Continuation of the Boiling Frogs

The Rockford Register Star released an article yesterday critical of the Illinois Homeschool PAC's stand.  Below is the explanation of the Boone County Board update regarding their truancy ordinance policy.  There were no attempts by the Rockford Register Star to contact Curt Mercadante, PAC Advisory Board Chair.  

The county’s Administration Committee met May 2 and revised the proposal; updates included the exclusion of home-schooled children from being cited and changes to fines associated with being found truant by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. The update was modeled after Belvidere’s anti-truancy ordinance and a code submitted to the county in recent weeks by the Home School Legal Defense Association, based out of Washington, D.C.

The submission of truancy ordinance code by a national homeschool group could be considered surprising.  From a Boone County Board member:

The Illinois Homeschool PAC’s message is late and just doesn’t jibe with recent updates made that the Administration Committee will review again next month for a June board vote, Boone County Board member Terri Glass said.

“There were drastic changes to that initial proposed ordinance — it actually says in there it applies to children enrolled in public, private or parochial schools,” she said. “I think that they should have come to the admin meeting, which none of them came to, and if they had, they would have known we chose to eliminate home-schooled kids from the ordinance.”

This has been posted publicly more than once.  The Boone-Winnebago County Regional Office of Education Superintendent Richard Fairgrieves stated this below in defense of his over-compliance requests of homeschoolers.   One issue does lead to another and the push by school authorities for a truancy ordinance with fewer than a dozen chronically truant students seems a bit suspicious.  Here's part of Dr. Fairgrieves' defense of his policies regarding homeschoolers: 

As the city of Rockford has an active daytime curfew in place, some parents who home school their youth, utilize this office to obtain an identification card, with the child’s picture, that assists their child’s utilization of the public library during what would be considered “school time”."

The Regional Offices of Education should spend their resources on public school issues.  Homeschoolers can get their own identification cards, if needed.  Thanks, but no thanks.  The local cities, counties and other municipalities don't need to do the public school's job.   Public school truancy should not infringe on law abiding citizens' freedom to move freely in public places without being determined guilty until proven innocent.  Homeschooling does not mean you are truant.


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