Friday, December 10, 2010

Tea Party -vs- Obama on Education

Will homeschooling tax-credits, parental rights, and the abolition of the Dept. of Ed. be the showdown issue between the Tea Party and Obama in 2011? Dana Goldstein of the Daily Beast thinks so.

As Obama seeks to tighten federal control over local schools and boost accountability, he faces a tough battle with incoming GOP lawmakers, who advocate "parental rights" and tax credits for homeschooling.

...

From influential freshmen Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul to new House members Rick Berg and Kristie Noem, a number of incoming freshmen ran as advocates of the homeschool and parental-rights movement, and oppose almost every federal effort to regulate or improve schools. They favor closing the Department of Education and have no problem thumbing their noses at the Republican Party’s recent history of support for expensive, top-down school reform efforts such as No Child Left Behind.

According to the article, "Rubio and Paul ran for Senate supporting tax credits for homeschoolers." I sure hope they reconsider their support for this idea. You can't have it both ways, wanting the federal government to stay out of education and at the same time supporting a policy that invites more federal involvement.

I am not thrilled with the idea of the federal government meddling with any of this while Obama is in office unless it is to abolish the Department of Education. But that's not going to happen. I don't trust the President or most Republicans on this issue and swapping the reauthorization of NCLB or some other proposal with homeschool tax credits is NOT a win for homeschooling. Once we allow the federal government to "help ease our financial burden" they will begin to use it define and regulate us. No thanks. I hope I never see the words homeschooling, home educator, or any other such term on any federal document. It just doesn't belong there.

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