Friday, March 4, 2011

Can't we Just Focus on Reading, Writing and Math?

We can not even get children to read, write or perform math at grade appropriate level, lets get that down first before we start teaching about orgasms. The NEA has some very messed up priorities.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Excerpt: Comprehensive sex education is “the only way to combat heterosexism and gender conformity,” Schneider proclaimed

Volume 14, Number 12
March 3, 2011

"Schools need to teach about orgasms" says NEA to UN
By Lauren Funk
NEW YORK, March 3 (C-FAM) Graphic sex education for youth is the new battleground at the UN, as evidenced by side events during the past week at the Commission on the Status of Women.

The theme of this year’s CSW is the “access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology.” While delegates are busy negotiating resolutions and outcome documents, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN organizations campaign for the installation of socially radical curriculums in Africa and America alike.
“Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education,” Diane Schneider told the audience at a panel on combating homophobia and transphobia. Schneider, representing the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the US, advocated for more “inclusive” sex education in US schools, with curricula based on liberal hetero and homosexual expression. She claimed that the idea of sex education remains an oxymoron if it is abstinence-based, or if students are still able to opt-out.

Comprehensive sex education is “the only way to combat heterosexism and gender conformity,” Schneider proclaimed, “and we must make these issues a part of every middle and high-school student’s agenda.” “Gender identity expression and sexual orientation are a spectrum,” she explained, and said that those opposed to homosexuality “are stuck in a binary box that religion and family create.”

A Belgian panelist at the same event explained how necessary it was to have government support when educating about anti-discrimination issues. He claimed that the “positive, pro-LGBT policies in Belgian schools are a direct consequence of liberal and open-minded legislation in Belgium,” and went on to stress the importance of states in providing relevant materials for students and schoolteachers. He also held up Belgium’s “gender in the blender” programs, which are discussion-based programs for Belgian teachers who want to discuss gender and transgender issues in their courses, as a model for other nations who wished to encourage their teachers to address these topics.

The UN system was also advocating for the sexualization of youth at this year’s CSW. A panel sponsored in part by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) advocated for “comprehensive sex education” not only as a tool to combat “gender oppression,” but also as the key to achieving all of the Millennium Development Goals. The panelists presented the highly controversial UNESCO guidelines on Sex Education, as well as a new IPPF-sponsored curriculum as the gold standard for comprehensive sex education. Both curriculums promote a liberal approach to sex, approve of masturbation, and expose children to graphic content in their youngest years. The panelists also insisted that these programs be implemented in schools in order to reach as many students as possible, and they also recommended they start as soon as possible, given the fact that many girls in developing countries leave school before the age of sixteen.

Although most of the side events during CSW are not sponsored by governments and attract few delegates, the NGOs who produce the events are UN lobbyists – which means that the agendas on display during this year’s CSW will influence UN policy in the near future.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Pink Elephant

The Pink Elephant is not only in New Hampshire but in Illinois too. The Pink Elephant is here in New Hampshire as well but it is CCeNH and HSLDA.

The following piece appears on

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

This plea to the homeschooling families in Illinois was sent to me and I am sharing it with you with her permission. Terri is a long time homeschooling mom and I believe she is speaking for the majority of homeschooling families in our state who do not want to be represented by those who have named themselves leaders and spokespersons for all homeschoolers. I heartily agree with her. We need to be sure our heads aren’t in the sand!!!

Dear Karen:

The Pink Elephant

I have been doing a lot of thinking since Thursday, and I may get rode out of town on a rail here, but I think the pink elephant in the room needs to be addressed. I am very, very concerned about those who are claiming to have a seat at the table with Senator Maloney, to be speaking on the behalf of all home schooling families in this state. Listening to that 2 hour interview Thursday* only confirmed my fears. I will admit, I am uncomfortable with IFI, ICHE, HSLDA, or even HOUSE representing my interest in any talks or negotiations in the scope of home schooling. David Smith proved Thursday that home schooling rights of parents is not IFI’s main focus. I feel that those rights will be lost in IFI’s agenda at that table.

