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STRANGE PRIORITIES

Filed at 8:04 pm under by dcobranchi

I don’t get it. Why would PA home education advocates, saddled with the worst laws in the country, spend their energy on “equal access” to g-school sports? MaryAlice on one of the list-servs.

PA Senate passed Equal Access bill (SB361) 34-16 this morning. It goes to the House but is not expected to have problems there. Our Governor is a different story and might veto it.

Well, at least the home educrat won’t oppose this one.

UPDATE: And here’s the NYT version of the whole “movement.” MA has a brief quote.

4 Responses to “STRANGE PRIORITIES”


Comment by
maryalice
June 22nd, 2005
at 8:33 pm

“Why would PA home education advocates, saddled with the worst laws in the country, spend their energy on “equal access” to g-school sports?” My sentiments exactly!! The homeschoolers have not done A THING for this bill. No lobbying, nothing, CHAP (Christian Homeschool Assoc of PA) even come out against it. I told Jim Dao that EA was the least important issue for hsers in PA. You know, they quote what they want to make the article. So why did we get it? Well, it’s politics at its best.


Comment by
Jill
June 23rd, 2005
at 7:54 pm

Someone over at the Christian Homeschoolers of PA site is trying to get a discussion started on what PA homeschoolers would like to see changed about the law. forums...F;f=11

Not from PA, but considering a move there, so will watch this with interest!


Comment by
maryalice
June 23rd, 2005
at 11:19 pm

Gee, déjà vu 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. It was posted by Bruce Eagleson of CHAP in Jan. 2005 with no response. It was right after a meeting with a Representative on what we wanted changed. It didn’t matter what was brought to the table. He only wanted to do one thing – ergo PA’s HB505 – which only eliminates the superintendent evaluation. The law would essentially be the same hoops except the homeschooler would need only turn in the evaluator’s letter, instead of the eval, portfolio, log and test results. CHAP boards are not where to find what is happening in PA.


Comment by
Roland Nachtigall
June 25th, 2005
at 9:37 pm

Currently,1/2 to 2/3 of PA’s 501 school districts have equal access.

Equal Access has been lobbied strongly for the past five years. If you read the newspapers, hear some of the tv and radio, there is a homeschool dad named Peter B. Hrycenko (610-437-5223) who rallied the homeschoolers and other interested parties in seeing that those homeschoolers who seek equal access are not rubbed out by school boards across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

A bill passed in the House of Representatives on June 25, 2003, 200-0, but died quietly in the Senate Education Committee.

Now Senate Bill 361 of Senator Bob Regola has passed from Committee, and out of Senate on June 22, 2005, and will be in the House.

I have heard from different legislators when I was lobbying for the past couple years that hundreds of homeschoolers had been calling in waves to support the equal access legislation whenever some new move was afoot in the Legislature.

The legislators aren’t doing the movement of equal access legislation for the sheer exercise in heavy lifting, they are doing it because there is a sense of right and wrong, a sense of urgency, and it would be an awful sin to not have equal access for all homeschoolers who seek it in Pennsylvania.

Yeah, some homeschoolers don’t want equal access for themselves, but that is no reason to not support it for other homeschoolers who may use it.

Many homeschool children grow up alongside public school friends and team mates and equal access only better rounds the complete homeschool child.

Homeschoolers are not cultists,nor are they pasty faced couch potatoes, aren’t locked down on a plantation, and for Christians, it is a great opportunity to witness, as well as prepare for stronger communities.

The James Dao NYT article was superbly styled, on second glance, with a Russian style sob story about an ex-homeschool family who laments losing their children to the public school castle and wishes they can have their children back… why even pull them out if equal access were available in their school district. (Hear the hooves, a stampede of a dozen homeschoolers rushing home in fiefdoms across the state to simple hearths and waiting arms.) The NYT piece is a shill for attempting to twist money out of the commonwealth, for the public schools, typical NEA ploy, by leading one to believe that equal access costs schools money, pose liabilities, can’t be academically trusted, and other canards that have long been worked out in equal access friendly districts. Equal Access costs virtually nothing. No equal access schools in PA complain about being shortchanged, and that has been born out in committee meetings in the House and Senate since 2001.

Either the NYT article was outright dishonest or there was a major oversight. Also the writer might well have talked to the fighting homeschool equal access activists who have been slugging it out with vicious school board types here and there, haven’t surrendered and sent their kids to public school just to get the extracurriculars, for a truer picture of equal access in PA.

Over 14 states have equal access. Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Florida have the best open doors. Pennsylvania will be next, for a better future.