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Liberating your children from government schools
Alliance for the Separation of School and State ^ | Sept. 10, 2002

Posted on 09/16/2002 8:43:45 AM PDT by toenail

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Liberating your children from government schools

Resources for parents investigating their options

Updated Sept. 10, 2002
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Some parents are ready to take the big step to liberate their children from government school and enroll them in private or homeschool. They just need to find out how and where to do so.

Many others are considering the idea but are concerned about the cost of private schooling or the difficulty of homeschooling. For some, neither of those solutions seems practical for them.

On this page, we have pulled together information not only on private and homeschooling, but also on a number of "creative" alternatives that might overcome difficulties facing many families.

The following organizations offer information or services that might be helpful to you. Since there are hundreds of sites, we have tried to select those that are useful to the broadest audiences.

Please be aware (beware?): The Alliance for the Separation of School & State takes no position on the merits of various forms of schooling.

Our central position is that parents have the right, and many would say duty, to put their children in an educational environment that supports what the children are learning at home. In other words, we urge parents to pick a school where the teachers and administrators already agree with you and hence will not be undermining your values and the virtues you are trying to impart to your children.


Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
What regulations pertain to starting to home school in your state? HSLDA's site has summaries of state law regarding home education for every state as well as contact information for state and local organizations. It includes primarily, but not exclusively, Christian groups. You'll also find news and other helpful information regarding homeschooling.

Homeschool World
This is the official site for Practical Homeschooling magazine. Mary Pride, author of the Big Books of Home Learning, and husband Bill Pride run this site. In addition, there are articles, news, events, curriculum information, advertisements, and links to other helpful sites.

Jon's Homeschool Resource Page
This site has been around for a long time and has become a dependable source of information for a broad range of homeschoolers. While Jon leans toward unschooling himself, the site includes links to all forms of homeschooling for organizations, resources, discussion groups, etc. homeschool organizations listed by state

Homeschooling resources for parents with limited time

The following are given only as examples of some of the hundreds of possible options available that help parents who have limited time to work with their children.

Switched-on Schoolhouse
Alpha Omega Publications produces Switched-On Schoolhouse, CD-ROM presented courses for grades K-12. For example, a complete fourth grade program of all courses costs $284.95, although courses are also available individually. The curriculum is Protestant and traditional in its educational approach. Students read through text, take quizzes and tests, and play learning gamesÑall of which happens on the computer without parental assistance aside from an occasional essay question that a parent needs to check.

Chalk Dust math courses
Chalk Dust offers complete, high-quality video and textbook math courses for Basic Math (junior high) through Calculus. Instruction is on the video, then students work through a textbook. The Solution Key for each course helps when students get stuck.

Private schooling

One of the most up-to-date listings of private schools in your area is in the Yellow Pages.

There are also several on-line search engines:
Easy online searching through their database of 30,000+ private schools for grades preK 12. Includes all types of private schools; allows searched for specific education methods (e.g., Montessori) or religious denominations.

National Center for Education Statistics (US Dept of Education)
Specify state, ZIP code, and number of miles from ZIP. May be more complete than

Peterson's Private Secondary Schools
Search for private high schools in your area. High end schools tend to have more information provided at the site. Also searches Canada and many other countries.

Association of Christian Schools International
Search their database by state or country. ACSI is the largest association of private K-12 Christian schools.

Google Directory of sites for private school information


Children's Scholarship Fund (CSF)
Umbrella for scholarship programs for K-12 education throughout the U.S. You can find which local CSF programs are accepting applications for scholarships to private schools at this site.

CSF programs in 44 cities

Home School Foundation
The Home School Foundation operates funds targeted to assist widows who choose to homeschool, families who have children with special needs, and families who have experienced economic difficulty.

Alternatives to private or homeschooling

Community Schools associated with Growing Families International
Children attend these Christian schools two or three days a week, then homeschool the other days. Experienced teachers help direct parents. Cost is lower than full-time enrollment in most private schools. Email through the website for information on Community Schools since it's not actually on the site. GFI phone #: 800-474-6264. Note: Community Schools are associated with Gary and Marie Ezzo whose philosophy of raising children is somewhat controversial.

University model schools
Similar in concept to Community Schools, a number of schools have been created following what is called the University Model. Students attend classes part-time and study under parental guidance the rest of the time. University Model schools are academically challenging, college-preparatory institutions, generally enrolling students in grades K-12. The first few of these schools are located in Texas. Grace Preparatory is an example.

Check with local homeschool groups for variations on the Community School/University Model idea. Many homeschoolers participate in group classes, sometimes for one or two classes, and sometimes for almost half of a child's education. These might be called extension classes, independent study classes, or something else. Options vary dramatically from area to area and are not usually widely advertised.

Online schooling

The following schools are listed as examples of the range of options available rather than as a comprehensive list or as recommendations.

The Potter's School
The Potter's School offers real-time online courses for junior and senior high employing video-conferencing technology. Courses cost $300-$350 per year. Students may enroll in one or more courses. The school has a Protestant statement of faith and enrolls students from all over the world, including many from missionary families.

Apex Learning
Online Advanced Placement courses for high school are the claim to fame for Apex. High quality courses prepare students to take AP exams, potentially earning students college credits in advance. Non-sectarian.