Mr. Smith was given a perfect opportunity Thursday to take a firm stand against the registration/regulation of all home school students; to speak about SB 136 and what it meant for all home school students; to educate people on how these tactics have been implemented in other states and the effect that it had on homeschoolers in those other states. He chose not to do this. Instead, he and Laurie Higgins chose to spend a whole hour addressing IFI’s stand against homosexuality and liberal propaganda in the public school system. Quite frankly, it left me yelling at my computer “WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH REGISTERING/REGULATING HOMESCHOOLERS IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS?!” Was he there to speak about the threat hanging over the head of every homeschooling family in Illinois or to further IFI’s agenda?
This led me to do some digging and I am frightened by what I found:

IFI is on a national list of hate groups? Of course I understand who drew up that list and I support IFI’s right to speak out for or against any issue they choose to, but the fact of the matter is that this is an “honor” which our opponents can throw out in front of the liberal media to bury us with. The last thing that we need is to be further labeled as a bunch of hateful, religious zealots who are “sheltering our children” (David Smith said something similar to this in that interview, btw) from the real world. They seemed unable to stay on track and focus on the rights of homeschooling throughout that interview. The fact that David Smith has bragged about knowing Senator Maloney personally (they shared office space before David started with IFI) and is working in secret with Maloney doesn’t instill a lot of my trust in him. IFI is heavily involved in a number of hot-button social issues. (I happen to agree with most of those stances.) To their followers, this is fine, but to others who do not share their beliefs, like a number of Democrat Legislators, it is not. Will they take the time to focus only on the home school issue? The fact that they could not give an interview on the subject of homeschooling without sidetracking the conversation for an entire hour to their anti-gay agenda instills very little of my confidence in this group’s ability to represent all home schooling families.

HSLDA is another concern. I have my own opinions on HSLDA from my personal experience with them. When you visit the HSLDA website, you can clearly see their own religious agenda. Google them and you will find their anti-gay stances. They also seem to be much more comfortable representing families that use a set curriculum, preferably one that they approve of. Where does that leave the unschoolers and the more eclectic and free spirited members of our community? I am all for HSLDA coming in and representing their clients in individual cases, even a group of their members in a case, but to come into a state and present themselves as “the” authority to speak on behalf of all homeschooling families is a bit much. They have a history of doing this on a national level as well. They completely refused to listen to anything that anyone outside of their closed circle has to say. I was fighting with them tooth and nail the entire two weeks leading up to the hearing. Despite the fact that I sent them emails from State Senators urging us to contact every member on the Education Committee, regardless of where you live, HSLDA maintained their position that only those who lived in their district should contact them. Furthermore, they discouraged people outside of Maloney’s district to contact him and from contacting their own State Senators if they were not on that committee. I can only say thankfully a large number of people either didn’t get the message or chose to ignore it! Did Scott Woodruff deliver a good testimony during that hearing? From all that I have heard, I think it was adequate. The thing that truly concerns me is the fact that they are still telling their members that this is over, we won, it is time celebrate. They, along with IFI, ICHE, and HOUSE are intentionally discouraging people from remaining active in this fight. Why are they doing this? While I was digging on the internet, I found a couple of interesting articles with HSLDA as the subject. One that I found similar to our situation is this one:
This well written and thought-out blog entry about HSLDA’s involvement with the HoNDA legislation definitely made me stop and think:

According to this, they were brokering a deal to make themselves the main entity to issue “home school diplomas”, diplomas that would be required for anyone who was home schooled entering the military. Some of the other things that I read, tying HLSDA with the military, if true, were very troubling.

