January 26, 2012
Help Stop Obama's Attack on Educational Freedom
Michael P. Farris, JD, LLM
“So tonight, I am proposing that every state—every state—requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.”
—President Barack Obama
Tuesday’s State of the Union speech
I was shocked when I heard that. Under our U.S. Constitution, education matters are left to the states. Our Founders wanted decisions about education and a host of other matters left to the states and local government so that these important decisions that affect every family could easily be influenced by the real decision makers: parents and the family.
Parents—not the federal government and certainly not the president—are the ones who should decide how children are educated and when they’re ready to graduate from high school.
But last night, President Obama made it clear that he thinks the federal government should be in the business of telling states how long children should stay in school.
Although the president did say that students who graduate early do not need to stay in school, states differ on what constitutes a high school graduate. Thus, a national compulsory attendance requirement would be likely to focus primarily on the age 18 standard, which could seriously harm homeschool freedom. In any event, this should not be coming from the federal government.
Since we were founded in 1983, HSLDA has fought attempts by state legislatures to increase the ages of compulsory attendance in school. We do this because parents—not education bureaucrats—are best equipped to decide how long their children should stay in school.
Now, thanks to President Obama and his willing allies in Congress, we’re going to have to fight this in Congress, too. We need to make sure that the White House and its allies in Congress hear our message loud and strong: leave education decisions to parents.
Right now, please call the White House and your members of Congress, and give them this message:
“Tuesday night, President Obama called for the government to mandate that all children stay in school until they graduate or turn age 18. This is not the federal government’s responsibility. Leave education decisions to parents, not federal bureaucrats. Tell President Obama to withdraw his compulsory attendance mandate immediately.”
- The White House: 202-456-1414, or send an online message.
- Your U.S. representative and two U.S. senators: 202-224-3121 (Capitol Switchboard) or use HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox to find their names and contact info.
There appears to be no limit to this president’s desire for power. Car companies, banks, doctors, and now schools and the family. But this time he’s gone way too far, and homeschoolers and freedom loving Americans need to make sure that he hears our message.