Clonlara "Compuhigh Online High School"
Individual courses or complete high school. $275 per course or $895 per year with up to eight courses. Operating since 1994. Accredited. Graduates accepted at many colleges (list at

Classical Free Virtual Academy
Online Reformed Protestant school offering classical education focused on the Great Books. About 40% of their courses are offered for free. Others cost $49 and up depending upon level of service desired. Total cost for six years of education (grades 7-12) through this school would be only $1519 if parents supervise and interact with students, or $5169 if parents pay the extra cost to have a teacher work with their child.

Angelicum Academy
Catholic online classical education for grades K-12. Angelicum is also associated with Great Books Academy, a non-sectarian online program for grades 9-12.

Escondido Tutorial Services
Escondido Tutorial Services is the "grandfather" of a number of other Great Books online course programs that are presented from a Protestant worldview. ETS offers courses such the Great Books, Algebra, and Geometry, and also lists other "schools" that offer similar and additional courses.

# # #

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: educationnews; homeschoollist

1 posted on 09/16/2002 8:43:46 AM PDT by toenail
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To: toenail
2 posted on 09/16/2002 8:47:27 AM PDT by RAT Patrol
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To: TxBec; *Homeschool_list

3 posted on 09/16/2002 8:53:47 AM PDT by Joe Brower
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To: *Education News; madfly; 2Jedismom
Index Bump
4 posted on 09/16/2002 9:21:10 AM PDT by Free the USA
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5 posted on 09/16/2002 9:22:35 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: toenail
My niece lives in Kentucky and 3 of her 5 children so far and as soon as the remaining 2 kids are old enough, she will homeschool them as well.

I live in Downers Grove, Il and our local High School teachers (NEA types) just went on strike today. Here is what the Board of Education is offering them. I wish I had been offered this kind of money when I was working and my contract expired.

District 99 + North Campus + South Campus
Home + Calendar + News + Job Openings + Board of Education + More...
Community High School District 99
DuPage County, Illinois

September 12, 2002

To the District 99 Community:

We want to take this opportunity to briefly describe the status of negotiations between the Teachers’ Union and the District 99 Board of Education.  On Tuesday, September 10, negotiations resumed under the direction of the federal mediator, who sets the dates and times for meetings.  Talks began at 6pm but broke off around 12:30am Wednesday morning.  The Union presented a four-year package which reflected a 24% increase in total compensation, including a 320% increase in Board paid insurance.  The total cost of the Union proposal was $133,500,000, or $5.5 million beyond the Board’s previous proposal.

The Board’s  response was a proposal with a total cost of $128,000,000.  It included salary increases totaling 19% over four years.  Each teacher would receive a salary increase of $3,300 in the first year, $3,300 in the second, $3,400 in the third, and $5,000 in the fourth year.  A beginning teacher would receive a 36% net increase after insurance payments.  The starting salary would jump from $34,928 to $46,300 in the fourth year.  An experienced teacher at the top of the schedule would receive a 14% net increase after insurance.  The salary would jump from $91,344 to $106,344 in the fourth year.

  The Board proposal over four years also included:

  1. A 10% increase in the stipends paid to coaches and club sponsors.
  2. A 200% increase in Board paid health and dental insurance premiums.  The Board proportion for single coverage would begin at 50% in the first year and then move to 60% / 70% / 75%.  The Board would also pay 50% of the premium for family coverage.
  3. A continuation of the District’s retirement program that pays teachers a 20% stipend for each of their last three years of employment.  Teachers would be eligible for the program upon reaching at least 31 years of teaching experience or age 57.  The Illinois Teachers Retirement System (TRS) pays a teacher who is fully vested a pension equal to 75% of the teacher’s last four years average salary each year for the rest of their life.

The Union was asked to respond with a counter-proposal of what it would take to avoid a strike if the Board proposal was not acceptable.  The Board was willing to hold a special Board of Education meeting on Thursday, September 12, to consider the requested counterproposal.  Then the Board and Union teams would meet with the federal mediator on Friday, September 13, which was the mediator’s earliest available date.  The Union refused to respond to the Board’s proposal or to offer a counterproposal, and then walked out of the mediator’s office.  The mediator has not set another negotiating date.

The Board of Education does not want a strike.  The Board knows the important role teachers play in the lives of students and wants to provide teachers with a fair compensation package.  But the Board also recognizes its critical responsibility to the long-term welfare of the District.  All parties need to resolve the current situation, and BOTH the Board and Union must take responsibility for the future financial viability of the school district.  The Board will meet at any time when called by the federal mediator.



Julia Kennedy Beckman         

President, Board of Education

6 posted on 09/16/2002 9:23:18 AM PDT by teletech
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To: Joe Brower; 2Jedismom; homeschool mama; BallandPowder; ffrancone; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; WIMom; ...
7 posted on 09/16/2002 9:34:23 AM PDT by TxBec
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To: toenail
Bump to gutsy parents.
8 posted on 09/16/2002 7:46:26 PM PDT by secretagent
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To: teletech
bump for later...
9 posted on 09/20/2002 8:45:02 PM PDT by multitaskmom
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To: toenail
10 posted on 09/20/2002 8:49:23 PM PDT by Brett66
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