ICHE is another matter. While I don’t agree with their religious doctrine or theology, I will support their right to practice any religion they choose to practice. Are they willing to say the same of others? Would they fight as hard for Catholic families as they do for their member churches? I get very uneasy when one group of Christians decides that another group of Christians is not Christian enough. Does anyone have any idea of just how many members this group has? I can only find 700 or so on their Facebook page. Even at 3,000 students, that is still only around 5% of the estimated home schooled students in this state. Very presumptuous of them to go and negotiate with Maloney on behalf of every home schooling family in the state, the majority of which do not follow their religious doctrine. Their idea of “true home schooling” scares me. I know that my family and I certainly do not qualify as “Christian” or “Godly” under their interpretation of the Scripture. I think I would be less afraid to stand before Christ Himself and answer for the way I live my life, rather than to have to stand before one of their board of elders. That is the true beauty of the freedom in living under the blood of Christ rather than under the laws of man. Sorry, I digress.
HOUSE was the one group that I had no knowledge of until the hearing. I have been home schooling for 12 years and this was the first that I had ever heard of them. I will say that a comment made by Dorothy Werner concerns me; she thinks that the truancy laws need to be more stringent. More stringent for whom? Also they state on their website that daytime curfews are “there to protect us, not to threaten us.” What? They go on to advise that children carry a home school I.D. card and cell phone in case they are stopped and questioned by the police. Well, why don’t we just sew big red “H”s on our children’s jackets to avoid having them stopped and questioned at all?! I just recently fought down a daytime curfew in our county seat. This was a bad law and it was meant to protect no one; only to give more power and authority to the ROE and local police. There was no exemption for home schooled students. None. So carrying an I.D. would have done little good in keeping my children from being charged with a petty offense and fined up to $100 for being in public, even on the roadways, during school hours. Even with an exemption, once these new daytime curfews and new truancy laws are put into place, our children can be stopped and question, often being presumed guilty until proven innocent. This is one very important issue that I vehemently disagree with HOUSE on.

IFI, ICHE and HLSDA seem to be working in unison to monopolize this whole process. As my papa used to say, “They are like a bucket of snakes. You reach in to pull one out and they are so inter-twined that it is hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.” All three of these groups have a highly religious agenda and that deeply concerns me. What concerns me even more about these three groups is that they seem to require a blind loyalty from their members, without question.

Most homeschoolers are independent and the range of reasons that they choose to home school is endless. The majority of people do not choose to home school for religious reasons, and yet here we have 3 very religious organizations pushing their way to the table to negotiate with the enemy. And yes, I do consider Senator Maloney and his like the enemy. They are hoping to turn him into the homeschooler’s biggest ally in Springfield? That shows a political naiveté that should exclude them from even being at the negotiation table. What is the purpose of these meetings anyway? There is NOTHING to negotiate. What are they hoping to get out of these meetings? Maybe something along the lines of what Julie Kleinke Durr has proposed; to set up a governing board, a non-education board as other states have, to oversee regulations imposed on homeschoolers by the State of Illinois, with them having guaranteed seats of authority on the board? Remember, they have already appointed themselvs the leaders of homeschooling in Illinois. One of the Senators at the hearing assumed that HSLDA knew where all the homeschoolers in Illinois were. Of course, when you set yourself up as the representative for an entire community, I can understand how she could have easily made that assumption. Really, is this what we are fighting for? To answer to some other authority on how we are allowed to educate our children? To report to them? To have them approve which curriculum can be used? Or maybe to decide what qualifies a parent to educate their own children? Is a board made up of IFI, HSLDA, ICHE and HOUSE members a better alternative to answering to the State Board of Education or the ROE? I am sure to their 2000-3000 members it would be. Why would they mind, they are already under their authority. However, I don’t think that the other 12,000 to 20,000 homeschooling families would think it any different than answering to the government. I am willing to wager that most who do not share these groups’ theology would rather be put under the authority of the government if given a choice.

I will sum this all up. What is the true agenda of IFI, HSLDA, and ICHE? Is it to fight registration/regulation/restrictions on homeschoolers in this state or to furthering their own agendas? I think it is a fair question, especially after hearing that interview, receiving their emails (all three sending out basically the same exact email to counter the Illinois Homeschool PAC and its efforts and then to encourage each of their members to join the two sister groups), and seeing how they manipulated the circumstances to put only themselves and their spokespeople on the front row at the education hearing. I have to ask again, what is there to negotiate with Maloney about? I would like to ask those at IFI if any of them are okay with testing home schooling students. I would like to ask the folks at HOUSE if any of them are okay with imposing daytime curfew on all Illinois homeschoolers to help the public schools reign in their dropouts and truants. Should our home schooling students have their freedoms limited because Regional Superintendents and Truant Officers are incapable of doing the job they are being paid to do? I would like to ask the attorneys at HSLDA if they will protect the rights of those parents who choose to unschool their children and also would they waive their fees for members in Illinois for 2 years after any deal they broker goes into effect? I would like to ask those in authority at ICHE if they can leave their religious beliefs out of the meetings. Will they be able to respect an atheist’s right to home school? How about a gay couple’s? Remember, these are the people who put themselves in a place to negotiate for all of us.

