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We have been informed by representatives of ICHE and CHOIS that tax credit legislation, including legislation that would benefit homeschoolers, will be introduced again in the Idaho legislature. Home School Legal Defense Association generally endorses tax credits because they involve taxpayers simply retaining a portion of their own money, which would not normally result in additional regulation.
However, in years past, when similar tax credit legislation was introduced in Idaho, at the first committee hearing homeschoolers would be informed by pro-homeschooling representatives that there would have to be “accountability” for homeschoolers if they received tax benefits. As a result, we joined ICHE and CHOIS in voicing our opposition to tax credits for homeschoolers in Idaho.
Idaho is one of the few states left where there is no government regulation of home education. Because of the tremendous freedom in Idaho, any type of well-intended legislation on behalf of homeschoolers, including tax credits, tends to provoke scrutiny of the homeschool law and concerns by foes and friends alike that there is no regulation. This long-standing freedom has been maintained because of the vigilance of ICHE and CHOIS to oppose any change in the homeschool law that would bring any kind of accountability or regulation.
We have had the privilege of working with Barry Peters for many years in his role as the liaison to the legislature on behalf of both organizations. Barry has done an outstanding job in leading the fight to preserve Idaho homeschool freedoms. We agree with Barry when he states, “Our precious freedoms are too valuable to be traded for government assistance.” Because of this reality, HSLDA joins ICHE and CHOIS in opposing tax credits for homeschoolers in the state of Idaho.