We Need Fiscal Accountability in Illinois, Not More Demands from the State

The current and majorly concerning issue in the Illinois homeschool community is the attempt – by Chicago Senator Maloney's introduction of SB 136 – to pull all private schools into the public school realm by requiring non-public school children's parents or guardians to register with the Illinois State Board of Education.  Homeschoolers – our sub-group of Illinois private schools – have hackles raised because we already know there are anti-homeschoolers in the public school realm.  They have already been coming after us.  But in the past, they haven't asked all private schools to fill out non-mandated registration forms like they've been requesting from homeschoolers. Until now. Now it's a sorry state of affairs times two.

Even though Illinois homeschoolers (private schools via a 1950 Illinois Supreme Court ruling) are not required to register – years ago the Illinois State Board of Education created a non-mandated Home School Registration Form.  This form asks for information regarding names and dates of birth of your children along with curriculum used.  Many – probably most Regional Offices of Education (a public school network subordinate to the Illinois State Board of Education) request homeschool families file this annually and the paperwork (if completed) sits in the Regional Office of Education and the Data Analysis and Progress Reporting Department of the IL State Board of Education.  The vast majority of homeschoolers refuse to fill out these forms because we have better ways to spend our time.  Plus we figure these school authorities surely have more important issues to pursue in their own backyard.  We like to help our public employees do their job better.
We shouldn't be complacent, assume or take anything for granted. If SB 136 is dropped in the Assignments Committee, it'll be because private schoolers made their voices heard. Not because we sat by assuming it's not going to pass. Our voices are being heard. Terri Koyne makes important points in the IR and her conversations with the local Regional Office of Education Superintendent are duly noted:

4. Who is going to pay for all this tracking and record keeping?  I was just told a couple of weeks ago that my Regional Superintendent of Schools has neither the resources nor the man power to handle the truant students in his district.  If this is true, how are they going to afford the mountain of paperwork and reports that will have to be taken care of with this piece of legislation?
A mentor of mine has always asked when a seemingly harmless bill comes up for a vote, “How do you boil a frog?”  You don’t throw him in a pan of boiling water.  You make him comfortable in a cool pot of water and slowly turn up the heat.  Before he knows it, he is cooked.
My point is this:  The education machine has spent the last decade making us comfortable, laying low and leaving us alone for the most part. They have spent the past year slowly turning up the heat.  The Regional Superintendents have snuck through new truancy ordinances through County Boards and daytime curfews through city councils.  Now they are looking to turn the heat up to a full boil by regulating all non-public school education.

Senator Maloney wants private schools' "important information".  Cost and overspending do not seem to be a factor in Springfield, and this appears to be about control.  Did I mention the Regional Offices of Education are lobbying for Senator Maloney's bill? At least two Regional Offices of Education have borrowed from their home counties in the past couple of years.  See Peoria and Macoupin County fiscal records.  In  our Illinois world gone mad, tyranny over families is more important than fiscal wisdom.  Why do we have Regional Offices of Education?

Representative Ricca Slone was voted out some years ago when she went after homeschoolers via legislation. But if this bill passes, it'll be too late for homeschooling freedoms in Illinois. Nothing surprises me in Illinois politics anymore. Nothing. 

Let's find out where our legislators are coming from and lay it all out.  Contact information is here.  The bill sits in the Assignments Committee now, where it could be designated to the Education Committee.  Let's kill the bill now.

We are collecting information regarding the opposition or acceptance of this bill by our Senators.  If you have information please let us know.  It's a fundamental issue.  Should Illinois homeschoolers and other private schools now report to the public school system for no good reason or should we remain free?  Wishy washy answers from our representatives will be duly noted.  Thank you to Senators Suzi Schmidt and Tom Johnson, who have registered their opposition with their constituents.


We Need Fiscal Accountability in Illinois, Not More Demands from the State — 1 Comment

  1. One of the members in our Homeschool group has corresponded Senators Tim Bivins (will vote no) and Suzi Schmidt (does not support the legislation in it's current form, but may support an ammended bill).  I appreciate the information you are sharing on this.  Vigilence is key, and the IL homeschool community will not go down without a fight!!
    Deb Poole

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