An Open Letter to Homeschoolers – Will the Real Homeschool-Friendly Candidate Please Stand Up?

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Open Letters


Daily I read
a new article about overtures being made to the homeschooling community
by prospective presidential nominees.

John and Elizabeth
Edwards are educating their children at home with the help of a
private tutor; so now, supposedly, they can identify with other

I’ve got news
for them — that’s not even remotely close to the “real” world of
the average homeschooling family.

Mitt Romney
claims that he wants to offer homeschoolers tax breaks. Sounds palatable
until you find out he
also supports No Child Left Behind
, the worst legislation passed
by the federal government on education since… well, since ever.
Now, it’s true that No Child Left Behind does not directly affect
homeschoolers, but supporting it indicates a belief that the federal
government has the authority to set standards for the public schools.
Anyone who has read the Constitution knows that no such authority
exists. And of course, there’s the whole “slippery slope” to consider.
Since the federal government now controls the public school system,
what’s to stop them from also claiming control of private schools,
parochial schools and eventually home schools?

That leads
me to the 2nd former governor from Hope, Arkansas — Mike Huckabee.
Now I realize I’m endangering my life by saying anything negative
about Chuck Norris’s favorite politician, but I’ll take my chances.
Mike Huckabee is all the “buzz” in the homeschooling circles — at
least according to the trustworthy main-stream-media. He’s riding
high on the endorsements of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association,
the Minute Men, Janet Folger, Jerry Falwell, Jr, the NH
, Chuck Norris….. Wait a minute. Back up there. The New
Hampshire National Education Association? The NH NEA is supporting
Mike Huckabee? Aren’t they also supporting Hillary Clinton? Isn’t
the NEA the group that has passed a resolution that would effectively
end our right to homeschool if implemented? Isn’t the NEA the group
that calls homeschooling parents “wannabe amateurs” on their website?
Their New Hampshire organization is supporting homeschool-friendly,
Mike Huckabee? As a homeschooling mom, this sets off warning bells
in my head.

But my concern
about Mike Huckabee goes much deeper than his endorsers. It’s really
about his philosophy of governing. Individual rights, especially
parental rights, are at the heart of homeschooling. We recognize
that children are gifts to their parents, not chattel of the state.
The responsibility to care for them, to educate them, to nurture
them is exclusive to the home. Parents may choose to “outsource”
this responsibility at their discretion, but government intrusion
regarding these areas should be extremely rare. Any politician who
does not whole-heartedly embrace that idea is a danger to our continued
freedom. As Dr. Paul said in his intro to the Family
Education Freedom Act
, “Parental control of child rearing, especially
education, is one of the bulwarks of liberty. No nation can remain
free when the state has greater influence over the knowledge and
values transmitted to children than the family.”

So, does Mike
Huckabee believe in a hands-off approach to governing or is he a
nanny-state neo-con, determined to shape Americans into his mold
of morality? Looking at just his current rhetoric, it might be possible
to give him some benefit of the doubt; but his past governing record
and statements should weigh heavily into our consideration.

His call for
a nationwide smoking
speaks volumes, especially compared to Dr. Paul’s statement,
“I don’t want to tell you what you can eat, drink or smoke.” I find
his need to pass a law
while governor, making it mandatory to have every student’s Body
Mass Index measured, chilling. What’s the next step — controlling
our menu or making students eat at state-run cafeterias to ensure
their weight stays at acceptable levels?

He openly admits
that he raised taxes to fund and improve the public school system.
How is increasing the tax burden of homeschooling families in order
to fund state schools homeschool-friendly? He intimated in his speech
to the NEA this summer that it’s the state’s responsibility to help
educate future teachers, enable them to continue their education
and that the government-funded student loans of exceptional teachers
should be “forgiven.” Does he need to be reminded about how the
state funds these loans?

And then there’s
his defense
of No Child Left Behind
. According to the Washington Times,
Huckabee called No Child Left Behind "the greatest education
reform effort by the federal government in my lifetime." “The
federal No Child Left Behind Act is often misunderstood and unfairly
maligned as a total federal intrusion,” Huckabee said. “As long
as the states are allowed to develop their own benchmark exams to
determine the manner to create standards … there’s a value of having
a national effort to at least set high standards.” He feels that
as long as there is a distinction between the state governments’
and federal government’s role in education, legislation like this
is not only acceptable, but welcome. There’s only one problem —
there is no role for the federal government in education. None.
How can homeschoolers believe that this man will protect our Constitutional
rights when it’s obvious that he hasn’t read the Constitution?

I prefer a
candidate that has consistently voted to protect the rights of parents
and limit the power of the federal government. Dr. Paul has openly
and authored legislation
to help ease the tax burden of all parents — no strings attached.
He recognizes No
Child Left Behind
for what it is — an unconstitutional federal
intrusion that has introduced a quagmire of bureaucratically-crafted
standards and effectively tied the hands of hard-working teachers.
He wants to get rid of the Department of Education, ensure parity
for homeschool graduates, continue the homeschool Tier 1 pilot program,
and foster a culture of educational freedom.

Dr. Paul said
it best — “The best way to improve education is to return control
to the parents who know best what their children need. Congress
should empower all parents, including homeschoolers, to control
their children’s education.” But, listen up homeschoolers — it’s
not just what Dr. Paul says that sets him apart. He is the authentic
homeschool-friendly candidate because his voting record and statements
for the past 30 years prove that he means what he says. He has not
changed his mind. He has not flip-flopped. He doesn’t craft his
answers on this issue, or any other, according to his audience or
popular opinion.

parents can rest assured that, as President, Dr. Paul will do all
that he can to protect our rights. He has given homeschoolers a
voice in Congress and now seeks to represent our interests in the
White House. One of the best ways to empower the homeschooling community
and protect our rights is to make sure that Dr. Paul is allowed
to continue speaking for us.

That is why
he has the support of this homeschooling mom.

17, 2007

from south Texas, Shana Kluck [send
her mail
] is a 33 year-old homeschooling mom currently residing
in central Alabama with her husband and four children. She is the
national coordinator for Homeschoolers
for Ron Paul

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