From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


6/16/2003 4:56:15 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Hawaii--Online Charter Schools: A Trojan Horse

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

June 13, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Recently, homeschooling families throughout Hawaii have learned about
and inquired concerning a new online charter school program for

The Myron Thompson Academy (MTA) is an online public charter school
that operates in the Waterfront Towers in downtown Honolulu. This
school is supported by the Hawaii State Department of Education.

Many "freebies" are offered to families who choose to enroll their
children in MTA: $800 worth of curriculum, use of computer if needed,
access to certified teachers, and more. All the services and
materials are secular in nature.

On its face, this looks like a good deal. However, Home School Legal
Defense Association members and all homeschooling families across the
state should be aware of the ramifications of this seemingly harmless
program. We want our member families to make an informed decision
regarding participation in MTA.


HSLDA recommends against enrolling your children in MTA for the
following reasons:

1) If you enroll in this program, you will no longer be considered a
private homeschooler, and you will not be eligible for membership in
Home School Legal Defense Association. Our goal at HSLDA is to work
to protect the right of parents to privately homeschool, free from
government controls and restrictions. MTA is a tax funded, government
program with significant government limitations.

2) MTA is a public school. If you enroll your children in MTA to
receive free curriculum and a computer, your children will be
considered public school students. This means you waive certain
parental rights and agree to homeschool according to the public
school's rules. In other states with similar "virtual" or online
public school programs, HSLDA has observed that more and more
regulations are gradually placed on the homeschooler each year. If
the family does not comply, the "virtual" school will demand the
return of the computer, curriculum, etc.

For those homeschoolers who become dependent on the free government
equipment and funds, their freedom is gradually exchanged for these

3) By enrolling in MTA, you will be waiving certain parental rights.
The government does not offer "free" services without obligation.

For example, MTA will:

> have certified teachers supervise you;

> require all MTA students to participate in required state
standardized assessments; and

> require you to use the $800 dollars they give you to purchase an
"approved" secular curriculum (purchases must be done through MTA).
MTA enrollees are not allowed to purchase religious curriculum with
MTA funds. According to their web site, "Federal and state laws
prohibit the purchase of faith based curriculum; however if parents
choose to use privately purchased faith based curriculum to educate
their children they can do so and still take advantage of the
tremendous support offered through this program."

> students can continue through high school in the homeschool
setting, but cannot get a high school diploma. To receive a diploma
they must switch to MTA's "online high school program." This high
school program has established courses that a student must take, so
parents would have no control over the content of the course.

> families must turn in Individualized Learning Plan, Progress
Reports twice a year, and work samples four times a year.

MTA is an attempt by the government to create small public schools in
our homes. Before you make a decision about enrolling in this
program, please read our articles discussing publicly funded online
charter schools.

"Charter Schools: The Price is Too High" by Christopher J. Klicka

"Charter Schools: Look Before You Leap!" by Roy Hanson

Thank you for your prayerful consideration of this important matter.

Sincerely yours,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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