World Magazine, 3 Sep 2005 (sic) Here come the strings
In years past, users of Alaskan public-schooling-at-home programs were free to supplement the materials they used for their children’s educations with privately purchased religious materials. But recently, according to a World Magazine article,
- “Alaska’s Department of Education and Early Development (EED) declared that teaching a majority of core subjects with religious-based materials–even those privately purchased–disqualifies parents from receiving government funds.”
The author of the article went on to report that the state’s assistant attorney general,
- “confirmed EED’s interpretive broadening of the law, labeling private homes as public schools . . . ‘it applies to public schooling however delivered.'”
The article continues with a backing-and-forthing about what caused the new restrictions and whether the families who use the programs can “skirt the rules.” The article winds up with an observation by a former state legislator that, “Once you’re taking the money, they have a legitimate interest in what you’re doing. This is a way to damage the [homeschooling] movement over the long run.”
On one hand it is sad to note that many families have had a program they viewed as a benefit cut from their daily lives, but at the same time it must be remembered that when the government is involved, eventually accountability for the use of public money comes into play. The rules, so far, still allow for homeschooling, so the educational picture isn’t quite as bleak for the families as is the financial picture.