There seem to be (at least) three distinct positions concerning whether and how it is lawful to educate one's own children at home here in Texas. Two of these endorse and perpetuate the idea of a compelling state interest in education, while the third does not.
The first position, in as accurate a nutshell as I can manage, is this:
"We accept the idea and practice of compelling state interest. We, in fact, went to court seeking a state definition of 'home schooling.' We lobby for home-educated children to participate fully in public-school 'benefits' like sports while also fully realizing that the Texas Education Code applies to all educational institutions funded in whole or in part by state tax funds. We avoid mentioning the applicability of that code (though we quote other sections of it) when people come to us wanting to know if or how the law may affect home education in Texas. We are serving and protecting the home schooling community of Texas."
The second contains the following ideas:
"We may or may not _like_ the idea of compelling state interest but we do fear the power of the State so we concede such an interest. We covet the state's approval, and are willing to allow the state to define what we do in our own homes in exchange for being 'allowed' to educate our own children. Yet, at the same time, we seek to avoid other state educational regulation that is not to our liking. We pin all our hopes on the idea that a court decision allowing us to call our homes private schools when they conform to certain requirements will protect us from having any requirements placed on our homes."
The temptation to add "We are confused." to this second position is overpowering.
In fairness, though, the same should be added to the first position as well.
Since both of these positions rely upon state approval and definition they both want some sort of 'homeschooling law' to point to as a "basis for our right to homeschool."
The third position says:
"We thoroughly reject the erroneous idea of a compelling state interest in our children's education. We also find no lawful basis for such a thing. We as parents created and produced these children and as we are willing to accept our parental responsibilities we claim those responsibilities for ourselves. We realize this position may not 'go over well' with bureaucrats and busybodies; however, we will settle for _no less than_ the liberty lawfully retained by the people when allowing the Texas Legislature educational authority over only an 'efficient system of public free schools'."
It has been suggested that those holding to the first two positions are more 'realistic' for thinking that obtaining permission and definition from the state will secure their ability to home educate in peace, while those holding out for liberty are said to be 'in denial' of the way things really work. But... who is actually in denial here?
The truth of the matter is that NO MATTER WHICH POSITION YOU HOLD... THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES that you will be left to live and learn in peace.
About the only guarantee is that in voluntarily conceding power over your children's education to the state ---> the state _will_ exercise that power and your compliance with state demands will be expected and enforced.
Bev Jones, April 2001 -- Permission is hereby granted to copy and/or forward this message,*in its entirety* and including this statement, to every single home-educating parent you can find on the face of this planet.
---------------------------------------- HomeSchooling TEXAS
, est. 1995
ubi libertas habitat, ibi nostra patria est
WHERE LIBERTY DWELLS, THERE IS MY COUNTRY