HOUSTON – Homeschooling rights and educational choice are a part of parental rights, and the issue has risen to the presidential race. The federal takeover of homeschooling is being threatened, a group of Donald Trump supporters are insisting, in legislation sponsored by U.S. Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz. Is that allegation true?
Home School Legal Defense Association's Mike Farris spoke with GOP candidate Ted Cruz to clarify his position on homeschooling, as addressed in Senate Bill 306. An exchange on the topic went as follows:
Mike Farris: Senator, there have been a few self-described researchers who’ve expressed concerns about the bill that you are a co-sponsor of, sponsored by our good friend Mike Lee, Senate Bill 306—that gives homeschoolers fair and equal access to savings accounts, the ability to participate in the Coverdell savings account programs. Can you respond to these criticisms: that people claim that the language of this bill would give the federal government the power to change definitions of homeschooling, and run away with federal control, and homeschool liberties would be abused by this bill that you and Mike Lee are supporting?
Sen. Cruz: Well sure, Mike, and I appreciate your raising that. As you know, those allegations are baseless, and they are being pushed primarily by a blogger or two who appear to be supporting Donald Trump and trying to spread misinformation. The legislation is legislation that Senator Mike Lee has introduced, who is a passionate supporter of homeschooling, as am I. And it’s legislation that simply eliminates the discrimination against homeschoolers currently in education savings accounts, so that if individuals choose to save their own money for educational purposes, they are allowed to spend their own money on homeschooling. And there’s no reason that federal law should discriminate against homeschoolers and treat them as second-class citizens. And as you know, the Home School Legal Defense Association has actively supported that legislation for a number of years, has spoken out in favor of eliminating discrimination against homeschoolers. And nothing in that legislation would open the door to even the teeniest bit of government regulation—and if it would, I would oppose it. I do not think the government has any business regulating homeschoolers, restricting their fundamental parental liberty. And allowing people to spend their own money in an education savings account to educate their kids is entirely consistent with that.
Listen to the whole conversation between Mike Farris and Ted Cruz HERE.