Friday, September 26, 2008

Act NOW to stop The "Education Begins At Home" Act

Now, doesn't THAT sound like something we can support! But don't be fooled by what sounds like a homeschool friendly title.

The bipartisan "Education Begins at Home Act" was introduced by Senators Bond (R-MO) and Clinton (D-NY) in the Senate (S. 667), and Representatives Davis (D-IL) and Platts (R-PA) in the House (H. R. 2343), and would provide grants to help establish or expand voluntary home visiting programs for families with young children. It has been kicking around in various forms for several years and been stuck in committees, but was recently revived and is back under consideration.

Unfortunately, you don't even have to look at the fine print to know that this is another shameless power grab designed to wrest away control from parents and give it to government hacks.

H. R. 2343 To expand quality programs of early childhood home visitation that increase school readiness, child abuse and neglect prevention, and early identification of developmental and health delays, including potential mental health concerns, and for other purposes.

How could anyone be against "child abuse and neglect prevention"? Or any of those other high sounding goals? But let's take a closer look at that last clause.

Potential mental health concerns? As decided by whom? In practice, this will mean government officials will "voluntarily" visit hospitals and homes to promote an agenda that may be diametrically opposed to that of the people they intend to "serve". The program stresses that the visits are "voluntary", at least initially.

Kind of like the "voluntary" Income Tax. What began as voluntary now uses the full force of the State to intimidate taxpayers into compliance.

So, if some bureaucrat determines that your child "needs" medication, or some kind of other "mental health" treatment, will you be allowed to object?

Then there are those "other purposes". What other purposes? That vagueness leaves a hole big enough to drive a truck through. There is no telling what that could mean in the future if the legislative climate changes towards parental rights. If institutionalized Pre-K is mandated in the future, every homeschool family would be subjected to the additional scrutiny currently reserved for those who pull an older child out of school in order to begin homeschooling.

HSLDA warns:

Early education constitutes yet another intrusion of big government, this time imposing itself directly into the home. Institutionalized, government-approved pre-K programs threaten parents’ right to direct the upbringing and education of their children by forcing subjective screenings and state-approved, politicized curriculum upon America’s impressionable youth. Some pre-K bills, including H.R. 2343, include provisions for socio-emotional/mental health screenings, which, unlike vision or hearing tests, are based on inherently subjective diagnostic criteria. After children are identified as needing mental health services or medication, it is not clear if their parents will have the ability to refuse such treatment. Similarly, once trusting parents enroll their children in institutionalized early education, there is no guarantee that they will have any warning or authority over what their child is exposed to in the classroom.

Remember Melissa Busekros, the German teenager who in 2006 was forcibly removed from her family by representatives of the Jugendamt and fifteen police officers and placed in a mental institution? When examined by a psychiatrist, she was found to be developmentally delayed by one year and suffering from - are you ready? - "school phobia". She was only homeschooled for a time so that she wouldn't have to repeat an entire grade, when she only had bad grades in two subjects. The rest of her siblings were in school, so obviously her family was not philosophically opposed to institutional schooling.

What in the world would a similar tribunal decide about American families for whom homeschooling is a lifestyle?

I know, I know. This isn't Germany. But tyranny usually starts with something that seems innocent, and while nobody is paying attention.

The "Education Begins At Home" Act is making a deal with Little Red Riding Hood to hold the door open so the Wolf can come in and eat Grandma, only later to discover that he intends to turn and eat her as well.

******URGENT UPDATE******

HSLDA has issued an ACTION ALERT requesting that you call your U.S. Representative today and urge him to oppose H. R. 2343, The Education Begins at Home Act.

It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler. You can say something as simple as the following:
“I am a constituent and I strongly oppose H.R. 2343. The government should not be involved in funding questionable early education programs, especially at a time of financial uncertainty when our hard-earned tax dollars could be better spent elsewhere.”

You can reach your U.S. representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, or by using our Legislative Toolbox.

This bill has been placed on the House calendar and could come up for a vote anytime this week, or even during the weekend as Congress rushes to finish legislative priorities before they adjourn.

I originally posted this important update at Moms In The Right and Blissfully Domestic on September 25, 2008.


  1. Having kids who are taught to love what America stands for and are adept at critical thinking skills... that sounds like a recipe for making little conservatives. The left finds that quite scary.

  2. I read this one today too!! Scary stuff. Great site :) Thanks for visiting mine too!

  3. Thank you for this. It doesn't surprise me to find Hillary "It Takes A Village, Backed By A SWAT Team" Clinton deeply involved in it. It must be defeated.

  4. Ha! Precisely. As I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog, adults who were homeschooled are voting in numbers that crush the percentages of the general population. In the 25-29 age group, a staggering 95% have voted versus 40% of the general population.

    There are many who homeschool these days who do not approach history (or anything else)from a conservative perspective. So it remains to be seen if those percentages continue as the "formerly homeschooled" population ages, and if the balance continues to be tipped in favor of conservatives.

    Appreciate your comments. You are always to the point. :)

  5. Francis, you made me laugh. Thanks for having the kahunas to say what I was going to say about Hillary, and didn't. But I was thinking it!