Now back to the pink elephant I spoke of before. Who exactly decided that these handful of organizations where the homeschooling “leaders” or “experts” and had the right to speak on everyone’s behalf? And even though these organizations are highly respected by their members, will they be able to represent all the homeschooling families equally; without prejudice and without judging and forsaking those who do not share their religious beliefs? Will they admit that they are the minority in the homeschooling community in this state? Will they only focus on the home school issue and be willing to leave their groups’ agendas at the door? Will they agree to be transparent, open and honest with everyone who could be affected by their actions, not just their groups’ members? Will they publically announce who will be representing them in these meetings with Maloney and give the public their bios so that all parties can let it be known whether or not these organizations are representing them? Will they let the public know when and where these meetings will be held? Out of respect for every homeschooling parent throughout this state, I hope that they will do all the above.

Thank you,
Terri Koyne
Macoupin County, Illinois

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Running into Walls In New Hampshire

I thought with a Republicans having majority control of the Senate and the House we would finally get homeschooling freedom in New Hampshire. But the iron grip of Statist Homeschoolers, HSLDA and educrate thugs prevails in the HEC. HB 301 and HB 595 have been sent to committee. HEC members need to decide if the believe in Homeschooling freedom and the Constitution or if they are just going to do the dirty work of those who oppose homeschooling freedom.

When Jim and I first decided to homeschool, I checked into HSLDA. First glance I thought they were great, I thought since Jim and I our vocal tax fighters we would need HSLDA on our side. I have come to find out they have an iron grip on homeschoolers and just in my opinion pretend to be homeschooler advocates. Something that some others found out long ago.

The right to homeschool your child without state interference is a constitution right. Those on the side of blocking homeschooling freedom and constitutional rights are either ignorant or evil.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

First in the line-up is how HSLDA is out to protect their financial interests in part through fear. The Following piece appears on A -Z Home's Cool Homeschooling.

The Ravage of Home Education Through Exclusion By Religion

© 1998 Raymond Moore. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission.

The Moore Foundation has requested that the two following cover letters be published along with the White Paper.

Box 1, Camas, WA 98607

October 1994

SUBJECT: Your phoned request about HR-6, Farris and the religious ravage of homeschooling

TO: Allison Tucker, Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C. & others

FROM: Raymond S. Moore (typist's note: Dr. Moore's signature appears here)

You ask for clarification of issues related to the Ad Hoc National Coalition of Home Educators [Coalition] objection to the HR-6 alarm by Michael Farris, president of the Homes School Legal Defense Association [HSLDA] who in part generated a favorable 424 to 1 vote. This raises long-standing issues which I will try to summarize, then give details in reply to many questions which have been raised by others. One said I may be asked about sour grapes. We are too blessed to worry about that. My concern is for families suffering out there. As 25-year Movement pioneers, information has long gravitated to us. There will be some repetition here in view of the complexities of the issues. I don't mainly treat the HR-6 alarm as such, but mostly its relations, effects and rationales.

Top universities give our students scholarships. Unpaid laymen work smoothly, warmly and unitedly in helping us and others in their own states and across state borders, forming coalitions (not marriages!) that serve families of all faiths. We build mutual respect with school officials and legislators, as reasoning educational statesmen rather than as alarmed political hacks--in a Golden Rule treatment they prefer and most deserve. We show them which is the best of home education and why it works and how it becomes a model, a laboratory for better American schools.

But 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 publisher 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.

We believe that homeschoolers should capitalize on their peerless record of achievement, behavior, sociability and entrepreneurial skills to show themselves friendly to legislators, school officials and laymen as a positive , altruistic movement instead of one that is alarmist, defensive, hypercritical and exclusive by religion. "Radicalizing the right", vitiates the conservative movement.

We tell why, how, and when here, and are prepared to document all. For answers or information on proven answers for American schools or balanced, research-based work-study-service, low-stress, low-cost programs for homeschools' best, send a 52-cent SASE to me c/o HR-6, Box, 1, Camas, WA 98607.

