We certainly do not want to overburden any legislator with unnecessary phone calls or emails, but if we cannot get clear, un-convoluted answers, we need to act. We must act. We need to respectfully help Sen. Rader understand the extent to which we value our freedom. SB958 is scheduled to be heard on Monday, the 19th and we need to send a clear message to the entire Senate that we do not want this bill.
Please call or email Senator Rader TODAY and express your concerns or objections to SB958.
Focus on the Education Committee, but all the senators are on the Appropriations Committee, which is where it will go next if we don’t shut it down. A link to these addresses can be found in the last paragraph.
After many attempts, but not being able to get a one-on- one with Senator Rader, I sent him a very
detailed email expressing our concerns and objections with his equal access bill. I broke the bill down
section by section and here was his response:
My apologies in missing you yesterday.
Thank you for writing. I understand this bill may not be for every or any homeschooler. Homeschoolers have broadened and strengthened their activity opportunities in a fine fashion over the years. It has been inspiring to observe. That is one of the reasons why this bill is written so clearly to be voluntary. In addition to homeschoolers, there are a variety of options that relate to other means of education. For those children, this bill may have more of an attraction.
Still hope to meet you.
I have to admit, I am very disappointed with his reply. He did not respond to any of the issues we addressed and gave vague and generic answers. Speaking of which, let’s break down his response.
He starts out apologizing for missing me. Thanks for the apology. I accept.
Let’s move on to line three.
“I understand this bill may not be for every or any homeschooler.”
Okay? Then if you know this for whom are you writing it? Why are you including us in it? What is the real purpose?
Next, he states,
“Homeschoolers have broadened and strengthened their activity opportunities in a fine
fashion over the years. It has been inspiring to observe.”
Thank-you, our parents and students have worked very hard to give a quality education which includes extracurricular activities. If you recognize the fine fashion in which we have done this, why do you still see the need to force schools to accept students into their extracurricular activities?
“That is one of the reasons why this bill is written so clearly to be voluntary.”
So, the broad, strong, and inspiring activities you have observed have caused you to ask for volunteers to enroll in public school and participate in extracurricular activities? Does that mean you are envious of what we have and want that in the public school? Did you not read my original email with the concerns we have about how voluntary can turn to mandatory? How South Carolina, just one year after passing an equal access bill had bi-partisan legislation introduced to regulate homeschooling across the board? (See previous post here.)
After that, he says,
“In addition to homeschoolers, there are a variety of options that relate to other means of education.”
Excuse me? I don’t even know what that means. Is he saying that home education is not the unique venue of education for which the description of ‘other means’ was written into our
constitution? The only methods of education I have ever seen in any legislation or public policy which referred to ‘other means’ is home education and private tutoring. Is he insinuating that virtual or public school at home students are also related to ‘other means’? What IS he saying? According to the state constitution, there are three distinct types of education, public, private and other means. In statutes, it
states that enrollment in a public school denotes a public school student. Enrollment in a private school
denotes a private school student. Choosing home education or private tutoring denotes a student being educated by means other than public or private. Has the onslaught of public school at home finally absorbed us so much and blurred the line so greatly that he does not recognize our autonomy? Or, is he using us as a pawn to get something else he wants, a source of extracurricular activities for virtual school students?
With the last line he writes, it makes me even more suspicious because he says,
”For those children, this bill may have more of an attraction.”
Who are THOSE children? Are they the, “variety of options that relate to homeschooling”? The virtual or public school at home students? When you put those last two lines together, it certainly seems so, but without answers from him, we will never know.
I asked for more clarification and once I receive it, if I receive it, I will pass it along. Please call or email Senator Rader today and express your concerns or objections to SB958. Ask him to remove it. Then call every Senator on the Education Committee.
You can get more detailed information about the bill, our breakdown of it, and links to every Senator’s email on the Alert Blog of our Website.
To make an even bigger impact, join us on March 6 th for our Legislative Impact Day as we visit the office of every legislator and educate them on this and other pieces of legislation which will impact home education and parental rights.
For your convenience, I have attached a block of emails for you to copy and paste. To make your email more professional and look less like spam, please use the BCC option when sending your email.