Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Courant's Rick Green - Homeschooling And Tea Partying


Rick Green's article (Taxpayer Group, Town Have Meeting Of Minds, May 5, 2009) is a perfect reason why I don't normally like to talk to the press, especially the Hartford Courant.

Here's the offensive excerpt:
"We are not looking to get something for nothing. Everybody realizes they have to pay taxes," said Judy Aron, the home-schooling-and-tea-party organizing vice chair of the taxpayers association

I could be cynical, because I've always suspected taxpayers associations were for people whose kids are grown and who don't want to fund public schools adequately. But Aron and association President George Kennedy convinced me something else is at work.
I never - not once - organized a tea party. We never even discussed this on our phone interview! Sure I may attend them and even promote them on this blog - but I have never organized one. So much for journalistic fact checking.

Secondly, why do these columnists have to drag the issue of my choice to homeschool into the discussion? It's totally irrelevant. It really is. Homeschooling has nothing whatsoever to do with the point of this article. Besides, I do not currently homeschool - my youngest is finishing up a high school program and just finished a college course and is heading to college in the fall.

Mr. Green used homeschooling and tea parties to somehow define me. While I am proud to attend tea parties and to have homeschooled - did he mention the education choices of anyone else in the article? NO, he didn't. Nor did he similarly label anyone else for that matter. Mr. Kennedy could be labeled a retired golf enthusiast. But, that's not nearly as controversial for the head of a tax payers association.

Good thing that his article showed that narrow minded thinking can be changed. Mr. Green, has "always suspected taxpayers associations were for people whose kids are grown and who don't want to fund public schools adequately" and now sees that he was totally wrong. Good for Mr. Green. Besides that, people reading the article should see that the actions of the West Hartford Taxpayers Association were done by vote. It wasn't my, or Mr. Kennedy's, decision alone not to seek a referendum, although we did vote that way. We aren't unreasonable tax activists after all.

For those who believe that homeschoolers do not wish to fund government schools, that is nonsense. Could that be said of private schooling parents as well? It's a tired and lame old argument, but still popular among people who hold anyone with a different education choice in contempt and especially to arouse suspicion of them.

If anything, the government school supporters in town ought to be thanking all of us for funding the resources we choose not to use. To that end, we'd just like to see our tax dollars being used wisely, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring about some sound education reforms. Quite frankly I get pretty annoyed with those who continually bite the hands that feed them.

Pardon me while I get back to my other subversive activities, besides homeschooling and tea partying, that Mr. Green failed to mention - you know; laundry and shopping.