We don't want to trade on anyone, but for those who feel generous toward what we are doing here, we would be grateful for financial sharing in this somewhat costly effort. Please make out any checks to the not-for-profit, IRS 5-2(c)(3), Moore Foundation, even though I am sending this out personally. Instead of giving my regular contribution to the operation of the Foundation, I will pay for extensive printing and mailing costs. Dorothy and I take no pay for our work in this Movement. She manages very well.

To read the rest of the story go to the A -Z Home's Cool Homeschooling website. It is a must to go to the website in read the whole report.

It has been 17 years since this piece came out but HSLDA continues their games in New Hampshire.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Conflict of Interest

The following piece appears on the NH Parents First Blog. At this point in time the NH Parents First group appears to be the only group in New Hampshire besides CRAFT, that is fighting for homeschooling freedom. There are plenty of so called "homeschooling advocates" in New Hampshire but that is in name only, none of these other groups or people support homeschooling freedom.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Rep. Mirski’s Ethical Conflicts of Interest
Rep. Paul Mirski R-Enfield needn’t chase Rep. Michael Brunelle D-Manchester if he wants to eliminate ethical conflicts of interest within the House. He need only look in his own back yard. Rep. Mirski is co-sponsoring a controversial home schooling bill, HB 301, drafted by unregistered lobbyists from the Home School Legal Defense Association in Virginia. He has knowingly protected these lobbyists and undermined the constitutional rights of home schooling parents.

Rep. Mirski is a good friend of HSLDA, as one of their lawyers was his former Enfield neighbor. The prime sponsor of HB 301, Rep. Jim Parison, R-New Ipswich, is another good friend and a member of HSLDA, as well as the former president of HSLDA’s state affiliate group, which incidentally requires a statement of faith in order to join. Rep. Parison also shares Rep. Mirski’s summer home in Florida. It’s one big happy family.

HSLDA’s quasi-legislators boast that they are “the only national organization lobbying on behalf of homeschoolers.” They draft restrictive home schooling legislation across the country and then financially benefit by offering parents legal protection from these same laws. HB 301 proposes to criminalize parents, subordinating them to their districts. HSLDA has earned nearly one million dollars in protection fees from NH families since drafting New Hampshire’s first home education law in 1990.

Ironically, the penalty for HSLDA’s failure to register as a lobbyist is a felony under NH state law. Yet HSLDA has never once registered or worn those little orange lobbyist badges. Rep. Mirski’s own committee just heard a bill, HB 180, which attempted to address the problem of quasi-legislators writing our laws. Rep. Mirski voted to kill the bill, argued against it on the floor, and knowingly protected HSLDA’s unregistered lobbyists. It’s as if Rep. Mirski put a HSLDA lobbyist on the floor of the House, since HSLDA member Rep. Parison carries their water.

HSLDA’s bill, HB 301, proposes to criminalize home schooling parents for “failure to educate” their children based upon the state’s approval or disapproval of the outcome of their programs. HSDLA started lobbying NH legislators last October for support of this measure. This bill places inequitable requirements upon home schoolers which cannot be imposed upon other private teachers in this state. To do so would violate Art. 6, Pt. I of the NH Constitution.

Rep. Mirski ought to give up his crusade against Rep. Brunelle and acknowledge his own ethical conflicts, as well as his inappropriate opposition to the rights of parents.

As a result, the House Education Committee has retained all homeschooling bills in committee this year, including HB 595, which addressed the constitutional problems in the current law, disappointing parents across the state. Rep. Seth Cohn R-Canterbury proposed a stop-gap amendment to HB 542, which would prevent parents from sliding back down a slippery slope each year, arguing against the same increases in state regulation. Support for this amendment to HB 542 would redeem Republicans who promised to uphold the rights of homeschoolers.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Should the Teacher Have been Fired?

Should the teacher have been fired? The teacher does not have a right to her job, if the school wants to fire they can. But should they have fired her? No! Parents need to get a grip, deal with it.

The following piece appears on the CBS 5 website.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Teacher: I Was Fired Over A Bumper Sticker
Ausburn Says She Wouldn't Remove Sticker As School Orders
Peter Busch
Weekend Anchor/Reporter, KPHO CBS 5 News

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The longest red light in the world would not give you enough time to read all the bumper stickers on Tarah Ausburn's Toyota Prius hybrid.

