CHEA’s goal is to be a continuing source of information about true parent-led, privately funded home education to our legislators and other officials. That is why our presence at the Capitol is not limited to one day. By the time session is over, we will have visited the offices of legislators at least 10 times, keeping our faces and concerns in front of them. Even if we don’t say a word about an issue or hand out flyers, by the time session is over, they are beginning to know who we are and what we want - which is nothing - without hammering them, being demanding, or making threats. We build relationships, and relationships take time.
"...our presence at the Capitol is not limited to one day. By the time session is over, we will have visited the offices of legislators at least 10 times, keeping our faces and concerns in front of them."
As our team visited with legislators at the Capitol this week, we all came back together with similar stories of legislators warning us to protect our autonomy. Over and over we were told how they could see the lines being blurred because of the enormous growth of online schools. A large number of those doing public school at home DO consider themselves as homeschoolers. What is worse is that one legislator was trying to include those online students into the definition of “other means” in hopes it would help get a piece of legislation passed. This would have changed the entire face of home education in Oklahoma by redefining what a home educator is.
The only way we can keep those lines of distinction clear is to separate ourselves from the things that compromise who we are. We have had several people reach out to us lately concerned about the acceptance of online school students into the homeschool support groups and activities. Some groups have even split as a result because, for too many, the attitude is that we must either, A - reach out to them because they need our help, or B - take their money because we really could use it and a few students won’t affect us.
I am sure there are other rationales, but the problem is, as these types of attitudes continue to grow each year, home education freedom will decline to the exact same degree. If within our own home education community we fail to see the urgency to keep that line distinct and are not willing to do what it takes to make it happen, we can only expect the same actions from our legislators.
"The only way we can keep those lines of distinction clear is to separate ourselves from the things that compromise who we are."