By: Krystle Crossman
A new bill that is being introduced, the H.R. 610 school vouchers bill, it facing enormous amounts of backlash from homeschool families. The basis of the bill is that the federal funds for education go to all states as grants. Those grants are distributed to public schools, private schools, and homeschooled students in the form of vouchers. While this may seem like a good thing we must look at the big picture. Should homeschool families get these vouchers for federal funding they would be under federal rules and regulations. This would make homeschooling much more difficult as extra regulations could be imposed.
Homeschool families and advocates are asking that the government stay out of homeschooling affairs. The regulations that could potentially come from this bill would make it very hard for parents to teach their children the way that they want. Many parents are pulling their children from traditional schooling because they want the freedom to be able to teach them real life skills and prepare them for post education and their careers. Many public schools are failing to do this with the amount of state testing that is given. Public schools these days seemed more concerned with prepping the students for the next round of testing instead of teaching them skills that they are going to need after they graduate.
William Estrada of the Home School Legal Defense Association states that the bill will require students to register with the schools and they will be tracked after they are registered. This is part of the control of homeschooling that parents do not want. They enjoy the freedom that not having to follow guidelines and curriculums bring when they take their children out of the public school system. If they get federal funding in the form of the school vouchers that are included in this bill they will have to make sure that they follow the rules that come along with the vouchers which can make rules much stricter.
Iowa Congressman Steve King says that he has been trying to meet with homeschool parents so that they could discuss the bill face-to-face but so far he has been unsuccessful in doing. King states that the goal of the bill is to make sure that the curriculum between parochial schools and public schools are the same and they compete with each other as he feels that the Judeo-Christian ways of the country are falling to the wayside because of how the school systems are run. He said that they had to include homeschoolers in the voucher bill because they would feel as if they were targeted and left out.