New Changes May Make Homeschooling Less Religious and More Regulated

Little black girl learning to read learning the alphabet

The homeschooling movement in America is experiencing potential changes in its religious makeup and new challenges from government regulation.

Steven Craig Policastro, founder and executive vice president of the International Association for Creation, told The Christian Post that in recent years, the biggest change in state-sponsored resistance to homeschooling has been a “shift” from attempts to ban homeschooling to “extremely oppressive” regulations.

“Opponents of home education have realized that since they are unable to make homeschooling illegal, they can at least attempt to place extremely burdensome regulations on parent-led, home education to make it difficult or nearly impossible,” said Policastro.

“There also are constant attempts by school districts all over the country to require things of homeschool students and parents that are not required by law. There are times in which the school districts do not properly know the law, but in other instances the school board leaders do not care and they want their regulations mandated regardless of the law.”

The International Association for Creation is a Christian Young Earth organization and will be hosting its annual “National Homeschool Day” observance on Feb. 23. Speakers from dozens of locations will address people worldwide in a livestream online to discuss topics related to homeschooling and Christian resources for home education.

On regulation, Policastro noted the importance of “state organizations” and the Home School Legal Defense Association in monitoring proposed legislation and maintaining good communication with school districts.

“Such government oversight is a continual battle, it has not let up; it has merely changed forms, going from the outlawing of parent-led education to now having parent rights constantly in jeopardy due to ever-changing regulations,” he noted.

“The famous quote, ‘the price of liberty is eternal vigilance,’ is very apropos here because that’s what all of us who believe in educational freedom and parental rights do. We seek to be vigilant so that our God-given right to train up our children is not impeded upon by bureaucrats and legislatures.”

A recent example of this regulation effort can be found in Iowa, where earlier this month Democrat State Rep. Mary Mascher introduced House File 272, which if passed would, among other things, require school districts to conduct “health and safety visits” for homeschooled children.

Israel Wayne, director of the Michigan-based ministry Family Renewal and a scheduled speaker for this year’s National Homeschool Day, likewise viewed proposals to increase regulation as a constant threat to homeschooling.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski