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  • DUMB DECISION

    Filed at 7:40 am under by dcobranchi

    A Canadian educrat has ordered some (alleged) homeschooling families to stop using religious materials in their education programs, even though the parents pay for the materials themselves. Needless to say, the (alleged) home educators are less than pleased.

    Home-schooling parents are fuming after the B.C. Education Ministry ordered thousands of them to stop using faith-based materials — or any other “unofficial” resource — when teaching their children at home.

    Many parents, including some who aren’t religious, say they will cut their ties with the school system rather than obey the directive. “They can’t tell me what to do in my own home,” said Pamela Nagle, whose son is home-schooled but attends a Langley school one day a week.

    Although the educrat is over-reaching, the article is really a warning to homeschoolers not to take the king’s gold.

    Nagle is one of many home-schooling parents lured into the public school system in recent years through an electronic distance-education program. After starting as a pilot project with 2,200 kids, the program ballooned to 6,800.

    Although most home-schooling parents are fiercely independent, many enrolled their children in distance education after they were promised they would continue to be their children’s primary teacher, with the public school system playing a supporting role.

    The link to the school system gave them teacher expertise that they might not have otherwise, as well as money for resources.

    …The Education Ministry said the rules were clear in September 2002 when the cap on enrolment in distance education was lifted. But by January 2004, it realized several were being ignored.

    It sent out a “clarification” stating that distance-education programs had to follow the same rules as public schools and notified 10 districts that they would be audited this spring.

    “If a district receives full funding for a student, the student is not being home-schooled,” the ministry stated. With regard to faith-based resources, it stated: “Districts must ensure that students are not using religious materials or resources as part of the educational program and that parents are not being reimbursed for using religious materials or resources with students.”

    Homeschoolers get involved in these homeschool/g-school “partnerships” at their own peril. (Hat tip to Ben Cunningham)

    One Response to “DUMB DECISION”


    Comment by
    Davida
    April 24th, 2004
    at 11:52 am

    Some of the California charters promise things like this in the beginning-that they’ll ‘look over’ the parent using religious material and that teacher oversight will be minimal, etc. After a while, they start tightening the rules. The money and teacher support looks really good to those who want to homeschool but who don’t have a lot of money (there’s a lot of military and lower income here, at least where I live) or who feel unsure of their own abilities. An acquaintance of mine is like that-wants to homeschool but is really unsure of herself, even though she’s got a bachelor’s degree and is working on her master’s. I’ve met a lot of people who started out in charters, for those reasons and others, who felt the noose tighten, so to speak, so they decided to switch charters. Many did that several times before they finally decided to go independent. Not all-some want their kids home, away from the destructive influences of public schools, but feel they couldn’t afford it otherwise. I know it really stretches our budget, on gas alone. It takes a lot of gas (at $2.15 a gallon) to get anywhere interesting, even to the library. We live literally paycheck to paycheck, but we chose to go independent anyway because we wanted to have more freedom in our choices.