Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Homeschooling Parents CAN - And Should - Run For Public Education Offices

In an almost unprecedented move in American today, Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, nominated a businessman who homeschooled his children, for New Hampshire Education Commissioner. In an unbelievable, though partisan victory, Frank Edelblut was confirmed to the position by the New Hampshire Executive Council today.

This is PHENOMENAL! What great news. I'm so glad he won, but it's frustrating to read the article and see quotes like,
"He's never been on a board, he's never attended a parent meeting in schools -how does he have this wealth of experience with public education that he's going to bring to the rest of the state?" board member Cindy Chagnon asked Sununu at a Tuesday meeting. "It seems like there's a disconnect."
"I see this as an individual that lacks the experience and qualifications, but comes with a long list of political liabilities," Democratic Councilor Chris Pappas said.
Okay, at least we know this - the more things change, the more they stay the same. How many times have homeschoolers run for public education positions only to be told they're not qualified? Lots - I assure you.

It happened in an Oklahoma City Public Schools school board race five years ago when a homeschooling mom ran for her district seat and was told repeatedly she was not only unqualified for the position but must hate public education because she chose to school her kids at home. She was so demonized through the process, it influenced the family's decision to move out of town.

Last year, a homeschooling mom from my small town, wanted to - and did - run for our district school board. For years she had spent countless hours attending school board meetings, pouring over minutes and running budget numbers watchdogging district administrators, but because she schooled her children at home, she was deemed by her detractors to know nothing about public education and in fact to be an enemy of public education simply because she schooled her children at home. She lost the election by only 21 votes.

That is STUPID. No, it's flat CRAZY! Both school systems lost out on excellent board members who truly only ran out of concern for their communities and the welfare of their district's students.

It is well documented that homeschoolers have - on average - better test scores than public school students

Yes, it may be the one-on-one attention they get from their parents, however - unlike parents of public school children - 

homeschooling parents have to be teacher, curriculum director, principal and superintendent all rolled into one and ALL on a shoestring derived from what remains in the family budget after being taxed multiple times - including to pay for public schools.

There is no reason in the world homeschooling parents cannot serve on a school board, or in any other position within a public school. If you don't like that idea, fine, however, I will suggest to you that you should be willing to do without our tax dollars to run public schools in that case. How you can tax a citizen and then bully them out of participation in whatever roll for which they're taxed is ludicrous.

Homeschooling parents have much to offer public education and if the public education establishment could stop feeling threatened by them long enough to work with them on any level at all, they'd discover this for themselves.