HomeSource’s link with district still uncertain despite special bill, 27 May 2008, The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon
At last week’s Eugene School Board meeting, board members seemed divided on whether to continue allowing students to attend HomeSource, a publicly funded private alternative program that offers courses for home-schoolers at its center off Highway 99 North.
Several board members seemed to be leaning toward no longer honoring referral requests, including Craig Smith, who has been a steadfast opponent of publicly funding HomeSource. He compares it with a private school voucher system, contending that taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to subsidize the education of children whose parents have taken them out of the regular public school system.
But others, including Jim Torrey, indicated they’d like home-schoolers to continue having access to HomeSource, which offers a broad range of courses, including chemistry, Latin, Advanced Placement world history, trigonometry, ballet and calligraphy.
HomeSource opened in 1995 and was on the brink of losing all its contracts with school districts due to more stringent interpretations of alternative education law by state Department of Education officials.
Districts were told they had to be accountable for determining appropriate placement and monitoring progress of students referred to HomeSource — a process Eugene and several other districts deemed too costly and at odds with the wishes of home-schoolers.
One of the strings attached to public funds is public commotion.
A reader of The Register-Guard wrote in to support HomeSource:
HomeSource is misunderstood, 3 June 2008, Letters in the Editor’s Mailbag, The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon
I am concerned that there is a misunderstanding of the role of HomeSource in a home-schooling family. The choice for us is not between public school and HomeSource, but rather home schooling with HomeSource or plain home schooling.
I know families who were denied transfers from their home districts. They didn’t put their children into public school but continued home-schooling on their own. We don’t home school because HomeSource exists; HomeSource exists because we home school.
HomeSource may not exist solely as a service to families that homeschool. A 1996 booklet with historical documents about the founding of HomeSource, “Bonding with Homeschoolers,” (2.08 MB, fyi) indicates that the ‘recapture’ of children was at least one reason for the establishment of the service.
From pages 7 and 10:
This viewpoint makes as much sense as a former homeowner saying that she still felt attached to the home she’d just sold and would be coming by to do the gardening. The rationale that “they’re taxpayers” doesn’t follow because no one offers taxpayers without children any school services.