"I just like the ability to take a controversial topic and sum it up in one clever line. I'm an English teacher; that's what I do,"

But this English teacher found herself in the principal's office after she said some parents at Imagine Prep High School in Surprise started complaining about a bumper sticker on Ausburn's car that asks, "Have you drugged your kid today?"

"It's kind of a criticism of us tending to over-medicate hyperactive kids who might not need those medications," said Ausburn, who said she has been a teacher for seven years.

Ausburn said she did not share her opinion in class, but that school officials fired her for refusing to remove the bumper sticker.

Ausburn's story was first publicized on the Web site

CBS 5 News contacted officials at Imagine Prep, who initially agreed to speak on camera about Ausburn's situation. They later canceled the interview.

Ausburn said she is fighting to get her job back, claiming that her First Amendment rights were violated.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Replace Wisconsin with the State of your Choice

Just replace Wisconsin with the name of a State of your choice, the message still holds true.


After Madison, I am Glad Croydon does not have a Teachers' Union

After the past week's event in Madison I am glad Croydon does not have a Teachers' Union. It is bad enough that we have to deal with Newport's Teachers' Unions. Lets hope Croydon stays union free.

Unions are nothing more than legalized gangs or mobs, IMHO. I never liked unions, always hated working with people who did not like working as hard as me or told me to slow down you are working too fast or working too hard.

Oh and look at the signs union teachers made, do you really want people like this teaching your children?

Quote of the Day - As Sen. Barry Goldwater observed in Conscience of a Conservative, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of association for union members. But "[e]mployers are forbidden to act collusively for sound reasons. The same reasons [should] apply to unions...Let us henceforth make war on all monopolies -- whether corporate or union. The enemy of freedom is unrestrained power" -- whether it be unrestrained management power or unrestrained union power.

The following piece appeared on the American Thinker.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

February 21, 2011
Why I Changed My Mind About Unions
By Michael Filozof

The organized tactics of intimidation by the public employee unions in Wisconsin last week came as no surprise to me. I'm from New York, one of the most union-friendly states in the country, and I've seen the negative effects of unions my entire life.

I dislike unions. But I didn't always feel that way. My first job as a 16-year old grocery store shelf-stocker was a union job. I grew up in a union household; my father was an employee of one of the Big Three automakers. Although he wasn't active in union politics, he worked in a "union shop" and was required to be a member. He always credited the union for the standard of living and benefits he enjoyed. When I was in grade school, the social studies curriculum taught the evils of management and the glory of organized labor, with morality tales like the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911. Management had locked the doors to prevent non-unionized employees from leaving; when the place caught fire, workers were forced to jump to their deaths or be burned alive. Who could argue against the progress unions had made in safety and wages? In our blue-collar universe, there was one simple explanation for everything: management bad, unions good.

The industrial economy of Western New York imploded in the 1980s with the closing of the Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, which had once employed over 20,000 people. I'd heard stories about union people who worked in the steel mill or the auto plants who would punch the clock and than find a place to sleep all day, or would get drunk at lunchtime and return to work and still not get fired -- but those stories never really registered with me when I was a student. No one ever blamed overpriced union labor for forcing the big industrial employers out of the region; it was always foreign competition or management greed or rich fat-cats. It didn't matter to me; I was going to college, anyway.

I'd never heard word of criticism about unions in my life until I was in college and worked summers for a small, independent contractor with only two full-time employees. Those guys were courteous, professional, diligent craftsmen who worked very, very hard -- and they hated unions. Before long I'd discover why.

Right around the time I graduated, it happened that my Dad needed a ride from work. I went to pick him up. I was wearing a shirt and tie that day, and when I went in to get him he gave me a tour of the place. I'd never actually seen heavy industry in action, and it's very difficult to visualize without seeing it firsthand. I looked around, fascinated, while he leaned toward me, shouting explanations over the din of the machinery and pointing has he talked.

Then, some longhaired, leather-jacketed maggot with a scruffy goatee drove past on a forklift. Neither one of us knew him, but seeing an older man explaining things to a young kid in a tie, he must've thought I was a new hire, and shouted out "This f___ing job suuuucks!" as he drove past. He couldn't get fired for that, thanks to the union. And I am certain that he was making more money back then than I've ever made in my life, and I have three college degrees.

