Every year when public school starts up again, there seems to be an opening bell of sorts letting people know it is open season on home educators once again.
This year we had two opening salvos-one from Kentucky and one from MSNBC. Kentucky is up first.
They are concerned about their absenteeism rate and have come up with a “No Excuses-Go to School” campaign which may sound good until you read what their concerns are:
That’s next year, so they have set a pretty aggressive goal for themselves. The article again repeats that homeschooling is a major concern:
“One major concern of those involved with the district’s attendance plan is the recent rise of home schooling in the area.
“Parents that do home schooling need to keep attendance records,” Compton said. “There’s criteria they have to follow, and many of them are not aware of that.”
No, Ms. Compton is the one unaware of the criteria homeschools need to follow. According to Statute 159.030(1)(b):
“Homeschoolers need only send in a letter with this information (students in attendance at the school) during the first two weeks of school.” This has been the law since 1985.
This next part is important to note as well:
“All private and parochial schools …shall at all times be open to inspection by directors of pupil personnel and officials of the Department of Education. Section 159.040 School officials, however, have no authority to enter home schools, since they are protected by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
Part of Kentucky’s plan is to have people report to the schools when they see school age children out in public and not in school. For students that frequently miss school, parents “should expect a visit at their homes.”
Notice that they do not define how many absences define “frequently”. And the article also puts forth the lie that this “intensive focus on attendance is not motivated by the loss of funds due to absenteeism, according to Compton.”
This statement is at odds with the school board minutes on this issue which clearly state on page 2 that “the End of Year (EOY) average daily attendance (ADA) will determine the district budget for 2008-2009.”
The rest of the paper goes on to state the incentives for students that have perfect attendance. Funnily enough there is no mention of any extra educational advantages in this “No Excuses” program. Looking at the minutes, it is all about the money.
The second article of concern is about vaccinations. The headline reads “Vaccine refusals fuel jump in measles outbreaks” The next line reads “Cases at highest levels in a decade;many sparked by home-schooled kids”.
This article too has some informational gaps such as the fact that the article lumps the unvaccinated with those whose vaccination status is not known. So of that number mentioned, some of those folks were indeed vaccinated but are being counted as unvaccinated. They also included babies under one year of age -too young to get the shot-in this group. In other words they really have no idea how many people had some vaccination for the measles.
I also fail to understand why the focus is always on the people who were not vaccinated. Why don’t they have the same concern for the vaccinated people that still got the disease? After all if the vaccine works the way the medical profession tells us it should, then vaccinated people would not get the disease in the first place.
Powered by ScribeFire.