by Terri Koyne
There is a lot of talk about SB 136, introduced by State Senator Maloney, which requires all non-public school students to register annually with the State Board of Education. I have spoken with a number of people over the past couple of days with their concerns over this bill and their support for our efforts against it. You might think that these people are all homeschoolers like I am, but that is not the case.
One was a State Representative giving me the heads up on the bill and advising me to get the word out. One was a lady whose children are grown and out on their own. Others were fellow homeschoolers and a few were parents of students who attend private school. Of all the people with whom I have spoken, only one asked me “What’s the big deal?"
While only asked once, I fear that this will be the mantra of the education cartel’s side of this issue.
As a homeschooling mother of four beautiful children, I would like to respond to this question. The big deal is:
1. This bill is extremely vague, and for good reason. You see, this is how the game is played. Introduce a bill without details, push it through “for the good of the children” and then fill in the blanks later, after it is too late for concerned citizens to do anything about it.
2. Once this bill is passed, it will be completely up to the State Board of Education to define “registration”. Only those “who know what is best for OUR children” will have a seat at this table. No parents allowed, definitely not those who will be most affected by this nonsense.
3. Those who think this is simply going to be about giving your name, address and the name of your children to the State Board of Education are sadly mistaken. I had an interesting conversation with a State Senator today who serves on the Senate Education Committee. He wouldn’t commit either to support or oppose this piece of legislation, but I am not entirely optimistic. He commented that he hoped this would “help the children."
If this is simply a matter of giving a name and address, how does that help anyone? What the education cartel is truly after is to regulate all those students who are currently out of their reach. Once they do that, they can then include our students in their budgets and test scores. Make no mistake about it, they will be after your curriculum, your schedule, your home life, your children’s medical records and your parental rights.
4. Who is going to pay for all this tracking and record keeping? I was just told a couple of weeks ago that my Regional Superintendent of Schools has neither the resources nor the man power to handle the truant students in his district. If this is true, how are they going to afford the mountain of paperwork and reports that will have to be taken care of with this piece of legislation?
A mentor of mine has always asked when a seemingly harmless bill comes up for a vote, “How do you boil a frog?” You don’t throw him in a pan of boiling water. You make him comfortable in a cool pot of water and slowly turn up the heat. Before he knows it, he is cooked.
My point is this: The education machine has spent the last decade making us comfortable, laying low and leaving us alone for the most part. They have spent the past year slowly turning up the heat. The Regional Superintendents have snuck through new truancy ordinances through County Boards and daytime curfews through city councils. Now they are looking to turn the heat up to a full boil by regulating all non-public school education.
This is not the time for parents to be passive, to wait this one out. If we do not take a strong and united stand now, grow a grassroots campaign opposing the government’s grab for power and make our voices heard loud and clear, people (including those who will be voting on this bill) are going to be easily convinced we don’t believe that this is a “big deal."
The Senator I spoke with today informed me that he has already been contacted by someone from the Superintendent’s office, urging him to support SB 136. That didn’t surprise me since they are the ones who are behind this particular bill. What did surprise me is that the Senator went on to say that he ask this gentleman if he thought the home school community would object to such a law. The gentleman replied that he did not think that we would object and that we would be willing to go along without much resistance.
I simply responded, “Well Senator, he is sadly mistaken.”