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HSLDA Responds to Hostile Article

On September 6, 2006, the Evansville Courier & Press published an online opinion article suggesting that home education should be addressed by the candidates in the approaching Vanderburgh County School Board election. Kelley Coures’ article was garnished with rehashed sensational stories in which the press connected negative events with homeschooling.

Coures suggested draconian and unnecessary regulations for homeschoolers: twice-yearly mandatory testing, mandatory enrollment in public schools for low-testing students, mandated curriculum content, physical exams to be filed with public schools, homeschool teacher qualifications, and social worker visits to all homeschoolers “throughout the year.”

In response, Home School Legal Defense Association Staff Attorney Scott Woodruff wrote a letter to the editor, part of which appears below:

The candidates for school board should be questioned hard on how they plan to run the public schools. But since the board does not control homeschooling, candidates’ attitudes toward homeschooling are not relevant, contrary to what Kelley Coures has written. The simple fact is that no one running for school board would have any authority to implement any of his suggestions. Policy toward homeschooling is set at the state level, not the school board level. Homeschooling is therefore not a legitimate school board election topic. . . .

The school board members should be elected based on how they plan to use taxpayers’ money on behalf of parents who have chosen to trust their children’s education to the public school system—not on their attitude toward students who are not in the system.

Coures’ attempt to rally the public to restrict homeschooling freedom is a bracing reminder that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. With your partnership, HSLDA will continue to vigorously defend homeschool freedom against such ideological attacks.

— by Scott A. Woodruff