It is time for home schoolers to take action! The Senate is considering legislation which poses a real and serious threat to home schooling. S. 695 contains $25 million in funding for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
This board would work in a similar fashion to the medical profession's specialty boards. Doctors can obtain regular licenses to practice, but then professional organizations certify them as specialists. For example, some doctors are board certified neurologists.
The declared purpose of the NBPTS is not so benign. The board says that it hopes to dispel the myth that “any modestly educated person with some instinct for nurturing has the requisite qualifications to teach.”
I hope you realize that those are fighting words to home schoolers.
Lauro Cavazos, Secretary of Education, testified in opposition to this grant of government funding for the NBPTS. Nonetheless, the bill has passed the Senate Education Committee and has 35 co-sponsors in the Senate.
We must try to stop the funding for this board. It is not politically wise or possible to try to kill the bill, we simply need to attempt to eliminate funding for the NBPTS from the bill.
Some arguments to use against this bill are:
- The purposes of the Board are contrary to the freedom of private and home schoolers. The Board is not planning to operate in an objective fashion but has a predetermined political agenda.
- The government doesn't fund the professional boards for other professions, why should it fund the teachers' board? The NEA has nearly 2 million members, and the American Federation of Teachers has 677,476 members. If these two teachers unions would kick in $10 per member they would have more than the $25 million necessary to fund the board. Why should tax payers pay for this private organization? The taxpayers can't fund everything and this is a good place to cut back.
- The Secretary of Education opposes this funding. In Mr. Cavazos' speech addressing the House Subcommittee on Post Secondary Education, he stated that the Board is private and should remain so. He also stated that the bill asks for federal money without any accountability.
I would encourage you to write to the two Senators from your state. If you want, you can write to one or more of the Senators who have co-sponsored the bill as well. The current co-sponsors are Dole, Cochran, Hatch, Jeffords, Thurmond, Coats, Durenberger, Boren, Boschwitz, Burns, Chafee, Cohen, Danforth, Domenici, Gorton, Gramm, Heinz, Kasten, Lott, Lugar, Mack, McCain, McClure, McConnell, Murkowski, Nickles, Rudman, Simpson, Specter, Stevens, Wallop, Warner, Wilson, D'Amato, Pell.
We will need to generate thousands of letters to be able to have any hope of success. If every husband and wife in our Association writes a separate letter, the Senate will receive over 24,000 letters! Please pray and write.
Michael P. Farris