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Back to Aug. Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 223 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS AUGUST 2004

NEA Votes Against Homeschoolers
The NEA again made its animosity against homeschoolers heard loud and clear. The resolution against home-schooling demanded that all instruction be given by teachers licensed by the state education licensure agency, and that the curriculum be approved by the state department of education. The NEA also took the position that homeschooled students should not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities in public schools. Obviously, homeschooling is the only thing the powerful and wealthy NEA union fears.

Homeschoolers, who are one of the fastest growing movements in America today, are more and more demanding their right to compete in high school sports along with public school students. After all, homeschooling families pay taxes to finance the public schools, and they should not be excluded from the benefits.

Michigan homeschooling parents filed suit to get the public schools to permit homeschoolers to play on the sports teams, but the Michigan Court of Appeals sided with the public schools and upheld the exclusion of homeschoolers. West Virginia, on the other hand, reached the opposite conclusion. Noting that home-schoolers are already allowed to participate in the school band, the West Virginia court ordered the schools to rewrite their policies to allow participation in sports, too.

Pennsylvania has taken a middle ground, permitting local school districts to make their own decisions about admitting or excluding homeschoolers from sports teams. The trend is toward increasing access. More than half of Pennsylvania schools now allow home-educated students to compete in public school sports.

Homeschoolers have come a long way since the days when parents had to conceal what they were doing from local authorities for fear they would be accused of child abuse for not sending their children to public school. Now it's becoming conventional wisdom that homeschoolers usually do better academically than public school students.


 
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