Union goes one way and homeschoolers can follow?

I don’t know about that suggestion,as it’s hard to line up with the teachers’ unions for anything. The bottom line always seems to be to protect the union,  as opposed to educating the kids.  But for many different reasons, we homeschoolers should continue our non-well funded fight for the right that every one of our children are able to live and learn as we choose. Even as our families are politically pegged as greedy and wanting to be sucked into the same public school system that has failed too many.  Many, many homeschoolers want to pick and choose the learning resources that work for their family and not a School in a Box.

Thanks for watching on the National Charter School Watch List, Annette.  You’re one of the advocates who are watching out for homeschoolers and it’s much appreciated by me and many others.

From the Chicago Trib:

The Chicago Teachers Union sued the city’s first virtual charter school on Wednesday, arguing that the home-based school violates state law and, therefore, should not receive public money. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, asks the judge to halt state and city payments to the Chicago Virtual Charter School, Illinois’ first public school where students in kindergarten through 8th grade do their coursework from home at their own pace.

Here’s CTU’s press release and lawsuit.  Doesn’t seem like homeschooling ever comes out ahead in these articles (or otherwise) concerning homebased public schools.

Chicago Public Schools officials approved the charter school in August, outraging union officials, who complain the city is spending about $2 million on a school that they argue is taxpayer-funded home schooling. The Illinois State Board of Education voted 5-4 last month for the school to open its cyberdoors.

I would imagine that this will be one long expensive battle. I’m thinking that because the interpretations of the statute to gain ISBE approval were a little wavy. The legislators who initiated the charter school statute put in their 2 cents, but the question is whether the actual language in the law is followed? It’s interesting and it seems like the loudest (well funded, in this case) voice is what is heard? Although I do remember an ISBE board member acknowledging the public school parents’ pleas.

The union is suing the charter school operator, the Chicago Board of Education, which approved the school as part of its Renaissance 2010 reforms, and the Illinois State Board of Education, which gave final approval for the charter to open. "The school clearly violates the Illinois School Code as a home-based charter school," said union President Marilyn Stewart.

K12 is being sued and they have big bucks to defend themselves because they surely put in plenty of money lobbying our legislators. The Chicago Board of Education is being sued and who knows how much tax payer money will (or does) go to lawyers and such. And ISBE being sued comes out of the state taxpayers’ pocketbook.  Swell.

Here’s the Oct 4 article about the same:

A spokesman for CPS, the nation’s third-largest school district, rejected the home-schooling claim.
"The state’s board of education disagreed with that argument and said there is a solid curriculum for these students and that it is not home schooling," Michael Vaughn said. The state board approved the online school by a narrow 5-4 vote in August.

Seems like we could make it publicly clear that many Illinois homeschoolers are not interested in public school at home and what comes "free" with the package.  I hate to think that IL homeschoolers are lobbying for what the CPS lawyer was stating as our legislators’ concern.  I don’t think we are, but rather just requesting to be left alone to educate our kids.   But it was an effective political manuever to get what CPS wanted come hell or high water:

Rocks, the attorney for Chicago Public Schools, said the restrictions on "home-based" charter schools mushroomed from concerns that home schools were trying to become charter schools simply to get public dollars. He presented letters from state lawmakers who voted on Illinois’ charter school law, and said their intent was not to block Internet-based schooling.

Homeschoolers are actually  wanting to maintain our family autonomy of privately funded (families) and privately overseen (parents) education for our kids.

Homeschoolers can have a loud grassroots voice too; when they want to be heard.  We don’t have the same concerns as the CTU, for sure, as this is just ignorant coming from an educator.  (That would be teaching the abc’s and 123’s, as I understood the public school mission):

"For them to think they can address the social and emotional issues of a child without being in the same room as that child is ludicrous," Stewart said. "You can only adequately address these issues in a classroom where you have necessary peer support and peer interaction."

Who’s in charge of the children in the classroom anyway? The above agenda is one of many reasons why homeschoolers leave the public school, just for the record.  (Note that there is NOT a religious basis to that.)  Definitely an interesting and complicated mix.  I’ll ask again: Who’s watching out for homeschoolers?

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