|Brave New Schools
By: Dorothy Karman
This important article shows the slippery slope homeschool families face when they start accepting government funds to homeschool.
According to the article: "Homeschooling parents [who are participating in a government funded distance learning program] in [British Columbia] have been ordered to stop using religious-based materials or other 'unofficial' resources when they teach their children at home."
"With regard to faith-based resources, [the ministry] stated: 'Districts must ensure that students are not using religious materials or resources as part of the educational program.'"
The Oregon Consititution contains clear statements banning the use of government funds for any kind of religious training. The pieces are in place in Oregon for what happened in British Columbia to happen here.
Thankfully, many of the British Columbia homeschool families recognize this intrusion into their family independence and are planning to disenroll in the program.
This experience highlights one of the threats these programs pose to individual families who enroll.
On a larger scale, government funded "homeschool" programs impact the freedoms of independent home educators, also.
Last legislative session, Cheryl Walker, a former legislator, presented a strong lobbying point against home education freedoms. "If they [home educators] have the benefits [of public school], why should they be exempt from accountability?" (See Public School "Homeschool" Programs.)
Not only do government funded programs threaten individual family autonomy, they threaten the independent homeschool family as well.
For additional information on the dangers of government funded "homeschool" programs, read the articles on our website.
Canada is only a few years further down the slippery slope than we are in the United States. We would do well to take the warning. Let us learn from our neighbors. Let's retain our independence as Oregon home educators and see these government funded homeschool programs for what they are -- attempts to get us back into the public school system.
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