Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Homeschoolers For Ron Paul

Check out this great website Homeschoolers For Ron Paul.

Republican Candidate Ron Paul has repeatedly supported homeschooling, as well as choice in education overall. None of the other candidates have really mentioned much about homeschooling, or the freedom to home educate. If anything, they want more school oversight by the government, or legislation like No Child Left Behind. (Well my child is not left behind - we homeschool!)

I will digress a bit here just to say this:

Frankly, education needs to be kept out of the federal arena all together. I believe Ron Paul agrees with this, as he has said that the Federal Department of Education should be abolished, and he certainly doesn't believe in federal government controlled education. Here's why - The 10th amendment says:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.
The 10th Amendment, makes explicit the idea that the federal government is limited only to the powers it is granted in the isn't one of them.

Yes, there are already many federal laws attempting to regulate education. However, the primary means that the federal government uses to regulate education is through its power enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The courts have interpreted the Constitution to allow the federal government to give money to the states. So, the federal government, through Congress, adopts a law that, in essence, says, "If states adopt a law that provides for all of the things listed in this federal law, then, only under those conditions, the federal government will give the states money." The states, in turn, wanting the federal money, adopt laws that mirror the federal law. Through the years, this has become so commonplace that often the distinction between the authority of the federal government to regulate and the authority of the state government to regulate is blurred sometimes to extinction. It is also important to note that while Congress may adopt whatever laws it chooses, not all of those laws are constitutional. Far too many of them are not constitutional. However, until and unless the constitutionality of those laws is challenged, they remain in force.

Until recently, most federal laws have not affected the rights of homeschoolers. When the popularity of homeschooling grew in the 1980's, some urged homeschoolers to consider themselves as private schools under state laws. Connecticut homeschoolers rejected that appellation fearing that state governments, already having some laws in place regulating private schools, would include homeschoolers among those regulated. Homeschoolers in other states, however, were persuaded to consider themselves private schools and, for the most part, those homeschoolers are regulated to some extent by their state governments. Still, no homeschoolers were regulated by the federal government, until now. We are seeing proposed legislation which include the term "homeschool".

Please consider that even if states are not forced to create legislation to enact the intent of federal laws that include homeschooling in it's language, those laws are still dangerous for the following reasons:

(A) When legislation is made nationally we lose control of it. It is far easier to speak with state legislators than with federal congressional leaders. When was the last time you spoke face to face with your state Congressman?

(B) If there are federal laws regarding homeschooling they will be difficult to amend and difficult to expunge. You have no control over congressional leaders in other states, and precious little input into your own state Congressman's office.

(C) Dealing with issues affecting homeschoolers is much more manageable on a statewide level. Additionally one can not control the process of making laws in Congress. There is also no guarantee that amendments or other undesirable wording will creep into a congressional bill as it wends its way through Congress?

Federal legislation of homeschooling is not the way to answer problems homeschoolers face. NHELD had written some bulletins and articles about this issue as well.

Anyway - getting back to Ron Paul and homeschooling - you might be interested in this blog

(H/T Shana K.)


P Henry said...

It is the same old song. They take our money, then give it back as honey from heaven in the form of Federal Aid/Grants/rebates/tax credits (minus a handling fee for processing) if we do what they tell us to do.

It is our tax money, does it really need to go to Hartford/Washington DC to be doled out with strings attached?

I'd be much happier with total funding at the state level, at least we have a fighting chance of influencing how our money is spent. Pushing it up to the Federal level just makes it fair game for the 37,000 lobbyists in Washington DC.

At the state level, we can keep a better eye and control on it.

The Commerce Clause is way over used. I'd love to see it reined in. Of course it would mean the utter demise of the Federal Government as we know it.

This what I detest about federal aid funded by taxes, the inherent notion that somehow, someone far away can spend our money better than we can.

All government decisions should be pushed down to the lowest (most local) level possible.

TheTutor said...

Don't they teach the rule of subsidiarity anymore? Never mind... temporary insanity on my part.

I contacted HSLDA a few weeks ago letting them know I was disappointed that they endorsed a federal-level candidate since it implies approval of federal oversight of education. I shared my letter (and related thoughts) on my blog so rather than retype it all here, here's a link:

Why HSLDA Shouldn't Endorse Federal Candidates

Glad to hear others who are in favor of removing all federal ties to education. It is very sad that I don't hear that view expressed enough.


Jennifer in OR said...

Thank you for a great summary of the issues involved in federal oversight of education. I've just jumped on the Ron Paul bandwagon!