ACTION PLAN TO DEFEAT FEDERAL LEGISLATION
1. Become very informed about the issues. Read all available literature from its primary source (i.e. the statute itself, available in law libraries, such as those in your local courthouse, or online at your state legislature's website) in its entirety so that you are sure of the details and have formulated your opinion based on accurate information before contacting others.
2. To oppose
federal legislation, write to all of your state’s Congressmen and Senators
asking them to defeat any proposed federal legislation that would affect
homeschoolers, even if the legislation appears to be beneficial on its face. It
is very important to contact the members of the committees which the legislation
is before (ex: Education and the Workforce Committee; the Ways and Means
Committee; and the Committee on Finance, in the Senate) to express your views on
any proposed bill, either by phone, writing, or both. It is important to contact
the Congressmen and Senators from your home state, even if they do not sit on
the committees that the legislation is before, so that they may influence other
legislators on your behalf. Ask your representatives to leave home education
legislation of any kind up to the states. Be as specific as you can as to why
you believe the legislation should be defeated.
3. Follow up your correspondence with telephone calls to staff in the offices of the Congressmen and Senators. Ask if the Congressman or Senator has seen your correspondence and if he or she is willing to oppose the legislation.
4. Watch the newspapers because they will report when your Congressmen and Senators will be back in their home states making personal appearances in the district. Attend these functions and try to approach the Congressman or Senator to briefly ask him or her to oppose the federal legislation proposed that would affect homeschooling.
5. Write to
your State Representative or State Senator informing them that federal
legislation is being proposed that would affect homeschooling, and ask them to
contact our Congressmen and Senators on your behalf to seek defeat of any such
federal legislation. Your State Representatives and State Senators may also be
very supportive in the state legislature in defeating proposals to regulate
homeschooling. Ask them to communicate how well your system works in the state
without the need for federal legislation. It’s a good idea to get to know your
state legislators, anyway so that they become familiar with homeschooling in
general and why legislation (both federal and state) regarding homeschooling is
6. If you wish to assist further in the effort to defeat federal legislation, please write to Congressmen and Senators who represent other states and ask them to defeat any federal legislation affecting homeschoolers. Follow up with a telephone call to their staff to ask if they have seen your correspondence and if they oppose federal legislation.
Please write, email,
or telephone Attorney Deborah Stevenson or Judy Aron to let us know what
responses you have received after contacting your state or federal legislators
so that we may focus our future efforts on those who are still supportive of
The following is a brief summary of arguments in opposition to proposed legislation that readers may want to incorporate in any letters to U.S. Congressmen or Senators. However, it is very important that the legislators hear your personal reasons for opposing federal legislation. Each letter or phone call does count.
1. The bill
inserts a potential definition of homeschooling into several federal laws where
there was no definition previously. It is possible that such a federal
definition could be interpreted to override the definition of homeschooling that
exists independently in each state under state law.
2. Problems encountered by homeschoolers in accessing any of the “benefits” listed in this bill can and should more easily be resolved through education of the uninformed and negotiation rather than through implementation of federal legislation.
3. Certain states, such as Connecticut, they have little or no state government regulation of homeschooling. This bill will impose regulation over homeschoolers where there was no regulation before.
4. Implementation of this legislation may have unintended detrimental consequences for homeschoolers.
5. Implementation of any federal law inevitably leads to enforcement of that federal law. Enforcement of that federal law may lead to judicial interpretation of that law. Judicial interpretation of any law may change the rights of those affected by the law.
6. Acceptance of federal funding by public and private schools provides the primary basis in law in which the federal government is able to regulate the activities within public and private schools. Homeschoolers who do not accept federal funding are not subject to federal regulation. However, this bill now empowers the federal government to implement regulation of homeschoolers even though they do not receive federal funding, by defining homeschoolers and the criteria under which they may receive perceived federal “benefits”. Homeschoolers who do accept federal funding by means of any federal “benefit” arguably could become even more easily regulated by the federal government.
7. Implementation of federal regulation over homeschoolers usurps the authority of states to either regulate or remain free from regulation if the states and the people so desire.
8. Any empowerment of the federal government to regulate homeschooling, even if such regulation seeks to assist homeschoolers, is improper and impermissible under the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution, under the tenth amendment, clearly states that any powers not specifically delegated to the federal government within the Constitution are reserved to the States and to the people. The Constitution does not specifically delegate the power to regulate education in any aspect to the federal government. Any power to regulate education is reserved to the States and to the people.