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11/12/2008 3:17:32 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA: What Can We Expect under an Obama Administration?

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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HSLDA: What Can We Expect under an Obama Administration?

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends of Homeschooling:

Since the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president, HSLDA has
received more than a few calls from both members and nonmembers. Some
are quite concerned about the future of homeschooling under an Obama
presidency.

First of all, let us always remember that "God has not given us a
spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
He also instructs us to be wise, plan, and be prepared in everything
we do.

Despite HSLDA's efforts prior to the election to get an official
statement from the Obama campaign regarding their position on
homeschooling, we received no response.

So where does that leave us?

We do know that the Democratic Party has an official position of
supporting public education. The National Education Association (NEA),
which is the national teachers union, is a major supporter of the
Democratic Party. We know that the NEA's position is that every child
should be either taught by a certified teacher or supervised by one.
Additionally, their position is that the curriculum used by all
homeschoolers should be approved by the state, and children should
only be able to continue to be homeschooled based upon systematic
evaluation by the state.

It is important to remember that under the United States Constitution,
the federal government has no authority over private and home
education. This is not to say that they will not attempt to exercise
authority in these areas. And whenever private educators accept grants
and benefits, there are conditions to receiving those benefits,
including being subject to regulation.

Just because the federal government has no constitutional authority
over home education, however, doesn't mean that federal bureaucrats or
legislators might not attempt to impose some form of regulation over
private and home education. We saw this back in 1994, when the
reauthorization of the Secondary and Elementary Act (H.R. 6) contained
an amendment which would have conditioned funding to the states for
public education to require that all teachers be certified in every
subject area they teach. The homeschool community rose up; over a
million phone calls were made to the U.S. Congress, and the amendment
was defeated. During that process, Representative Dick Armey from
Texas introduced an amendment which stated that the federal government
and Congress have no authority over private and home education. This
protective language was passed by the House of Representatives.

With your help and the help of homeschoolers all across America, we
will vigorously resist any effort on the part of the federal
government to regulate home education. Obviously, this will take
resources--which come from our membership--and we would encourage our
current members to continue standing with us, and encourage others to
join us.

An immediate concern to watch is the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child. Although we do not know what Barack Obama's
specific position on the treaty is, we know that future Vice President
Joe Biden has publicly indicated that this UN Convention should be
ratified by the United States.

It does appear that we will soon have the challenge of keeping the UN
Convention from being ratified by the U.S. Senate, ratification
requiring a two-thirds majority to pass.

Should the UN Convention be ratified, it would impose the United
Nation's view of children's rights on America. Under the U.S.
Constitution, treaties become the Supreme Law of the land, taking
precedent over state laws and state supreme court decisions.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is not in the best
interest of parents or children, as it would undermine the parental
authority that our laws currently recognize. For further information
on the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=5805 .

To summarize, homeschoolers should not live in fear, but we do need to
be wise, and we will need to be vigilant to protect parental rights
and homeschooling freedoms in the future. We stand prepared, with your
help, to do that as we've done for 25 years.

Michael Smith
HSLDA President

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-> Who's knocking on your door?

When a social service worker arrives at your door, tension can run
high. Wouldn't it be nice to get your lawyer on the phone,
providing you with immediate step-by-step guidance?

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1099

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