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J. Michael Smith, Esq.

Michael P. Farris, Esq.

Hoekstra Receives 110th Congress
Friend of Homeschooling Award

By William A. Estrada, Esq.
Federal Relations

August 15 2008

Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Will Estrada

Rep. Pete Hoekstra receives the 110th Congress Friend of Homeschooling Award from Will Estrada, director of HSLDA’s Department of Federal Relations.
On July 31, 2008, HSLDA’s Federal Relations staff presented Representative Pete Hoekstra (MI) with the 110th Congress Friend of Homeschooling Award. Since 1998, HSLDA has presented the award to members of Congress in recognition of their efforts to protect parental rights, homeschool freedom and limited government during each session of Congress.

The award is usually given at HSLDA’s Legislative Summit for homeschool leaders held every other year in Washington, D.C. However, Mr. Hoekstra was managing the floor during debate about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that night, and could not attend.

Representative Hoekstra has been a tireless friend of homeschoolers since he was elected to Congress in 1993, and especially in the 110th Congress. In April, 2007, he successfully introduced a procedural motion on the House floor to strike language in H.R. 362 which would have moved federal education policy in the direction of national standards and curriculum. He introduced H.R. 1539, the “A PLUS Act,” which would substantially decrease the federal government’s role in education. He has additionally been the lead sponsor of the Parental Rights Amendment.

“Homeschooling serves as a worthwhile option for parents to assume a direct role in the education of their children,” Hoekstra said. “It can be a positive experience that enables children to realize a successful future.”

“Representative Hoekstra’s support for homeschoolers is unparalleled in Congress,” said Mike Smith, president of HSLDA. “The representative has been instrumental in the success of homeschoolers in fighting discrimination by the military for those enlisting, and for fair treatment for those enrolling in college. He has been tireless in working to eliminate unequal treatment for homeschoolers by the Social Security and Veterans Affairs administrations. At the same time, he has been at the forefront in advocating for the position that Congress does not have any authority over private and homeschools. Congressman Hoekstra is truly a hero to homeschoolers everywhere.”

Past recipients of HSLDA’s Friend of Homeschooling award include Representative Marilyn Musgrave (CO), Representative John Hostettler (IN), Senator John Ashcroft (MO), and others.