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Why Are Public School Proponents So Afraid of Homeschool Kids?

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Let Them Play!

For those of you who are following Buehler Education on facebook or twitter, you may have noticed my recent links to homeschool bills that are being debated in several states.  Most often these bills result in less liberty for homeschoolers, and for that reason I generally oppose them.

In Indiana, House Bill 1399 would allow homeschoolers to play on public school sports teams.  It passed the Indiana House yesterday by a 60-30 vote and now heads to the Indiana Senate.  This seems like a good thing for homeschooling because if homeschool parents are paying into the system, then their children should be able to benefit from those tax dollars as much as any public school student should.

Indiana is one of 29 states that currently do not allow homeschool students to participate in public school sports programs.  If this bill becomes law, homeschool students would be allowed to participate only if they have been homeschooled for at least three years prior to participating, and if they pass an annual, nationally recognized test.  These conditions are troubling.  First, the three year requirement is meant to prevent students from going back and forth between homeschooling and public schooling.  However, that does little good to the student who withdraws from public schooling because they are not receiving a quality education or who leaves because of safety concerns.  Essentially, these children will be denied public services their parents pay for because of the failings of the public schooling system.  Second, the annual testing requirement is a waste of time and resources for homeschool families.  Many families decide to homeschool precisely because of all the wasted time and effort that goes into assessment tests that teach kids nothing.  Fortunately for the families in Indiana, homeschoolers consistently and routinely outperform their peers in these tests.

The arguments against allowing homeschool students to participate in public school sports programs are nothing short of dumbfounding.  They question why homeschoolers should be able to pick and choose what they want out of a public school.  In other words, they want homeschool families to be forced to take in all of the worst aspects of public schooling if they want to receive any benefits from their taxpayer dollars.  They also raise concerns over homeschoolers taking away roster spots from public school students.  In other words, they think a public school student (who costs taxpayers several to tens of thousands of dollars more per year than a homeschool student) deserves a roster spot over a homeschooled student not based on talent, but based on the fact that their parents completely abdicate all responsibility for education to the state.

Rep. Clyde Kersey, who opposed the bill, said “[i]f we allow students to go and participate in athletics, then there will be students who want to sing in the choir, there will be students who want to take part in the talent show and the performances at the school. I’m afraid when we start this, we open a whole can of worms.” What he is really saying is that allowing homeschool students to participate in the athletic offerings of the public school system that their parents pay for is a bad thing because these students may then choose to opt into other public school offerings as well.  My question is, why is this undesirable?  If the public school system is so wonderful, wouldn’t these public school advocates want these homeschoolers to get as much of the benefit of the public school system as possible?  The answer is obviously no.  They want to have full control over the child’s “education” so that they can have full control over the tax dollars that can be tied to each child, and so that they can eliminate the greatest threat to the public school system – the superior outcomes of those who opt out of the system.

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4 Responses to " Why Are Public School Proponents So Afraid of Homeschool Kids? "

  1. Sandy says:

    Don’t the public schools support diversity?

  2. Robert says:

    A person’s worth is contingent upon who he is, not upon what he does, or how much he has. The worth of a person, or a thing, or an idea, is in being, not in doing, not in having. – Alice Mary Hiltonsee more

  3. Franklin says:

    A person’s worth is contingent upon who he is, not upon what he does, or how much he has. The worth of a person, or a thing, or an idea, is in being, not in doing, not in having. – Alice Mary Hiltonsee more

  4. While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.

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