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Moving in the Right Direction

Why America’s Homeschoolers Support Reforms in #StudentSuccessAct

After decades of federal intrusion into the nation’s classrooms, it’s time for Congress to pass a law that restores parental, local, and state control over education. Will Estrada with the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) describes the urgent need to replace the current education law, No Child Left Behind, with conservative education reforms embodied in the Student Success Act. In a blog post Estrada writes the Student Success Act will “protect [the] freedom of homeschoolers and reduce federal overreach into public education,” thanks to reforms in the legislation that:

  • Ensure home schools are free from the Secretary of Education’s control. The bill protects “millions of students from experiencing unnecessary and counter-productive federal education regulations.”
  • Prohibit the federal government from coercing states into adopting Common Core. As Estrada writes, “[H.R. 5] eliminates the federal government’s ability to incentivize states to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Several sections of the Student Success Act prohibit the use of federal funding to influence or coerce states into adopting federal mandates in the areas of curriculum, standards, or testing in schools.”
  • Protect student privacy. “[H.R. 5] prohibits storing students’ personally identifiable information in national databases,” Estrada notes. “With the increasing popularity of statewide longitudinal databases, these protections are needed to protect student privacy.”
  • Prevent federal teacher training and certification mandates, which “would hinder parents’ ability to make educational choices for their children.” The prohibition in H.R.5 “outlaws national certification processes for educators, and preserves educational freedom at the state and district levels.”

Estrada concludes:

HSLDA’s mission is to protect the freedom of homeschool families across the nation. The sections of the Student Success Act that we listed above will protect homeschool freedom, and will cut back the federal government’s ability to coerce or incentivize states into adopting the Common Core, Common Core–aligned assessments, and other federal educational initiatives.

The Home School Legal Defense Association is not the only conservative education organization rallying around commonsense reforms in H.R. 5. As Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) recently wrote, “Organizations such as the Council for American Private Education, Family Research Council, and Committee on Catholic Education of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have expressed support for policies in the Student Success Act because they know it will keep the federal government out of their business and preserve their cherished rights.”

To learn more about the Student Success Act, click here.

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