Thursday, June 23, 2005

Membership in HSLDA

The comments on HSLDA are as varied as the eclectic group of homeschoolers that we are. As for our household, we are not members and do not plan on becoming members. The Deputy Headmistress of The Common Room, summarized my feelings about HSLDA quite well. She said in her comments,

As a believer in freedom of association, I am not going to complain about a voluntary organization that has membership guidelines that exclude me. I can't be a member of a lot of organizations because their guidelines and my life don't make a good fit. Not a problem. (snip)

I won't be a member again because I'm not happy with the use of their dues to support Patrick Henry College. I'm not mad at them- it's their right. But it's also my right to spend my money in places I think it does more good. No matter how good Patrick Henry is, grads from there are going to have to overcome teh reputation of their college to work outside the conservative Christian sphere, and I'd rather HSLDA used money I give them for homeschooling insurance to defend other homeschoolers. Exclusively.

For me, it's not just that the money goes to Patrick Henry College it's that the money would go anywhere but to defend other homeschoolers. If they want to lobby states for different laws then maybe a separate organization should be set up. There are strong differences of opinion among homeschoolers as to what a "good" homeschool law is. (Section ML 380.1561 is still a sore spot with many in MI.) Many homeschoolers in MI found themselves at odds with the organization they thought would defend them. From their website about who they are,
HSLDA works to defeat or amend harmful bills, but also works proactively, introducing legislation to protect and preserve family freedoms.
It is the blending of defense with proactive efforts that is a problem for us. I t don't to want to possibly fight the organization I paid to join. I am not saying this cricially, they are free to decide the purpose of their organization and we are free not to join.

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