National Threats to Home Ed Freedom

I recently participated in a webinar on Emerging National Threats to Homeschool Freedom hosted by Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

They talked about legislative efforts in West Virginia and Michigan to regulate home education. They are also seeing more sophisticated and coordinated attacks in the media, and referred to the Scientific American article as an example.

The horrific death of a teen in West Virginia is prompting their Governor and legislature to call for “eyes on homeschoolers.” This is a “deep red” state and historically, homeschoolers have minimal regulation or potential threats there. However, homeschoolers cannot depend on that to defend them.

Earlier this year in Michigan, state home ed advocates and HSLDA combined forces to fight off mandatory registration of all homeschoolers.

Not mentioned in the webinar, NH fought off three hostile regulation bills in recent years – background checks for parents in 2022 and 2023, and participation in state testing in 2024.

HSLDA attorneys recommend that state-level advocates be prepared to see more regulation efforts and be proactive. Specifically, they suggested:

  • Veteran homeschoolers need to share stories about how they defended home ed freedom to the newer generation of families. GSHE has a page about it here, as a reference.
  • Get to know your legislators, help them be familiar with homeschoolers so when there are hostile bills, they know the community.
  • Be engaged and watchful of what happens in the legislature.
  • Write Letters to the Editor and Opinion Editorials to counter the bad press and opposition’s messaging.

GSHE has tools to help home ed supporters be engaged and prepared. We also have a Facebook group, GSHE Action, specifically for this purpose, and yes, we’ll have a specific forum on our new website, too.

As part of these efforts, we welcome veteran homeschoolers to share stories about their experiences and what it was like when NH had more regulation. We also encourage people to share stories about why they homeschool and how it benefits their families. We can accept written or video content, whichever you prefer. We will publish these on our website and share across our social media. Contact us at info@GraniteStateHomeEducators.org to discuss it further.

If you value the autonomy and flexibility we currently have to educate our children with minimal requirements and government interference, GSHE encourages you to be vigilant and involved.

New Hampshire homeschoolers should anticipate more hostile regulation efforts in the near future, regardless of how the upcoming election turns out. We need to be our own heroes and cannot rely on someone else to do the hard work of defending our freedom.

 

By Michelle Levell