I have a bit of personal history on this subject. I heard a similar case in 1994 when I was a member of the Texas Supreme Court. In that case, bureaucrats interpreted the state’s compulsory attendance law to exclude home school instruction as an acceptable substitute for public school attendance. Based on the state agency’s policy statements, school districts and their attendance officers actually began prosecuting parents for the “crime” of teaching their children at home!
The Home School Legal Defense Association was one of the plaintiffs in that case. And I was pleased that we issued a unanimous ruling affirming the rights of parents to teach their children at home, something that parents have done since the beginning of time.
Whether for religious reasons, or just a preference for the parents to be directly in charge of their child's education, the choice to home school must be respected in America as a basic freedom of the family.
While our government should of course endeavor to ensure every child has access to education, we must be careful not to carry that obligation so far as to begin prescribing exactly what that education must be. Independence and flexibility have always been essential aspects of American education, and we must protect parents’ right to decide what type of education is best for their own children.
Above all, we must remember that it is at home, not in the classroom, where education begins. Students whose parents are actively involved in their education have a leg up on others, whether their learning takes place at a school, or in their living room.
- Senator John Cornyn, R TX
Viva la Homeschooling!
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