Killing Homeschooling in Michigan – The Other Shoe to Drop in 2010?


This Designated Conservative received word last week from a legislative staffer in Lansing that the recently fast-tracked public school reform legislation will very likely be followed up in 2010 with bills aimed at significantly tightening homeschooling regulations in Michigan. No details are available, but…

…it appears that our Democrat-led state leadership are being pushed and prodded by the Michigan Education Association teachers’ union to make the changes.

As with past efforts to curtail homeschooling, this latest attack was preceded by a hit-piece article in The Detroit News and a follow up ‘analysis.’  An accompanying reader poll provides a good indicator for just how small of a minority of Michiganders want to kill homeschooling:


Michigan has one of the best regulatory environments for homeschooling among the 50 states (or 57, according to President Obama). This is thanks in very large part to Dr. Pat Montgomery, retired director of the Clonlara School in Ann Arbor. Current rules are based upon a pair of Michigan Supreme Court decisions from the early 1990s, in which Dr. Montgomery played a pivotal role in helping to bring to pass what we have now.

It amazes this Designated Conservative that the liberal Democrats, among whom can be found the “pioneer” homeschooling families back in the 1970s, are planning this attack on education choice.

However, I suppose I shouldn’t be so amazed – after all, it’s all about the money! The MEA views homeschoolers as thieves who, by removing their children from public school, “cost” the local school district $7,000+ in per-pupil state school aid each year. To the teachers’ union leadership, your child is nothing more than a paycheck.

The MEA’s strategy appears to be to try and compel homeschooling families to send their children to the local public school by having the state tighten the regulatory screws to the point where the paperwork, school district oversight, and curriculum mandates become so onerous that parents simply give up.

If you support homeschooling in Michigan, please take the time NOW (before the bills are introduced!) to contact your state representative and state senator to ask them to oppose any changes to Michigan’s homeschooling laws.

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11 Responses to Killing Homeschooling in Michigan – The Other Shoe to Drop in 2010?

  1. C. Klaus says:

    From what I have seen of homeschoolers, they are better educated and have better social skills than do most of the public schooled students. Most of the public schols are failing their students and the drop out rate is rising. More money will not help a failing eduacation system.

  2. J. Maassen says:

    Thank you for your informative post. As a homeschooling parent and activist, I applaud your effort to raise awareness about the deplorable attempt to slander the homeschooling community by the MEA via the Detroit News. I have written letters of protest to the Detroit News and have taken the further step of canceling my subscription. I let the Detroit News know that I will not pay for a rag of a publication that indulges in a smear campaign. My next set of letters will be sent to my state senator and state representative, as you suggested. I have linked your blog to my Facebook page, and I hope that this will encourage others to take action. Thank you for your good work.

    • Thank you for all you’ve done to get the word out. The only way we will protect the current homeschooling rules in Michigan is by shining a bright light on the MEA’s behavior. Sadly, the basic premise of the MEA (homeschoolers will “return” to the public schools if the rules are made difficult) is incorrect. Our family’s decision to homeschool had nothing to do with the school district where we resided at that time. I suspect that, if compelled to stop homeschooling, more families will either leave the state or continue to homeschool as an act of civil disobedience. Public school can and should be a choice for families, but in no way should it be the only choice as the MEA seems to prefer.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Killing Homeschooling in Michigan – The Other Shoe to Drop in 2010? « Designated Conservative -- Topsy.com

  4. I’ve never really understood the arguement that private schooled and homeschool students are “costing” the school districts funding. Yes, the schools may have a lower average daily attendance. They also have fewer children in the classroom, fewer kids riding buses, fewer kids to get through the lunchroom, etc. And while some homeschooled kids are gifted and might pull up a schools scores, there are also plenty of homeschoolers who were pulled out of school because they had learning challenges that the schools were not adequately meeting. So putting them pack into school would potentially cost as much as would be gained.

    • The only way the MEA’s argument works is to look at students the way the MEA leadership does, as a commodity. Public education is a mass produced product, where students are the widgets: More widgets = more money for schools = more teachers hired = more union dues for the MEA. The sad thing is that the lock-step animosity exhibited by too many public school officials towards homeschooling has done nothing but prevent opportunities for the schools to benefit from some participation by homeschoolers. Wouldn’t it be great if the neighborhood school opened its doors to homeschoolers to come in and take certain classes, like foreign languages, perhaps for a reasonable fee? Unfortunately, the commoditization of education by the MEA and its supporters prevents such innovative ideas from ever getting traction.

  5. Pingback: » Detroit News Hearts Publik Edukashun, Smears Homeschoolers - Big Journalism

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  7. Pingback: Rev. Smith says Michigan Should Eliminate Homeschooling So Kids Will Vote Right | Designated Conservative

  8. Pingback: 2010 in review | Designated Conservative

  9. Pingback: Obama And Democrat Party Want To Bring Sweden’s War On Parents By Government Takeover On America « Start Thinking Right

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