Midterm election results: Outlook good for homeschooling
On November 3, 2010, politicians in Washington, D.C., woke up to new leadership in the House of Representatives. At least 61 House seats (and six Senate seats) changed hands. With this change of power, Republicans in Washington have promised to restrict the federal government’s role and return power to the American people. In particular, homeschoolers can expect a different attitude toward education in the 112th Congress.
Representative John Boehner (OH-8), who is likely to be the new Speaker of the House, has been a longtime advocate for no federal control of homeschooling and limited federal involvement in education. Representative John Kline (MN-2), expected to become the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, stated that the committee would look at “pursuing education reform that restores local control, empowers parents, lets teachers teach and protects taxpayers.”
HSLDA is excited to see more homeschool-friendly legislators joining our leaders in Washington. Of the 40 pro-homeschooling candidates endorsed by HSLDA’s PAC in this election, we were able to directly help 28 of them win their elections through the over 800 volunteers deployed in Generation Joshua Student Action Teams.
Several of the incoming representatives are homeschooling parents themselves. Daniel Webster (FL-8), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Tim Huelskamp (KS-1), Tim Walberg (MI-7), Stephen Fincher (TN-3), and Scott Rigell (VA-2) are all homeschooling dads who will join former homeschooling mom Michele Bachmann in Congress. Even more exciting, Jaime Herrera (WA-3) will also be heading to Washington as the first homeschooled student to enter the halls of Congress in modern history.
These supporters of homeschooling will be crucial allies as HSLDA continues to communicate our simple message on Capitol Hill: no federal control or regulation of homeschool families. Congress has codified such language in the past, and we will continue working to ensure that such language is protected and strengthened.
CAN EXPECT A
IN THE 112TH
Washington, D.C., was not the only city to see a change in leadership this Election Day. Out of 35 governor's races in the country, 23 were won by Republicans. In addition, Republicans now control 54 of the 99 state legislative chambers (where most homeschool issues are fought out). This is the highest amount of state legislatures the Republicans have held since 1952. The National Conference of State Legislatures stated that “as a result, state legislatures will likely reflect a more conservative political agenda when they convene in 2011.”1
HSLDA believes that this change will result in greater homeschool freedom at
the state level, and a realization at the federal level that a top-down approach to education is unconstitutional and unhelpful. This is especially important as the state legislatures face battles over homeschool freedom, and as governors face decisions about whether or not to adopt common core state standards, nationalized curricula and testing, and new college and university accreditation regulations.
While we celebrate the victory of more homeschool-friendly candidates joining the ranks of Congress, and express our gratitude for the energetic efforts of Generation Joshua volunteers, we must not forget that there are still battles to fight!
|About the author
Melanie Palazzo is the director of HSLDA’s Congressional Action Program.
1 National Conference of State Legislatures, “Republicans Exceed Expectations in 2010 State Legislative Elections,” news release, November 3, 2010, http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=21634.