling in Ireland was facing a bleak future. Parents were to be confronted with mandatory home visits and wide ranging assessments of their children before being allowed to home school. As a result of the lobbying, the government has made significant concessions. Families who diligently educate their children at home can confidently proceed.
Involved home schoolers make a differenceeven across the ocean. We thank God for blessing the prayers and efforts of U.S. and Irish home school families.Christopher J. Klicka