New restrictions averted
Home School Legal Defense Association believes that the best time to stop bad legislation is before it ever starts. When we recently became aware of a growing threat to Idaho's home school law--one of the best in the country--we joined forces with the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE) to head off danger at the pass.
In February, we learned that "concerned citizen" Maxine Riggers had formed an organization called Concerned Committee of Idaho Citizens and embarked on a personal crusade to get a restrictive home school bill introduced and passed. Ms. Riggers had written several letters to the editors of local newspapers about some "research" her group put together. She claimed that home schoolers are failing academically and need to be heavily regulated.
By vocally opposing home education, Ms. Riggers also caught the attention of some members of the Idaho Senate Education Committee with her side of the story.
HSLDA and ICHE recognized the danger of Ms. Riggers' push for more regulations and the importance of the senators and the public hearing the truth--the benefits of home schooling and the facts that disprove Riggers' false assertions. We encouraged our Idaho members to express their opposition to Riggers' proposed regulations by contacting their state legislators and writing a short letter to the newspapers Ms. Riggers targeted. Real, live home schooling families can best explain their success and why this proven, effective method of education should continue to enjoy minimal regulation.
After home schoolers articulately presented the case for home schooling to the legislature and the press, the Senate Education Committee took no action towards new regulations. Since the state's legislative session has ended, home schoolers in Idaho are safe for another year.
- Christopher J. Klicka