LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Proposed bill will do nothing to increase the quality of education for homeschoolers

The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.


Recently, there was a public hearing on HF 1269 that, along with several public school changes, also added additional requirements on homeschooling families to have their annual test results sent to the superintendent every year.

I have a few questions. How would the requirements be enforced? If the superintendent saw something he did not like in the results, what power would he have against parents? Could that be leveraged in a way that was unnecessarily detrimental to homeschooling families? How does this raise the quality of education for homeschoolers?

While perhaps the authors of this bill had good intentions by amending it to reflect a little more oversight, what insight do the authors actually have on homeschooling? Were they homeschoolers? Or are they allowing their prejudice and assumptions about homeschoolers to guide their recommendations?

If you do a Google search and actively look for cases where homeschooling families were abusing their right to teach their children, then yes, you will find something.

RELATED: Read more letters to the editor


But what you won’t see are any of the hundreds of thousands of active success stories of parents who are putting education for their children first and who are doing it right every day of the year, because nobody that homeschools does so for recognition. If all you are looking for are the homeschool horror stories, that is all you will see.

These new requirements do nothing to increase the quality of education for homeschoolers. So, what is the point? Except that it gives the school districts, and by default the state, a revolving door to access and control the way parents teach their children.

RELATED: Quick tips on Pioneer letter to the editor submissions

A test cannot accurately assess a child’s intellectual ability, nor does it effectively represent the way school was fashioned in the child’s home, which is as diverse as the population it seeks to put in an educational box. The results without any firsthand knowledge of the student will not make any sense.

This bill is a first step to reigning in parental rights of a population who actively use their freedom to guide their children and be a present part of their daily lives instead of sending them to somebody else that has no long-term stake in the future of those children.

If you want to ensure support for homeschooling families, adding unnecessary burdens will have adverse repercussions creating a state-sponsored hostility toward them where previously none had existed at that level.

What To Read Next
Get Local