The New York Times opinion pages for January 5 includes arguments for and against the idea of state tax credits for homeschoolers, which is being promoted as a priority as the the newest Republicans in Congress seek to challenge the federal role in American public education, with an eye toward turning more power over to the states. The collected debates are presented under the banner title Do Homeschoolers Deserve a Tax Break?
HEM political analysts and homeschooling parents Larry and Susan Kaseman have written extensively about this topic, including in the current January-February issue of Home Education Magazine: Beware of Privatization of Education: It Reduces Our Homeschooling Freedoms:
“Homeschoolers can’t assume that as long as they as individuals refuse to accept government money or favors, they won’t be required to comply with state regulations written for homeschoolers who do accept them. Legislators and state regulators are highly unlikely to develop and expect public officials to enforce two separate sets of regulations for homeschoolers, one for those who accept tax credits or tax deductions or reimbursements for educational expenses or who play on public school sports teams or participate in other public school activities and the other for homeschoolers who don’t. If legislation is passed or regulations are developed to hold homeschoolers accountable because some homeschoolers are receiving government money, those statutes or regulations will no doubt apply to all homeschoolers, not just those getting the money.”
Further analysis and information can be found in this 1999 article by homeschooling mother and long-time advocate for homeschooling, Peggy Daly-Masternak: So What About That Free Lunch?
“With little strain, we can all think of many examples where the state is attempting to solve the problems presented by a few with far-reaching blanket laws to cover a worst case scenario. Think curfews. Think proficiency tests. Think greater restrictions on parents rights.
“My dear friends in homeschooling, there is no free lunch. If one currently exists, it won’t last forever. The piper always gets paid.”