Many homeschoolers are on the watch for back door legislation or other attempts to limit our families’ freedoms. “Universal” anything often gives us a heads up. Politicians discuss the potential advantages. Interested lobbyists look to see what they can get out of the deal.
HSLDA (a homeschool member financed organization) often warns of government policies sneaking in that will affect homeschoolers’ rights and liberties. This Virginia based group seems to understand these efforts so well. They themselves often use the practice out and about our country’s Capitol.
It’s been recently discovered that the Home School Legal Defense Association slipped in their business plan directing any military career interested homeschoolers to their site. Again.
Valerie Bonham Moon (The Military Homeschooler) posted this in 2006: The Army Recruiting Command changed its homeschool URL
Currently, and from the NATIONALGUARD.com Homeschool Eligibility Requirements
Current military policy requires homeschool graduates to be treated just like any other high school grad. In January, 2006 President Bush signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act that requires all four branches of the Armed Forces to institute a uniform recruitment policy for homeschool graduates that includes an exemption for homeschool graduates from any requirement to have a secondary school diploma or a GED.
*Links on this site do not constitute an endorsement by the Army National Guard
If the National Guard inserts a HSLDA logo and a link to the interested party’s site, I would say that is an engaged endorsement. You must click over to the HSLDA site to read the National Guard eligibility requirements.
These particular homeschool eligibility requirements don’t feel like a warm and fuzzy exemption. Rather, it seems like a Graham Badman produced nightmare, as in his Recommendation #4 calling for a representative opinion“. (I think GB forgot to consult home educators/parents for input about the well being of homeschooled children.) If you wonder why I bring up the Badman Report, I’ll mention that HSLDA is using that British Report to the Secretary of State on the Review of Elective Home Education in England for another Parental Rights Amendment trumpet call. One of their arguments is that: The Badman report is a stark reminder of how government officials in an English-speaking democracy have interpreted the UNCRC. It’s clear that the right to homeschool in America will be negatively impacted if the U.S. Senate ever ratifies the UNCRC.
Some other thoughts are here about the Parental Rights Amendment:
Taking Charge – Larry and Susan Kaseman
Yes – Parental Rights No – Constitutional Amendment
But back to the current iron in the fire. Maybe I don’t understand all of the bureaucratic gobbledygook on the HSLDA site regarding National Guard eligibility. But looking at these requirements, if my children wanted to join the National Guard, we would be jumping through hoops that were not there before HSLDA involvement.
Why is HSLDA interested?
Apparently the interest stems from the potential business offerings. Just as in the HSLDA written, federal legislation introduced in 2005 (109th Congress HR 3753/S 1691). Here’s that pertinent federal legislative documentation illustrated under Section 10 Sec. 503a. Recruitment and enlistment of home-schooled students:
(5) The graduate has provided the Secretary concerned with a third-party verification letter of the graduate’s home-school status by the Home School Legal Defense Association or a State or county home-school association or organization.’.
There’s that third party verification of homeschool status again, just as in the eligibility requirements for the National Guard Homeschool Path to Honor. National Guard Requirements: “A homeschool diploma and transcript from the parent(s) or guardian(s) accompanied by a third party verification memorandum.”
My family (and many others) would have to join a homeschool support group and seek their approval of our eclectic educational resources and successes. In the eligibility requirements, HSLDA points applicants to their listing of homeschool associations that are selective, Christian based support groups that do not encompass all of the very diverse homeschooling population.
What homeschooling organization would lobby for third party verification of a family’s learning successes while publicly proclaiming that they support limited government? What sort of homeschool group would narrow homeschoolers’ boundaries into adult ventures? Does HSLDA lobby for homeschoolers or for new business?
More information and history about this issue is provided from Happy As Kings‘ National Guard and HSLDA: