Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Huckabee and Homeschoolers

By way of introduction, I am a born-again Christian that was homeschooled K-12 and am currently a Sophomore at Patrick Henry College, majoring in Government. I liked Mike Huckabee earlier this year, but once I started checking into his record, there were many problems, and I am now supporting a different candidate who is a true conservative. I won't get into the other issues, but on the homeschooling issue, Huckabee signed a harmful bill that was opposed by the HSLDA, and is the first Republican ever to be endorsed by the NEA's New Hampshire chapter. Here's some more information on this from a friend:

Huckabee has been endorsed by the NEA of NH. What kind of conservative does the NEA of a liberal state endorse?
The endorsement is simply the logical choice for an organization that opposes school vouchers, as Huckabee does.

Although he has tried recently to flip on this issue, he also called No Child Left Behind "the greatest education reform effort by the federal government in my lifetime," (Washington Times 03/01/05) a program that stripped schools of local control and increased federal spending on education by 48% over three years ( 11/09/06). NCLB was a big government proposal from Bush that is widely regarded as a failure. Also, because he believes that "art and music are as important as math and science" in public schools, he wants these programs funded -- and thus, directed and administered -- federally.

In 1999, Huckabee signed into law a bill that HSLDA described in this way: “The enactment of House Bill 1724 on April 5, 1999, gives Arkansas the unique distinction of becoming the first state in the nation to add restrictions to its existing home school law . . . Arkansas is now one of only 12 states to impose a deadline for beginning home schooling or requiring parents to provide advance notice to public school officials of their decision to do so. Because of this restriction, parents who encounter intolerable conditions at the public school, such as imminent danger to the safety or welfare of their child, will have to wait at least 14 days before withdrawing the child to begin home schooling or else face truancy charges for unexcused absences during the 14-day waiting period. No such restriction exists for parents who decide to immediately remove their children to attend a private or parochial school in Arkansas. This raises serious issues regarding the right of parents to direct the education of their children and equal protection of the law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution." and also for more.

Considering the NEA endorsement listed above, the HSLDA endorsement is a cause for puzzlement, especially when you take into account their 2007 - 2008 NEA Resolutions: "The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used."

Ned Ryun (former director of Generation Joshua and of HSLDA’s Federal PAC) was the director of HSLDA’s PAC at the time of their endorsement of Huckabee, but he did not know about the endorsement until after the fact. Ned left HSLDA-PAC shortly thereafter.

1 comment:

Spunky said...

Great to see some free thinking going on at PHC! Thanks for passing the word along about my blog posts too.