Lawmaker Wants Tighter Regulations For Home Schooling

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) — Hundreds of home-school rights activists are expected to rally in Springfield Tuesday, against legislation that would require home-school children to register with the state.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports, Illinois State Sen. Edward Maloney (D-Chicago) believes the state’s oversight on home schooling is weak. He says the point of the legislation is to make sure the nearly 50,000 home-schooled kids in Illinois are, in fact, receiving an education.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

The legislation would tighten the registration requirement for those who are educated by parents or guardians.

Some parents are crying foul, as are some groups, including the Illinois Family Institute.

“What is the purpose of registering home-school students in the state of Illinois, if not to try to dictate or regulate their curriculum?” said executive director David Smith.

Smith said current ACT scores for home-schoolers show they are testing above average, although he concedes there are some exceptions.

The United Republican Fund has also come out against the bill. Executive director Dennis LaComb said in a news release that it “strips away parents’ rights to choose their children’s education. Any legislator that considers themselves proponents of limited government and individual rights cannot support this political overreach.”

Critics say similar legislation was introduced more than a decade ago, and it was immediately defeated.

A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Tuesday, and testimony is expected from both sides.

  • Bill T.

    What is the purpose of home schooling?Can a parent teach social skills that everyone else learns through interaction with peers.It seems to me that these kids may be deprived of the experience gained from going to school.

    • Casswen

      As a matter of fact, Mr. Bill T., we can. However, it is not as if our children do not have peer interaction. Do you honestly believe that social interaction takes place only in traditional schools? And to answer your question, the purpose of home schooling is just that – to educate our children in the home environment – for whatever reasons we choose, be the reasons religious, academic, health related or simple personal preference. The only experiences my son is “deprived” of are bullying, lockstep learning, poor nutrition choices and wasted time. I’m OK with those deprivations.

    • Lonnie

      Hi Bill,

      With all due respect, do you want your child socialized by 30 other 3rd graders? My children interact with people of all ages and of all backgrounds…the volunteer at the museum, the clerk at the store, the PhD at Argon’s open house, and yes, even with their friends. One does not need to be enrolled in a traditional school to find friends as park district activities, scouting groups, neighborhood sports, churches, summer camps, the YMCA and other homes in your neighborhood are each packed full of potential friends. You needn’t be assigned to the same classroom in order to make a connection. (It truly seems the kids locked inside the classroom suffer the disadvantage.)

  • Mr. Justice

    We never home schooled nor had the desire to do so either. BUT, after being around many many home schoolers, I must admit that acedemically they are just as bright if not brighter than those children in public schools. The only draw back I see is the socialism aspect. But that can be overcome. I don’t know who the dumb ass is that thinks they need regulations, but I would venture to say, pick out any home school child, as put them up against any CPD student, and the home school child would out shine them. This is America, so I believe it is the parents right to home school should they desire. The government needs to stay out!

  • Lynne L

    Anyone who has researched homeschooling, knows homeschoolers, or looks into home schooling statistics knows homeschooling outshines the public schools in every aspect. It is only those bent on control of the populace who try to convince the public otherwise. Illinois is presently a great state in which to homeschool, and our freedoms need to be preserved.

  • Tweets that mention Lawmaker Wants Tighter Regulations For Home Schooling « CBS Chicago --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Kerr, Tricia Marie. Tricia Marie said: Lawmaker Wants Tighter Regulations For Home Schooling « CBS Chicago […]

  • Julie

    The socialization argument cracks me up — the vast majority of homeschooled kids I know (I’m not a homeschooler myself) are articulate, have tons of friends and actually interact with others better than most traditionally schooled kids. Think about it — when in life are you going to be surrounded only by people your own age? Only when you’re in school. For the rest of your life, you’re surrounded by people of all ages and backgrounds. Homeschooled kids have a head start in relating to a wide variety of people.

    As far as homeschooled kids being “deprived of the experience gained from going to school,” I’d venture to say that traditionally schooled kids are deprived of the opportunity to travel, explore their passions more deeply, and learn at their own pace in a way that homeschooled kids are not. Again, I don’t homeschool, but have been tempted on more than one occasion, as I have a child who is several grade levels ahead of her peers in a few subjects, and has come home weeping more than once because she is so bored and doesn’t understand why she has to do work that she already mastered two years ago on her own. She loves school so much though, that she’s chosen to stay in.

