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I’ve covered a lot of stories chronicling eye-brow-raising goings-on in the public education system. And repeatedly, readers have championed the virtues of homeschooling.
Well, that may soon be an ineffective way to evade the revolution.
At least, such is the case in ol’ southern Mississippi.
The state’s House of Representatives has recently seen a new bill, courtesy of Democrat John Hines.
As per the legislation, homeschooled kids will be forced into the same history and government curriculum public schoolers are made to study.
Comprehensive courses in Mississippi History and United States Government are required for all students to be administered between Grades 9 through 12. The Mississippi history course must provide students with an examination of the history of the State of Mississippi from the age of discovery and colonization to the present with particular emphasis on the significant political, social, economic and cultural issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which have impacted the diverse ethnic and racial populations of the state. Similarly, all private, parochial and home-based school programs shall provide the same curriculum requirements to students enrolled in Grades 9 through 12.
Sound harmless? Is it a slippery slope to particular mandatory content? And when will such requirements be made in other academic areas?
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy is definitely opposed.
Here’s part of their statement:
This would give the state authority to dictate what parents teach their children and how they teach it. Those rights belong with the parents who choose to homeschool, who generally make that choice because they want to set the curriculum that’s appropriate for their children free of state mandates. Whether or not homeschool families in Mississippi teach Mississippi history or government – and we know most do – that is the choice of the parents, not the state.
The Home School Legal Defense Fund Association’s chiming in, too:
[The law] could require homeschools to teach particular courses in Mississippi History and United States Government that mirror courses taught in public high schools. While homeschooling parents embrace teaching History and Government, this bill gives the state the authority to dictate curricular content, which undermines parents’ freedom to tailor their child’s educational program.
The right and responsibility of parents to direct the education of their children is prior to the more general governmental interest in promoting and requiring education. The state ought not to compel homeschooling parents to teach specific course content developed by the state or teach subjects a certain way.
Currently, homeschooling parents in the state are flyin’ free.
The Mississippi Home Educators Association points out, “You may choose the curriculum that best suits your children’s individual educational needs … Since repeal of the law in 1984, there are no state requirements for subjects that must be taught.”
Personally, I’m stunned — given all the ideological moves in the realm of public education — that homeschooling is still allowed. It seems only a matter of time before a bill to end the practice finds itself on Capitol Hill.
Is it telling that such legislation is in the House of America’s most conservative state (here)?
Nationally, there’s certainly conflict between conservative parents and education requirements mandated by their states.
Regardless, for the time being, in Mississippi, people still have the opportunity to teach as they see fit.
Do you see The Magnolia State’s bill as — in the words of John Fogerty — a bad moon on the rise?
Let us all know in the Comments section.
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