Daytime Curfews Persist in Illinois

The Carlinville City Council is considering a daytime curfew and they're meeting tonight to discuss it.  Terri Koyne is a Macoupin County homeschooler and activist. She has a few things to say about this  daytime curfew issue in her area. Here's a bit of it:

I was told by some involved that they had been approached to help pass a Daytime Curfew in Carlinville because there was a large amount of vandalism being committed in broad daylight, during school hours, and this was necessary to stop it. Unfortunately, I have not been able to obtain reports for all these cases of vandalism.

Now that questions have been raised, whether this truly is a public safety issue, the proponents have switched gears and are now stating that there is a truancy issue and this ordinance is a necessary tool to curb the truancy problem in the city.

The Macoupin County Board unanimously passed a truancy ordinance last fall leaving one to wonder. County personnel are being employed to chase down truant public school students when it’s part of the job duties of the Regional Office of Education for Calhoun, Greene, Jersey and Macoupin Counties.  Jersey County Board also passed a truancy ordinance, with 2 board members voting nay.  From The Telegraph:

The Jersey County Board approved a new truancy resolution Tuesday by a 10-2 vote. The resolution presented by the Regional Superintendent of Schools and endorsed by both of the county's school districts, Jersey and Southwestern, authorizes fines up to $100 for teens who skip school repeatedly.

Carlinville’s chronic truancy rate shows 1.4% on their school report card, and those statistics don’t seem to justify a new county or city bureaucracy for truants.  Jersey School District reports .5% chronic truancy rate.  Southwestern School District 9, also located in Jersey County, has a 1% chronic truancy rate. 

There are at least 2 truant officers employed in Carlinville and Jerseyville.  That doesn’t include the school district staff personnel who know which kids aren’t attending school and calling in with an excused absence.  The schools have all the information you could want to call on the parents or guardians and try to resolve the problem.  That is our tax money at work.

One would wonder what the purpose is for this triple public expenditure by county, city and school for the same service.  One of these southern Illinois counties’ truancy ordinances written by a Regional Superintendent  – Keri Garrett – proposed reporting homeschoolers to the Regional Office of Education. Even though homeschoolers have a freedom of movement right to go to the library, work, classes or what have you.  Private schools do not have to do ‘school hours’.  Our family has found some of our most useful learning time in the evening or weekends. 

Regional Superintendent Brian Cross seemed to have concerns his count of registered homeschoolers in Jefferson and Hamilton Counties was decreasing year to year.  At the same time, it’s been a source of uncomfortable astonishment why he and many other Regional Superintendents try to register homeschoolers, when private schools are not required by law to do so with public schools. He pushed for a daytime curfew in Mt. Vernon, and received it.  Oddly, Mt. Vernon also has a 1.4% chronic truancy rate.  Where are these hooligans roaming the streets and causing harm to businesses and citizens?

In 2009, the Carlinville school board created some unfavorable history with homeschoolers.  See Kudos to the IL Association of School Boards

There doesn’t seem to be a need for truancy ordinances in these towns and cities when the schools’ own statistics are studied.  Besides the damper laid on businesses who will be fined if they don’t report customers as potential truants.  Homeschooling families have been told by store employees that they shouldn’t be out during ‘school hours’.  I wouldn’t go back to a store that told my children or me that.  It also restrains homeschoolers from going out and about as many of us do in our communities.  If homeschoolers are stifled by daytime curfew ordinances and attempts to rein us in, then we’re losing one of the last bastions of educational freedom in this country.  All planted under the guise of public school truancy issues. This problem lays squarely with the public school officials and their attempts to control private schools.


Comments

Daytime Curfews Persist in Illinois — 4 Comments

  1. Don't you just love it when "free" Americans are routinely accepting that they should have fewer and fewer freedoms- just because it might make more people think and act like they do?

  2. It's scary, that's for sure, Janet.
    Alasandra, Illinois local governments have been on a daytime curfew bend for the last few years.  It's one more current bad thing about embarrassing Illinois.  Looking behind the curtain, we've found some anti-homeschooling sentiments behind this Regional Office of Education push for daytime curfews. 

  3. Pingback: Feeling Good about Governor’s Slash and Burn in Illinois Public Education Bureaucracy | Corn and Oil

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