We ‘Want to Be Left Alone by Federal Government’

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Homeschool advocates say they informed U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that homeschooling should not be included in any school voucher programs since government regulation could be tied to acceptance of taxpayer funds.

DeVos met with leaders from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Monday, who conveyed to the secretary their concerns about regulation of homeschooling tied to school vouchers and discrimination against homeschoolers by higher education programs that refuse to accept homeschool diplomas.

HSLDA president Mike Smith, vice presidents Jim Mason and Chuck Hurst, and director of federal relations William Estrada met with DeVos, along with Tricia Powell, a homeschooling parent.

Estrada posted on Facebook Tuesday about the meeting:

We discussed the successes of homeschooling, the work that HSLDA is doing to support homeschoolers and state and local homeschool support groups, and how homeschoolers just want to be left alone by the federal government (homeschoolers don’t want to be included in any federal k-12 voucher programs due to the threat of government regulations down the road.)

We discussed how homeschool graduates still face discrimination, usually in the form of federally funded higher education programs that refuse to accept their homeschool high school diploma.

Estrada noted the homeschooling leaders also “discussed how the Common Core and other federal overreach in public education has driven more families to choose homeschooling.”

“Secretary DeVos strongly agreed with us that the federal government does not have the authority to dictate curriculum decisions to states and local schools,” he said.

Estrada observed, nevertheless, the seeming paradox between his praise of DeVos as a “true friend and ally” to homeschoolers and his own view that there is no place for the federal government in education issues.

He wrote:

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