» posted on Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 10:02 pm
More Information About HSLDA
Although the Home School Legal Defense Association is credited with helping homeschoolers in its early years, many believe the organization has changed. HSLDA’s actions on federal, state and local levels have raised questions about the organization’s direction, and whether it has strayed too far to offer any genuine protection or benefit to homeschoolers.
When one is afforded a wide-angle view of HSLDA and its actions, patterns emerge and questions form. Is HSLDA an organization worthy of your financial support? Visit HSLDA’s site, read through the pages of this site and decide for yourself.
HSLDA has used its considerable clout time and again to establish laws that only they and a limited segment of the home education community can live under. Their vision of home education is very State controlled and regulated. Many families cannot comply with the laws HSLDA helps to pass.
– Doris Hohensee,
New Hampshire Alliance for Home Education.
Need I Join HSLDA?
Think carefully before you pay $85-$100 in annual dues to a homeschool defense organization
— especially one that sends out frequent urgent alerts, uses frightening scenarios to sell its product, is inherently exclusive, and declines to link to most inclusive state homeschool associations. Find out what it really provides.
Maintaining Homeschool Freedoms Takes Small and Large Contributions From a Lot of People:
Working for Homeschooling Freedoms: Chore or Opportunity?
~ Larry and Susan Kaseman
Rights and Responsibilities of Homeschooling Parents
~ Larry and Susan Kaseman
Citizenship or Lawyership Choosing Political Strategies
~ Larry and Susan Kaseman
Homeschooling Freedoms At Risk – Twenty Years Later
~ Mark and Helen Hegener
Find an Inclusive State Homeschool Group
~Annette M. Hall
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
“Defenders of the status quo are fighting back with all the…weapons at their disposal. The most insidious of these tactics is the systematic undermining…of the homeschooling movement by establishing government homeschooling programs.” ~ by Chris Cardiff
Because of changes in state laws, lawsuits involving homeschooling are increasingly rare. Almost all situations can be handled effectively by assertive parents who are familiar with state homeschool laws. Many home-schoolers believe we don’t need a “homeschool legal insurance” organization. A state discussion list can offer you ideas, tips, tricks, particular wording, etc. that has been effective in your area. Find one at YahooGroups.com
If further assistance is needed, an inclusive state homeschooling association can recommend a lawyer who is familiar with homeschooling law. You can find existing inclusive state associations at Homefires ~ The Journal of Homeschooling. If your state doesn’t have such an association, consider starting one!
Before joining HSLDA, make sure that its mission is compatible with your beliefs. HSLDA’s full agenda may include what you might not consider homeschooling issues, and which you would not care to support with your membership fee. For instance, the organization is opposed to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
HSLDA’s membership application agreement requires you cooperate fully with the organization’s determination of the line of defense, which means that, should you disagree, the organization might decline to represent you any further.
Consider the group’s track record–what it has done on the state and national levels–disbursement of funds and percentage directly spent on members’ legal defense, its other services and activities, involvement with other groups, whether or not the services are guaranteed, and who controls your case if you need legal representation.
It is wise to request and examine sample copies of the organization’s newsletter, and any other literature– such as information about prior cases, as well as financial statements– before determining whether or not your family’s best interests will be served by joining such an organization. You can learn more about HSLDA by clicking on the links to the left.
Be aware that:
In order to receive HSLDA’s services, you must agree to use “an organized curriculum and a clearly recognizable program of education,” which may be very difficult for unschoolers.
HSLDA has a long-standing policy of not taking cases involved in domestic relations court–the kind of homeschooling cases most common today.
According to the Membership Application, “if you stop home schooling for any reason your HSLDA membership automatically terminates.”
HSLDA does not have lawyers certified to practice law in every state, and, according to one of its own, members may be required to hire their own local attorney, because the organization acts only in an advisory capacity.
HSLDA’s coverage of legal expenses may equal substantially less than your attorney’s usual hourly rate, and may include a cap.
To Preserve Homeschooling Freedoms, join your Inclusive state homeschool association. Since homeschooling laws are determined locally, your contribution to a state organization will be more effective than if you pay large sums to a national, top-down, multi-issue organization such as HSLDA.
Free Legal Resources:
Additional Legal Defense Associations
These organizations have historically helped homeschoolers at no charge in the past.
Who Stole Homeschooling? by Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff
“In contrast to the grassroots support groups of peers and equals which characterized homeschooling efforts in the late ’70s and early ’80s, today in almost every state and every county and city we have exclusive, heirarchical homeschooling groups in which membership is strictly controlled, with homeschooling itself often held hostage to group definitions. Sometimes the groups are the only groups available to homeschoolers in a given area. Sometimes there are other groups available, but the exclusive groups do not refer homeschoolers their way.”
Respected Homeschool Author Dr. Raymond Moore’s White Paper
“A ‘Christian’ fired from a homeschool job for fraud began using a statement of faith to split states and obtain a following, His Protestant exclusivist [PE] move was joined by lawyer-preacher Mike Farris and Editor Sue Welch of Teaching Home Magazine, making money from the move, yet it did not come from the Christ whose flag they wave. Backed by publishers who profit by formal, conventional programs, it destroys the historic unity and quality of the Movement, splitting state groups by requiring a statement of faith.
When we helped him start his legal defense program, Mike promised when all states made good laws, he would work himself out of a job. But now into big money, he has changed his mind and campaigns across the U.S. and Canada scaring parents into joining. We will show how the HR-6 alarm, his most notable of many, places the homeschool movement at risk, particularly when added to the self-serving religious intrusion.”
Reconstruction Theology in Home Education by Mary McCarthy
“In order to more clearly understand the …divisiveness in homeschooling…it is necessary to become familiar with some of the facets of Christian theology and theocracy…”In the United States, the Christian Reconstruction movement proposes the purest form of theocracy. Reconstructionism believes that the law given for the political and legal ordering of ancient Israel is intended for all people at all times; therefore American is duty bound to install a political system based entirely on biblical law.”
Other Links of Interest
- HSLDA’s Position on “state’s compelling interest” in education.
- Seelhoff vs. Welch
HSLDA Founder Michael Farris Gave Counsel to Defendants in the Seelhoff vs. Welch Anti-Trust Lawsuit. The details of her relationship with Rick, and of the dissolution of her long-troubled marriage were about to be used against her by some of the Christian homeschool movement’s most influential and well-known leaders, in a collaborative attempt to drive her from the marketplace. The defendants asserted that the motivation for their actions was biblical scripture, and their goals were “restoration of the family”
- New York Homeschool Law
“Equivalency laws place the burden of proof upon the State. Home instruction regulations place the burden of proof upon the homeschooling parent. Why would HSLDA help enact these burdensome and intrusive regulations? HSLDA supports the so called State’s “compelling interest” in education, not intellectual freedom.”
- Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA advocates in state legislatures (as well as at the federal level), and claims to do so at the invitation of state homeschool organizations, by “assisting” individual states in drafting language to improve their homeschool legal environment and to fight harmful legislation.
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