A few years later, studying for my Master's degree, I lived in a low-rent apartment. A tenant in one of the other units was a union roofer. From November to April, he'd get $400 a week in unemployment. It seems that in our state union employees didn't have to look for non-union work. If the union didn't call, the unemployment check was a certainty. But the phone stayed off the hook all winter to make sure the union couldn't call anyway. He wasn't idle, though; he worked "under the table" all winter doing side jobs tax-free while collecting unemployment. In the summer when he did union work he'd tell stories about the roofers getting drunk and stoned at lunchtime and making $22 an hour.

That really frosted me. Why in hell was I bothering to get a postgraduate degree while a semiliterate guy who barely made it through high school got $400 a week for not working half the year? The scales fell from my eyes. Management wasn't the root of all evil. Union workers were just as lazy, greedy, and corrupt. I now saw the union as a grand rip-off. The union working man wasn't some noble, virtuous saint, fighting the good fight against the Robber Barons, as I'd always been taught. He was a drunken, stoned, uneducated, vulgar slob, ripping off a piece of the action for himself. And in my state he had the full force of the law and the state government behind him. So private sector employers fled.

The unions have chased the private sector out of the Great Lakes "Rust Belt." But the government can't go out of business, and the unions here have a stranglehold on the government. If you want to make money in New York State, don't be a fool and go to college. Get a government union job instead.

Last year, a Buffalo city cop retired with a pension of $105,000 per year after making $189,000 in his final year on the job. If he lives another 20 years he'll cost the taxpayers $2.1 million for not working. The union contract allowed employees with the most seniority to get first dibs on overtime; it also allowed them to calculate their pensions on the overtime-inflated salaries. Also last year the New York Post reported that some unionized janitors in New York City public schools earned over $140,000, including one who made $181,000. Public sector union contracts here allow union stewards to be paid their full salary while they do union business full-time -- thus, they are paid by the taxpayers to lobby against the taxpayers for more taxpayer money. It's insane.

Buffalo is a place where actual union thuggery, violence and vandalism still exists in the 21st century. In 2010, members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 17, an AFL-CIO affiliate, pleaded guilty to Federal racketeering charges. According to The Buffalo News, the union members were charged with "death threats and stabbings," "throwing scalding coffee at non-union workers," "telling a construction company official they were going to his home to sexually assault his wife," and "pouring sand into the engines of 18 pieces of [nonunion] construction equipment, causing $330,000 damage." What employer in his right mind would want to do business here?

I don't deny that some unions have made contributions to worker safety and quality of life. But it's simply not true that management is always bad and unions are always good.

As Sen. Barry Goldwater observed in Conscience of a Conservative, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of association for union members. But "[e]mployers are forbidden to act collusively for sound reasons. The same reasons [should] apply to unions...Let us henceforth make war on all monopolies -- whether corporate or union. The enemy of freedom is unrestrained power" -- whether it be unrestrained management power or unrestrained union power.

Monday, February 21, 2011

HB 595 not HB 301

Our Family supports HB 595 do you?

Quotes of the Day “It is better to tolerate that rare instance of a parent’s refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings by a forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of his father." Thomas Jefferson

Education is a privilege and not a right. It [should not] be proposed to take ordinary branches [of education] out of the hands of private enterprise, which manages so much better all the concerns to which it is equal. Thomas Jefferson, sixth annual message to Congress (1806), reprinted in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Memorial Edition 1907), volume 14, page 384.
Jefferson most definitely supported public funding of schools, but made clear he opposed compulsory attendance.

The following information came from the NH Parents First website.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Amendment to HB 595
Amend the bill by replacing it in its entirety with the following:

AN ACT amending the compulsory school attendance statutes to permit parent-directed instruction programs and repealing the home education statutes.