    No method of education is perfect for every single child — that’s why we need to preserve the freedoms we enjoy here in Illinois to educate our children as we see fit.

    • Bill T.

      Thanks Julie.I knew nothing about home schooling,but you have given some perspective.

      • Julie

        You’re welcome :)

  • Homeschool Parent

    Um….Miss America anyone?? Yeah, she is so anti-social. C’mon people, get real or start telling the truth about why this state wants to regulate homeschooling.

  • Laura

    Homeschoolers are, on average, better prepared both academically and socially for the real world. My proof? I was homeschooled. My siblings were homeschooled. Most of my friends (but not all) growing up were homeschooled. When my non-homeschooled friends relate their high school stories to me, I thank God I was never sent there. I graduated from high school with a genuine love of learning, the understanding that I am a person of dignity who deserves respect, and the knowledge of how to behave in several kinds of social situations (formal, informal, among peers, among elders, among those younger). The longer I am out in the “real world”, the more I realize how rare those things are a
    among my “school-socialized” peers.

  • Tom Berry

    Instead of Senator Maloney trying to stick his statist nose into home schools, maybe he should do something constructive with the government schools. I`ll make a bet that Maloney is taking lots of campaign cash from the NEA and its state affilate. The NEA has always opposed home schooling and for that matter private schools

    • Jim

      It’s about time somebody tries to set regulations on home schooling. There are some very good home school programs out there, but the one I care most about is not one of them and nobody can do anything about it. My ex wife pulled my daughter out of school and says that she is going to home school her. She has no qualificatiions to teach her and there is nothing in the state of Illiinois that ensures my daughter is getting the proper education. It is as if she has dropped out of school

      • charliebrownphoto

        The fact is that overall homeschoolers are far outshining their peers. LEAVE ‘EM ALONE!

  • Joe Danger

    I was home schooled…prom was weird.

  • Brit S

    Before anything else, I would like to say that I do not have anything against home-schooling. It has been proven that the majority of home-schooled children score higher on standardized testing than children who went to public school. The parents of these kids are doing a great job teaching them in their own way.
    What nobody here is addressing is the fact that, currently, anyone can pull their child out of public school for any reason. This wouldn’t be a problem if not for the parents who take advantage of this for reasons other than a desire to make sure their child gets the best education possible. There are abusive parents who are pulling their children out of school just because they can. The public school system, despite its obvious flaws, does provide many resources to children at an age when they would otherwise be unable to reach out for help. I am not saying that children who go to public school aren’t abused, but having to send your child to school in the morning is a significant deterrent for abusive behavior.
    The idea that these parents can just pull their kids out of school and cut them off from the rest of the world is terrifying. There are children who are being abused without anyone knowing. Adding insult to injury is the fact that when they finally get themselves out of their abusive childhood homes, they are completely unprepared to make it on their own. In addition to dealing with the emotional issues bred from abuse, they have not developed the skills necessary to get a job and are unable to provide for themselves. Nobody is looking out for these children. Currently there is no way to monitor if these parents are actually home-schooling their children or if they are just keeping them at home and not providing any education. This situation is unacceptable even if it is only happening to 1 in 1000 school-aged children.
    I am aware that this bill could be inconvenient for the majority of people who home-school their children better than they would ever be taught in a public school. However, I believe avoiding an inconvenience is an incredibly selfish reason to deny protection to the children who aren’t so lucky as to have parents who are fully invested in providing them with an excellent education.

    • JG

      While I understand that many people may be concerned at the “lack of accountability” for homeschoolers, such arguments are baseless and” quite simply, fear mongering. The state already has the authority to investigate instances where they believe that a proper education is not being delivered, and the power to do something about it. See, Requiring homeschoolers to register does absolutely nothing to advance that, other than to make a target of people without any evidence that there is anything going on. Interestingly, if you take the word homeschooler out and substitute “Catholic schooler” or “Lutheran schooler” or any other form of private schooler into the argument, the arguments stand the same. There is no requirement that private schoolers register, no requirements for standardized testing, no “checking up” on a child that attends a private school. However, I dare say that any attempt to initiate legislation to “check-up” on a child attending a private school would be met with horror and derision. In fact, Sen. Maloney has withdrawn the bill in order to amend it and take out the requirement that private school students register, focusing only on home school students. If this is such an important issue to the state, why ignore the thousands of students attending private schools, and focus solely on homeschoolers? So far, anyone in favor of this bill has never been able to honestly answer this question. As has been said in other forums, seems like a solution in search of a problem.

