Do We Need a Homeschool Legal “Insurance” Organization?

Many Homeschooling Parents Believe the Answer is “No.”

“Too often, state homeschool leaders have been razzle-dazzled by HSLDA’s legalistic maneuverings, which makes homeschoolers more likely to turn to HSLDA for help with problems in the future, rather than trying to work things out on their own.”

-Mark and Helen Hegener, Home Education Magazine

Homeschooling is Legal in All 50 States

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of many individuals and organizations–including HSLDA in its early years–homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Many homeschoolers feel that they don’t need any “protection” or “insurance” because they are operating within the law. They believe that homeschooling is best protected by grassroots efforts, such as networking, individual action, and free sharing of information and resources.

Networking is Key

Most homeschoolers now have access to a fantastic grassroots network that offers information and assistance with legal and legislative matters. Via the Internet, we can utilize resources such as; discussion lists and forums, many inclusive state associations, and active local support groups.

REAL Insurance

Rather than joining HSLDA, homeschoolers who feel they need assurance of legal assistance are considering a pre-paid legal insurance plan–which covers a variety of legal needs. Such a plan provides an insurance contract, covers cases other than and including those pertaining to homeschooling, and does not require homeschoolers to support an organization that may be involved in actions which they do not condone. An Internet search such as will likely bring up several pre-paid legal plans from which to choose.

Strength in Unity and Diversity

Since legislation that affects homeschoolers is largely determined locally, it is important to have a strong, fully inclusive state association, which monitors the actions of government, as it relates to home education. Although state legislators most often have their constituents’ best interests at heart, they may be unaware of how certain legislation might affect homeschoolers.

To effectively serve all homeschoolers, state associations should be politically non-partisan, religiously neutral, and represent the diverse homeschooling community; work cooperatively with local, state and national homeschool organizations, respecting their autonomy; have a board, officers and staff, which takes direction from the membership, rather than directing the membership; offers an accurate synopsis of each legislative issue, and encourages members to choose an informed stance, rather than to accept a directive from the organization.

Alternative National Legal Organizations

  1. Homeschool Legal Advantage (HLA)
    HLA is a ministry to homeschool families and operates as an outreach of the Christian Law Association (CLA), a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization. The Christian Law Association has been protecting the rights of believers and homeschoolers for over 40 years.
  2. Association of HomeSchool Attorneys
    AHSA is an informal network of attorneys and legal experts in the United States supporting homeschooling and homeschoolers by providing legal information about homeschooling issues, empowering homeschoolers to have the legal tools they need to meet homeschooling challenges, and providing a network of attorneys for legal representation.
  3. Pacific Justice Institute (PJI)
    PJI is a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties. Pacific Justice Institute works diligently, without charge, to provide their clients with all the legal support they need through a network of over 1,000 affiliate attorneys nationwide. (Not specific to homeschooling.)
  4. Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
    COPAA is an independent organization of attorneys, advocates and parents who seek to secure high quality educational services for children with disabilities. (Not specific to homeschooling.)
  5. Legal Resources
    Additional legal resources both homeschool and non-homeschool related.
    [See also: Homeschool Laws & Legalities]
  6. United States Justice Foundation (USJF)
    USJF is a public interest, legal action organization dedicated to instruct, inform and educate the public on, and to litigate, significant legal issues confronting America. (Not specific to homeschooling.)
  7. The Rutherford Institute
    The Rutherford Institute is a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated. The Rutherford Institute has emerged as one of the nation’s leading advocates of civil liberties and human rights, litigating in the courts and educating the public on a wide spectrum of issues affecting individual freedom in the United States and around the world. The Institute’s mission is twofold: to provide legal services in the defense of religious and civil liberties and to educate the public on important issues affecting their constitutional freedoms. (Conservative Christian views.)
  8. Home Educators Legal Protection Services (HELPS)
    H.E.L.P.S. is an organization of experienced homeschool attorneys who are only a phone call away to provide you with practical and current advice. (Annual membership fee required.)

An Informed Homeschooler is a Smart Homeschooler

Many veteran homeschoolers, who have been active in legislative issues, believe homeschoolers must take the responsibility of becoming involved and informed, in order to assure our rights will not be usurped by any self-serving organization or individuals. The articles and discussion forums below can help you learn how to protect your homeschooling freedoms.

Discussion Forums

  1. AHA-Discussion
    AHSA is an informal network of attorneys and legal experts in the United States supporting homeschooling and homeschoolers by providing legal information about homeschooling issues, empowering homeschoolers to have the legal tools they need to meet homeschooling challenges, and providing a network of attorneys for legal representation.
  2. Home School – Custody Discussion Group
    This list provides an opportunity for homeschoolers involved in custody issues to contact other homeschoolers for information about homeschooling attorneys and experts, as well as exchange ideas and information about handling custody disputes as a result of homeschooling.

Related Articles:

  1. Home School Legal Defense Association and Foundation Consumer Information
    by Mary H. McCarthy, links from Ann Zeise
    “Read the HSLDA application or mission statement – the word ‘insurance’ is NEVER used. Isn’t that interesting?”
  2. Citizenship or Lawyership Choosing Political Strategies for Homeschoolers
    by Larry and Susan Kaseman
    “If you knew that in states throughout the land, homeschooling cases involving people like you were being taken to court in a misguided attempt to protect the rights of homeschoolers and that most of these cases were being decided against homeschoolers, wouldn’t you be concerned?”
  3. Foundations of the Rights and Responsibilities of Homeschooling Parents
    by Larry and Susan Kaseman
    “Increasing attention is being focused on the need for families to work to reclaim and maintain their rights and responsibilities which are being diminished as the state, the educational establishment, large corporations, and professionals are acting in ways that increase their power and influence in family life.”
  4. Responding to Current Legislative Challenges Promoted by National Organizations
    by Larry and Susan Kaseman
    “Two different kinds of legislation are undermining our rights and responsibilities as parents and our homeschooling freedoms. It would be serious enough if this legislation was coming from opponents of parents’ rights and homeschooling. But the fact that the legislation is being promoted by national organizations that claim to support parental rights and homeschooling is very confusing and frustrating.”
  5. Homeschooling Freedoms at Risk
    by Mark and Helen Hegener
    Homeschooling’s “‘success’ has drawn the attention of those who have recognized the potential power behind the homeschool movement. Attempts to harness our collective activism are threatening our very freedom to homeschool and have prompted this special Homeschooling Freedoms at Risk feature.” (Lengthy, but well worth the time to read.)

Updated November 19, 2009


Legal Mumbo Jumbo

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