Representatives Doug Brannon(R), Michael Anthony(D), Joseph Jefferson(D) and Jenny Horne(R) introduced a bill in the South Carolina House on February 5, 2013 that would seek to require standards for home schoolers in the state by making it mandatory that children educated at home must take and pay for annual testing.
H. 3478 would require all home schoolers to take state approved standardized tests, would require South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and all third option groups to report names, not numbers, to the Department of Education each year and would eliminate all third option groups effective July 1, 2014.
Most Christians that educate their children at home have always stood against the state in this manner and hold the following words of God as their mandate:
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. --Deut 6:6-9
We believe it is not only our right, but our duty before God to educate our children and that is not apart from him, which is what the state public education system is about. The question is one of what jurisdiction does the state have in the jurisdiction that is my home? They have none, unless there is a crime committed.
My children nor any parents' children are the property of the state, but rather are entrusted to our care for a limited time by God. Therefore, we are the responsible party to teach them and rear them.
Brannon is one that motioned to table the vote on school choice legislation in 2011 (H. 3407). While Brannon lamented the money coming into the general fund that would be lost, it was most telling that he is definitely a statist when it comes to education.
"One person’s choice should not come at the expense of others," he wrote. "Because this bill would have resulted in a significant reduction in general fund revenue, this so-called choice would have come at the expense of others in the form of less money for other services provided by the state of South Carolina."
Apparently the state's choice affects home schoolers and they don't have a problem doing that.
In addiion, one would have to ask then if the SC lottery is really helping education or is part of the general fund. One would have to ask why our property taxes specify a vast majority of property taxes, which are immoral at their core, go to education. Obviously the state has a problem restraining itself in its expenditures.
H. 3478 has backing by both Republicans and Democrats. Since its introduction on February 5, Mr. Jefferson has removed his name from the bill. Good for him. I'll also note he's a Democrat.
I spoke with Mr. Jefferson via telephone and he said after reviewing the bill he found it to be "not appropriate." He was also very kind and commended me as a home school father for our families efforts.
However, with bi-partisan support here, there is a danger that this will be pushed through and signed into law.
State Senator Larry Grooms (R-District 37) took issue with the legislation. He said that this new bill that has been introduced is designed "to take rights away from parents."
"We're not going to tolerate this,"Grooms said. "I'll do everything I can to kill this bill. It's offensive to home schoolers. It's offensive to parents who love their children. Children are best raised by parents, not government."
I believe the state will try and push this through and I believe it is because many home school parents want their children to be able to be on sports teams at the local public education facilities.
Don't get me wrong here. As home schoolers we not only supply tax money to educate everyone else's children in the public education welfare system, but then we go beyond that and purchase the curriculum and books to teach our own children. As those who pay in, I believe it is well within our rights to take advantage of that which we pay for. However, by doing so it is opening up a door to allow the state to mandate other things in the education of your child. I suggest we stop running after state funded anything where public education is concerned.
Perhaps these bureaucrats don't have enough to do or perhaps they think they have a responsibility to put their noses where they do not belong, but we must hold them in check.
The bill is currently in the House Committee on Education & Public Works.
Call and write to your representatives and let them know you are opposed to this gross abuse of power and overstepping of authority into the jurisdiction of your home.
Click the names below for the contact information of those who sponsored the bill.
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