    • charliebrownphoto

      If you can demonstrate that this is a problem, then fine. There are thousands of pages of legislation that protect children from abuse. This legislation is about the worst “genre” of education,(Government) interfering with the most successful “genre” of education.

  • PJG

    I applaud Sen Maloney’s current homeschooling legislation effort. It is about time that there is some sort of system in place to make sure that these homeschooled children are indeed being educated. Yes, many homeschoolers fare very well; however, we usually only hear about the success stories. How do we know what happens when the parents are unqualified to teach these kids, especially at the upper grade levels. I am speaking from a perspective of seeing a family member whose wife is currently homeschooling all 7 of her children (baby #8 on the way). They range in age from 2 to 15 (yes, she’s also homeschooling the high schooler). Their “teacher” barely graduated from high school, so I’m not confident in her qualifications to teach them well (especially considering the wide age range). Also, I was the oldest of 7 children, & I know my mother barely had time to shower & eat when I was growing up. Again, how does one manage to effectively teach in this environment? There is also no standardizations about what books are used to teach from (the woman I’m speaking of picks hers up at garage sales, home school associations, friends; many are very outdated), no vaccination regulations (don’t even get me started on this one!), to name a few. Yes, home school can be done very well & having kids that score above average on standardized tests, etc. But what about the ones that are receiving sub-par (or very little, based on the discretion–or “rights”– of the parent) education? Seems to me that without better regulation, which many other states have, there is too much of a chance of these children falling through the cracks!

  • Fred

    Senator Maloney might think he is electorally safe, but a number of his fellow senators in suburban Cook and beyond are not. Why pick a fight you don’t need?

  • Oh please

    Give me some examples in other states ,that have required registration ,that have led to all the horrible invasion things people are saying. Im tired of hearing how awful public schools are compared to homeschooling. Your demographics for comparisons sake should be limited to a family earning $60K plus with both parents involved. Please stop using isolated Public schools cases to support your argument. Its a straw man. Sure the government should stay out of your business and if you want to teach your kids at home thats just fine but please lets not use the worst cases to support your choice.

  • janet jackson

    I am a parent of a homeschooled student. I feel ,that lawmakers should regulate the public school system better,instead of what a parent is teaching their daughter was a victim of bullying by teachers,as well as students,at her previous school.a school that is ,for example,using the same spelling book,i used in the third grade! to try to regulate a homeschooled student,is insane!and it is an invasion of privacy.alot of schools are losing money when a student is pulled from the daughter doesnt need regulation.i taught her to write her name,before she started school at age 3. she knew alot,before she started wasnt because of the teachers,that she was on the honor roll from kindergarten ,till she left the was because of me ,sitting down and teaching her,and it was because of her. her previous pricipal said he would have home schooled his own daughters if,he could. to try to dictate ,what one parent ,is teaching,their kids,is ridicolous!i hope it dont pass one reason , I pulled her out of the school is because lack of privacy,rules.rules like you cant weat a sweater in class,even if the class is as cold as it is outside.the teacher she had last year,announced to the class oneday last year,how many days she was absent.alot of teachers at that school are very discouraging,too.saying they dont care if the students learn or not,they still get a paycheck. alot of other things were teacher,who is friends with a lady,i feel out with personally,started picking on my daughter,when she found out.other girls ould carry their purse,but when my child carried hers the teacher said,she is too young for a purse.the girls that were in the same class ,arrying their purse are the same age as my daughter. i grew sick and tired ,of the teachers ,not doing their job ,but instead focused on what my daughter did ,said ,etc. i noticed this.i considered it nitpicking. so ,my daughter asked me to homeschool her,and i do.we have been so happy,finally,not having to hear what anybody has to say about her.she has told them it wasnt none of their business why she was absent ,etc. I as well as other parents feel like why regulate? I also forgot to mention not having to worry about my daughters safety.a student was raped in 2008, in a bathroom,that is on the same floor,as the main office,across from the assitant principals office, and a teachers room! i feel it is not up to lawmakers to regulate what kind of education ,a parent is providing in their home.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live