April 4, 2001

Will Michigan Force State Testing on Home Schoolers?

MICHIGAN—Michigan became the third state this year to propose forcing home school students to take the state's public school assessment when State Representative Michael Switalski and eight other cosponsors introduced House Bill 4521 on March 27, 2001.

H.B. 4521 would saddle every home schooled child in the state with a heavy and unfair testing requirement. Every child would have to take the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test for each subject area in which MEAP is administered to public school students in the child's grade level. In addition, the bill would require their parents to submit the completed test to the Department of the Treasury.

Similar attempts to attack home schooling freedom were soundly defeated in several other states earlier this year.

In Colorado, home schoolers working together behind the scenes were able to persuade the Colorado Association of School Boards to abandon its demand that home educated students take the state's assessment test.

Maine home schoolers loudly objected to the state's trying to force their children to take the public school tests. By clearly conveying their opposition through an outpouring of phone calls and packing out a legislative hearing room, home schoolers got their message across to their legislators and a joint committee quickly killed the bill.

In Minnesota, although the legislature did not try to limit home schooling families to the use of a state assessment test, it did attempt to require them to report their children's standardized test results. After thousands of calls flooded the capital, and hundreds of home schoolers showed up at a hearing to defeat this assault on home schooling freedom, Minnesota legislators voted to remove this provision.

This week, Michigan home schoolers are gearing up to head off H.B. 4521 at the pass, before it comes up for a floor vote. They value their freedom and do not want to be regulated. Information Network of Christian Homes (INCH), HSLDA and other organizations have joined forces in opposing this bill.

Click here to read why Michigan home schoolers oppose H.B. 4521.