It's like Deja Vu all over again.
This is an issue that has again gotten some discussion - this time in the New York Times.
People in Congress need to know that considering Federal Tax breaks for homeschoolers is a really really bad idea.
It's not only Un-Constitutional - but it would open the doors wide for the federal government to regulate homeschooling. It's bad enough that there are already laws on the federal books that mention homeschooling... because this means the term is already in federal statute and will one day need a Federal Judge to make a determination as to what that means exactly. That spells a lot of trouble, AND would put State laws in jeopardy.
National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD) has long been saying that we need to put a stop to federalizing homeschooling and end the federal government's involvement in education as well.
Another national group, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), has SAID that they are against federal education laws - but yet, over the years, they have pushed for exempting homeschoolers and getting language regarding homeschooling in the federal law books! This goes back even to the early 2000's (here is one example) Of course the more homeschooling gets "federalized", the more HSLDA can take cases to federal court... and trying federal cases could be quite lucrative indeed. But I digress... this issue is less about HSLDA and their varied agendas and more about why the federal government needs to stay out of homeschooling - in all ways.
Deborah Stevenson, executive Director of NHELD said this:
"Government interferes with the sovereign authority of parental instruction by implementing and enforcing regulations and statutes.
When government regulates, government essentially claims supreme authority over what once was the supreme authority of parents. Once government dictates that it has that authority, it then determines how much of that authority it will exercise. In some states, the government exercises very little authority over parental instruction, perhaps only requiring parents to send “notices” to local boards of education or to the state department of education. In other states, the government exercises quite a lot of authority, perhaps requiring parents to utilize certain approved curricula or requiring the children to undergo evaluations."
"It is a very bad idea to include homeschoolers in laws which will allow homeschoolers to accept federal or state funding via scholarships or other similar financial benefits. We do not need to be given equity with our public school counterparts because that equity will enslave us. Autonomy is the key to our freedom. This is not an issue we can make compromises with either. Autonomy is what homeschoolers have and is what they should continue to have. If we are included in government programs we lose our autonomy and are subject to accountability, oversight, testing and whatever else the government feels is necessary to control homeschooling."
NHELD just put out an editorial on this issue (Federal Tax Breaks for Homeschoolers) which is very worthwhile reading to understand what is at stake here.
It’s Un-Constitutional and will grant new powers to the federal government it never had before - to define the term “homeschool”, to regulate it, and then to expand the federal government by adding new employees to enforce those regulations.
We certainly do not want the IRS, or any other government entity for that matter, to define who is, and who is not, a homeschooler. That will lead to what materials they can or cannot employ, as well as a whole other range of determinations. This is horrendous to even contemplate!
Message to the incoming Congress....
Leave Homeschoolers ALONE!
We don't want or need more UnConstitutional legislation with strings attached.
If they really want to do something to uphold their oath of office they ought to dismantle the UnConstitutional Federal Department of Education and leave the power to regulate education up to each individual state.
One more time for the record:
Congress has absolutely no authority to adopt any law concerning homeschooling!
So please, let's not let them.
Related: Spunky Homeschool: Homeschoolers and Tax Breaks