This is a curious position given that Huckabee is on record in Arkansas as opposing school vouchers to private faith schools because of the control it gives the state.
"Governor Mike Huckabee, on a recent radio program in Arkansas, said he does not support the idea of a school voucher system that would allow parents to use state-funded vouchers to pay tuition at private, faith-based schools. "If the state were to give you a voucher, then in essence the state would be funding a faith school and would have some control over that faith school," the governor told a caller from Conway. "That's problematic for me as a person of faith."Huckabee clearly and rightly understands that with the money comes control that's why he opposed vouchers for private or faith schools. I have to wonder if Homeschool Legal Defense founder Michael Farris, was in the crowd and if he squirmed just a little when Huckabee talked about offering "tax-credits "and "assistance" to homeschoolers without qualifying it. Just what sort of "assistance does Huckabee want to provide? Huckabee doesn't say.
This is the sort of thing that HSLDA typically opposes unless it comes without increased regulation. Huckabee didn't offer any qualifiers that this would be without increased regulation. That's how "vertical" politics works, you take a little from the left and the right. Huckabee calls it "vertical, I call it compromise. And given Huckabee's Arkansas record which added regulation to homeschoolers, I doubt I he would stand up against the Democrats in Congress who would likely want to increase regulation in return for any tax credit or assistance. With this video I think we're watching the beginning of the federal intrustion into homeschooling if Huckabee gets elected. (Just giving a tax credit allows the IRS to define who is and is not a homeschooler and qualifies for the credit.)
Huckabee's promise of tax credits is also curious because when he's elected tax credits won't be necessary anyway because he's going to wave his magic wand and eliminate the IRS! Or maybe he knows that this won't actually happen and he's got a great campaign gimmick with no substance.
Update: In a related news item, OpinionJournal.com wonders if Huckabee is a new breed of Republican making the party more like Europe's Christian Democrats. Huckabee calls his philosophy vertical, they call him a Christian Democrat. Call it whatever you want just don't call it conservative! Just remember when you vote on "electability" you get what you vote for.
HT: No left Turns
My previous posts on Huckabee and homeschooling
Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenship
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.