IL SB 136: Pointless Regulation of Homeschoolers (UPDATED)

Here in Illinois, we’re currently involved in a battle to retain our rights to homeschool our children without interference from the state.  True to form, an Illinois politician is proposing a law to solve a problem that may not even be a problem to begin with.  If passed, this law would require all homeschoolers to register with local authorities and/or the state board of education.  The original proposal was withdrawn because it also included language which required all non-public students to be registered.  According to Illinois Review, Illinois Senator Ed Maloney (sponsor of SB 136) stated last week that “…we’re not going for the private school students, we’re going to change that [in the proposal].  What we want to know is where the homeschoolers are.  It’s as simple as that.
Evidently, Mr. Maloney, which ironically rhymes with bologne, is concerned with the lack of regulation of homeschoolers in Illinois.  Though he doesn’t seem to have much evidence that a  widespread problem exists, he  still believes his proposed law holds the key to ensuring that Illinois’ homeschooled children receive a quality education.  In an outstanding editorial, “Homeschoolers Not the Problem,” the SouthTown Star, quotes Mr. Maloney,

There are virtually no regulations on homeschools. No curriculum, no periodic checks on their progress.  We want more accountability.”  (emphasis mine)

As the SouthTown Star article effectively points out, Mr. Maloney seems to forget that large numbers of students currently receiving a regulated, state-administered education are not doing all that well.
In an interview this morning with Cisco Cotto on a popular Chicago radio station (transcript available here,) Senator Maloney displayed both his ignorance and his bias. When questioned about his financial ties to the Unions, he also displayed a propensity toward bending the truth as this record clearly indicates.  But what else would you expect from a liberal, big-government politician from Chicago?
Illinois has been a holdout in terms of homeschool regulation.  Laws currently on the books here in Illinois place standards and requirements on homeschoolers, with the burden of proof being placed on the homeschooler to prove his compliance if challenged.  This law would be a huge, and ominous change for homeschoolers in Illinois.  Give the government an inch and they’ll end up taking a mile.

:  From ICHE:

“The hearing is over and Senator Maloney is not planning to withdraw SB 136. Looks like it may be a long battle. Even though the Education Committee chairman kept referring back to registration, things like testing and curriculum approval and, and, and, . . kept coming up. One truant officer said that if they knew where we all were they could check on us and “help” us. Hmmm. . . .”


We will continue to fight.

6 responses

  1. Pingback: Illinois homeschoolers descend on Springfield after regulation attempt | Home Schooling

  2. I guess I am just curious as to why you are so threatened by this? The teacher’s union, I am sure, certainly does not mind that your tax dollars still pay into school districts but they don’t have to fill another seat in the classroom. If I were to homeschool my children, I would welcome the opportunity to let everyone know this and to have my children tested to prove I was doing my job.

    • Hi Anonymous (feel free to leave a name in the future…questions and disagreement are welcomed here!!),

      It’s not necessarily that I feel threatened, it’s that I do not agree with the premise that parents are accountable to the state (government) for their children’s education. I believe that the opposite is true…the state should be accountable to parents.

      I read an excellent explanation of this by Harvey Bluedorn (a long time homeschooler himself) on Facebook just a little bit ago…

      “…Education is the jurisdiction of parents. Government has invaded and largely taken over that jurisdiction. In Illinois, we have been able to maintain a separate independent education of children under the jurisdiction of parents. Registration would forever end that. Registration may promise many things, but it guarantees only one thing — control. Registration is fundamentally a surrender of jurisdiction.

      For a number of years I did test my children and that testing proved that they were indeed well above the national average in all testing areas. However, that testing was done by MY choice. It was not dictated by the state for the purpose of deciding whether or not I was doing a good enough job to continue homeschooling.

      School districts are doing a poor job of ensuring that all the students within their own system succeed. Why should we trust them to make wise choices concerning ours?

      I hope that explains my reasons for being concerned about this proposed bill.

      Again, thanks so much for stopping by and asking! Please stop by again!


  3. Grrr! It seems to me that Illinois whould be worrying about the students that they have been following who aren’t doing well (those already in public school). That should keep them busy enough…

    My kids do not belong to the government. And I don’t need the fashion police to keep a check on wardrobes. Or the nutrition police to check my cupboards.

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