Homeschooled kids are well known for their academic excellence,so it was a surprise that Illinois State Senator Edward Maloney recently introduced a bill in the Legislature to compel parents of homeschooled children to register annually with the State Board of Education. We estimate there are about 60,000 homeschooled students in Illinois. Senator Maloney said his plan is to force "more accountability" for children not attending public schools. However, Chicago public schools are not generally known for their academic excellence, so why go after the homescoolers?
Senator Maloney told the press he doesn't understand why homeschoolers are so opposed to his bill. Homeschoolers immediately rolled into action to help him understand. They wrote and emailed him, telephoned him, and made appointments to meet with him. Conservative organizations in Illinois explained why homeschoolers are apprehensive about this proposed legislation. They believe it is a "slippery slope from registration to regulation." Based on experience in other states, it can be predicted that once registration has identified individual homeschoolers, the bureaucracy will expand is power to dictate curriculum, administer tests, evaluate student progress, require certification of teachers, and eventually make home visits, all under the slogan of protecting the children.
The Illinois legislature held a hearing on February 15th and 4,000 homeschooled kids and their parents came to the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield to demonstrate their opposition to Maloney's bill. The next day, Senator Maloney withdrew his bill. The homeschoolers had demonstrated their determination to maintain their rights.
Listen to the radio commentary here: