More people need to stand up to him. If enough people do it, they can’t control everyone.
We received some questions from homeschoolers asking if President Obamas statement was actually a threat to homeschool freedom.
First, it is important to note the venue for the presidents statement: it was during the State of the Union address, where the president outlines the legislative agenda he hopes Congress will take up in the upcoming year. The president wasnt making a statement to the media encouraging the states to change their compulsory attendance laws; he was speaking to Congress. We know that there are certain members of Congress who would gladly pass legislation that would require the states to raise their compulsory attendance ages, and many of these same members of Congress would like nothing better than to establish federal control over homeschoolers. We must speak up strongly to discourage any legislation from being introduced in Congress.
Second, this administration has a history of outlining a policy and then not waiting for Congress to pass legislation. We have seen Race to the Top, the presidents signature education policy, mandate that the states adopt the Common Core Curriculum Standards, and other education policies that are priorities for the Obama Administration, as a condition for receiving federal funds. Race to the Top is primarily driven by administrative regulations, not laws passed by Congress. We are concerned that the White House may try to draft regulations that force the states to raise their compulsory school attendance ages without waiting for legislation from Congress. We want to send a strong message to the White House that such a move will not be tolerated by homeschoolers.
If there were a federal mandate (either passed by Congress or through regulations) that required the states to keep students in school until they graduate or turn age 18, this could lead to a federal definition of what constitutes graduation from high school. Once the federal government creates federal guidelines or definitions in this area, additional and harmful federal regulations on homeschoolers could easily follow.
It is imperative that we remain united and show Congress and the White House that homeschoolersand all people who believe that parents should make education decisions for their children instead of federal bureaucratsstrongly oppose any federal compulsory attendance mandate.