HUGE: California Homeschoolers Smack Down Crushing, Intrusive Bill

P. Gardner Goldsmith | May 3, 2018
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Those evil homeschoolers have won again.

As Michael Tennant writes for The New American, on April 25 the California Assembly was overwhelmed by homeschooling parents, students, and concerned citizens who vehemently opposed a bill proposed by Assemblyman Jose Medina called Assembly Bill 2756.The public appearance was so sweeping and so intense, the Education Committee room could not contain all the opponents, and, after an attempt to amend the bill and keep it alive, Medina was forced to withdraw his rights-attacking proposal.

But despite the measure's defeat, it is well worth looking at the bill to see just how far some politicians will go to control other people's lives, and how little they care for “constitutionally protected” rights.

As The Desert Review explains:

AB 2756 originally sought to require fire inspections of all homeschooling families. Not surprisingly, firefighters objected to this sweeping new job requirement, and the bill was amended. It then sought to mandate state disclosure of the names and addresses of homeschool families. Currently, this requirement only applies to private schools with six or more students.

Ahh, the sweet, sweet taste of government breaching the Fourth Amendment and claiming the power to invade a home without a warrant issued by a judge. It's so sweet it makes one gag. And then, of course, there’s the wonderful idea that parents who homeschool should be disclosed on a public registry. Privacy be damned. We need to make people targets by publically releasing their information.

Weren’t leftists big advocates for “privacy”, back in the Paleolithic?

The sponsor, Assemblyman Medina, squirmed to save his bill by amending it:

Just prior to yesterday’s hearing, the author of the bill, Asm. Jose Medina, announced he was dropping the public disclosure requirements, but still insisted that the State needed to gather more data on homeschoolers.

At what point do the demands of politicians on families end? Will they monitor the television viewing of all children? Send state-sanctioned observers to see what books folks read to their kids at bedtime? Will they be checking the sugar content of breakfast and control lunch the way Michelle Obama did in public schools?

All to mess with a growing homeschool system that is very successful and is embarrassing the tax-funded public system by educating kids better for far less money.

As I have mentioned at MRCTV, homeschool students outperform 80 percent of their public school peers. Homeschool students also perform better on average when taking the SAT and ACT exams. And, despite the fact that fewer than four percent of American kids are homeschooled, they represent nearly 10 percent of the contestants in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and win far beyond their numerical populations might predict.

Those drawing salaries from the union-and-politician-dominated schools simply cannot compete, and so they work to block the competition, or hamper it by instituting all kinds of crippling and invasive mandates.

What ever happened to “caring for children”?

Public school is not about caring for children. It is about caring for the perpetuation of state control – over kids’ minds, over parental choice, and over money, money, money.

As Desert Review noted, Assemblyman Medina desperately tried to salvage his proposal, and he…

…made a last-ditch plea for the bill by invoking James Madison. The irony was not lost on listeners aware of the fact that homeschooling was the norm during the founding era.

Incredible. As I’ve noted previously for MRCTV, the history of American education was not one of taxpayer funding until after the Civil War. As Samuel Blumenfeld has noted in his exceptional books about the history of how government insinuated itself into education, Americans in the 17th Century, 18th Century and most of the 19th were educated privately, and the literacy level was extremely high.

The efforts to constrain a growing homeschool movement have been quashed by parents who can see those same results today, just like they saw the results in early American history.

But we can be sure the politicians will be back. They cannot allow individual choice and competition. They need control, and they distrust parents to care for their own kids.

If people aren’t capable of caring enough to educate their kids by whatever private arrangement they see fit, how is it possible that the state – which supposedly “represents” the people – will not be susceptible to the same problem? This is the state, which did not give birth to the kids, and could not possibly love them as parents do.

If we can’t trust people with their own kids, how can we trust “people” in government, who have perverse incentives to favor unions and government employees, to do better?

That’s a question the backers of this proposal seem unable to answer.