March 15, 2022
“School Choice” means parental education choices that are paid for by the government, with either direct payments or education tax credits.
School Choice advocates often claim that homeschoolers will be protected from government restrictions under School Choice laws. A typical “protective” measure included in such laws is that funding recipients shall “not be required to alter [their] creed, practices, admissions policy, or curriculum….“
There are four specific regulation categories included in this prohibition. Do they protect homeschoolers from all regulations? The answer is, of course, No.
One example of a regulation which would bypass these four “protections” occurred in 1990. In response to a School Choice initiative petition which included government funding for homeschoolers, the Oregon Department of Education proposed a preemptive regulation that any homeschooled student whose test scores went down from the previous year — in any subject — would be barred from homeschooling. So a student whose math score dropped from the equivalent of an A to a B would be remanded to school.
The problem is not with these four particular prohibitions. One could just add a fifth category to cover the threat from 1990.
The problem is that no matter how many categories one might add, there would always be additional space allowing restrictive regulations to bypass those categories. It is not feasible to enumerate all possible variations.
Homeschooling’s critics have proven themselves to be creative in attacking homeschool freedoms. Because of the government funding issue, School Choice gives critics more motivation and opportunity to continue their endeavors against homeschooling families.