HONDA: Points to Consider
Points to consider when reading the proposed legislation and the analyses are:
- there is no reference to education in the United States Constitution, it is left to the States and the People according to the Tenth Amendment
- federal sway over public education is managed only through the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution
- federal sway is managed only because states accept federal money
- homeschoolers do not accept federal money
- the question of who will define the terms included in the proposed legislation, especially concerning acceptance either of federal money, or tax breaks
- the question of the status of homeschoolers in states without laws regulating homeschooling, with reference to the language, “pursuant to state law”
~ Home Education Magazine Blog Editorial by Valerie
Introduction and History
On the 14th of September, 2005, HSLDA announced the introduction in Congress of HR 3753/SB 1691, theHomeschool Non-Discrimination Act of 2005. If the bill is enacted as it stands, Section 10 would be a new part of public law, not a correction of existing law, and would be the first section concerning military recruitment addressing a specific population: homeschoolers.
Instead of closing the federal barn door after some of the horses have already left, this one opens the barn door to invite the rest of the federal bureaucratic herd inside through the setting of precedent, including definitions of homeschooling in federal law.
The bill itself can be found by typing HR 3753 into the search box at the the Library of Congress. The link expires so a search needs to be done each time.
In 2003 a similar bill was unilaterally introduced into Congress, just as was the current version, without discussion among homeschoolers. Many homeschooling organizations worked to keep the bill from being passed into law.
The big change in the 2005 version of HoNDA is the useless inclusion of provisions to help homeschoolers enlist in the military. This is a big change, with implications not only for the federalization of homeschooling, but for military readiness and taxpayer concerns nationwide.
If a homeschooled teen who used a self-directed course of study wishes to enlist in the military, the solution is easy: acquire one semester of full-time college (15 credit hours). This is the standard for all citizens, and homeschoolers are no exception. The work-around is in place for citizens who want to serve their country with no additional legislation needed.
The alleged non-discrimination bill was killed the first time around. This time, with the inclusion of the military enlistment language, the paper it is written on should be burnt as well.
Contact your representative, and kill this bill.
~ Valerie Moon
A Sample Letter to a Congressional Representative:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
Sen. John Cornyn
September 25, 2005
I’m writing this letter to encourage you to vote no on HR 3753 also known as “HONDA”.
The following is a summary of arguments in opposition to the proposed legislation that I feel would be detrimental to homeschoolers.
[He then makes his points.]
Thank you for your time.
~ Joshua , TX
I guess we really don’t need HONDA:
Under a special test program, the Army is now treating home school graduates as educational Tier I, the same educational category as high school diploma-holders.
The Army now offers home school graduates who qualify the same enlistment incentives as traditional high school graduates, including cash bonuses up to $20,000 for enlistments of three or more years and the Army College Fund, which provides up to $70,000 for college.
~ Daryl Cobranchi
I have to add my $.02. My son was homeschooled, and enlisted in the Marine Reserves at Tier I status back in December. He could have just as easily enlisted Full-time. He considered the Air Force, and they, too, were more than happy to enlist him as Tier I with a homeschool diploma. He was 90% through the enlistment process with the Air Force before a buddy persuaded him to join the Corps with him (yes, I could just about choke his buddy, but my son has no regrets). I can’t speak for Navy or Army, but I do have direct experience with USMC and USAF. For a reference to time, his first contact with the USAF recruiter was in May, 2004, at which time the recuiter said that homeschoolers could enlist under a pilot project, which I believe has been extended (must have been, because the pilot project expired in Sept. of last year, and my son didn’t begin the enlistment procedure with USMC until late Oct.) There is some scanty information on this on the H$LDA website.
~ Tori in Texas
Scott Somerville responds
Scott Somerville is blogging HSLDA‘s “official” response to HoNDA criticism over at Chris O’donnell’s blog. So far I don’t think anyone’s mind has been changed, but the conversation is just getting started.
I spoke with Senator Inhofe’s Office
I just hung up from a very nice discussion with a woman in Senator Inhofe’s office. I explained to her that I was calling regarding yesterday’s comments from Mr. Somerville on my blog. I told her how I picked out Senator Inhofe for the calling campaign*. This person was very nice and interested in what I had to say. I read her the comments and she asked me who Mr. Somerville was. I explained who he was. She assured me that Senator Inhofe’s policy on calls was to log in the issue and tally the for and against calls. She said that two people had that responsibility in the office and that she was one of them. I asked her if it would be fair to categorize that the office was receiving a fair number of calls on both sides of the issue and she said yes. So there you have it folks. Our calls do count and they are being received. I had explained about how I was working on the issue with the blog and she asked for the url. I shared this url and and the one for HR 3753/ S 1691-Homeschool NonDiscrimination Act 2005 with her. I explained to her the diversity of the opinions that I linked to from this blog and I thought it reflected how HSLDA does not speak for all homeschoolers. She assured me that she would speak with the Senator about our conversation. I left the conversation feeling good about our work on this bill. Let’s keep those calls and emails going.
I sure agree with this quote:
“While the intent of the bill may be honorable, the effect of the bill is potentially disastrous for homeschooling parents who want to remain free from government regulation. This is because the federal government has no constitutional authority to directly regulate the education of homeschooled students, whether that regulation is for the benefit of the students or not.”
~ Deborah Stevenson