SPONSORS: Rep. L. Jones, Straf 1; Rep. Manuse, Rock 5; Rep. Cohn, Merr 6; Rep. Baldasaro, Rock 3; Rep. C. Vita, Straf 3; Rep. Accornero, Belk 4; Rep. Avard, Hills 20; Rep. S. Palmer, Hills 6; Rep. Simpson, Belk 1; Sen. White, Dist 9; Sen. Forsythe, Dist 4; Sen. Luther, Dist 12

COMMITTEE: Education
This bill:

I. Repeals the home education statute.

II. Permits parent-directed instruction programs.

III. Asserts that it is the natural right of a parent to determine and direct the instruction of his or her child and limits the involvement of the state in parent-directed instruction programs only to cases in which there is probable cause to believe that a parent is not instructing his or her child.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT amending the compulsory school attendance statutes to permit parent-directed instruction programs and repealing the home education statutes.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Statement of Purpose. It is the natural right and duty of parents to determine and direct the instruction of their children for their education. The general court acknowledges that the primary and natural instructors of a child are his or her parents, and the general court guarantees the right and duty of parents to provide for the instruction of their children. Parents shall be free to provide this instruction in the manner and at the location of their choosing, including in their homes or in private schools or in schools recognized or established by their resident school district or by the state or in other places where instruction can be given.

2 Child Protection Act; Definitions. Amend RSA 169-C:3, XIX(b) to read as follows:

(b) Who is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, [education as required by law,] or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health, when it is established that his health has suffered or is very likely to suffer serious impairment; and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of the parents, guardian or custodian; or

3 Truant Officers; Duties. Amend RSA 189:36, I to read as follows:

I. Truant officers shall, when directed by the school board, enforce the laws and regulations relating to truants and children between the ages of 6 and 18 years not attending school or who are not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1, I[(h)] (b)(8); and the laws relating to the attendance at school of children between the ages of 6 and 18 years; and shall have authority without a warrant to take and place in school any children found employed contrary to the laws relating to the employment of children, or violating the laws relating to the compulsory attendance at school of children under the age of 18 years, and the laws relating to child labor. No [home school pupil] child in a parent-directed instruction program nor any person between the ages of 6 and 18 who meets any of the requirements of RSA 193:1, I[(c)-(h)] (b)(2)-(8) shall be deemed a truant.

4 School Attendance; Duty of Parents. Amend the section heading of RSA 193:1 and RSA 193:1, I to read as follows:

193:1 Rights and Duties of [Parent] Parents; Compulsory Attendance by Pupil.

I. It is the natural right of parents to determine and direct the instruction of their children. A parent of any child at least 6 years of age and under 18 years of age:

(a) Shall instruct such child or cause such child to be instructed as determined by the parent; or

(b) Shall cause such child to attend the public school to which the child is assigned in the child’s resident district. Such child shall attend the public school to which the child is assigned full time when such school is in session unless:

(1) The child is receiving parent-directed instruction and is therefore exempt from this requirement;

(A) Notification (optional). A parent may notify the superintendent of his or her resident school district or the principal of a nonpublic school of his or her decision to involve his or her child in a parent-directed instruction program pursuant to this section. Such notification shall not be required of a parent, and failure to send such notification shall not be considered probable cause under RSA 193:1(I-a).

(B) A parent who chooses to notify the superintendent of the resident school district or the principle of a nonpublic school under RSA 193:1(I)(b)(1)(A) may submit such notification within 14 days of the date the child is withdrawn from a public or nonpublic school, or moves into the resident school district, or reaches compulsory attendance age pursuant to this section. Notification may include the name, address, and age of each child whose education is being personally directed by the parent pursuant to this chapter. A parent may also send such notification if he or she ends a parent-directed instruction program for any period of time and then subsequently resumes such a program. A parent may choose to enroll a child previously involved in a parent-directed instruction program in a public or private school at any time that any other child may be enrolled.

(C) The superintendent of the resident school district or the principle of a nonpublic school receiving notification pursuant to RSA 193:1(I)(b)(1)(A) and to RSA 193:1(I)(b)(1)(B) shall provide written acknowledgment of the notification within 14 days of receipt of the notification.

(D) Privacy. Records or information maintained by the superintendent of the resident school district or the principal of a nonpublic school under this chapter shall not be public records pursuant to RSA 91-A and shall not be released to any person or agency without the express written consent of the parent.

[(a)] (2) The child is attending a New Hampshire public school outside the district to which the child is assigned or an approved New Hampshire private school for the same time;

[(b) The child is receiving home education pursuant to RSA 193-A and is therefore exempt from this requirement;

(c)] (3) The relevant school district superintendent has excused a child from attendance because the child is physically or mentally unable to attend school, or has been temporarily excused upon the request of the parent for purposes agreed upon by the school authorities and the parent. Such excused absences shall not be permitted if they cause a serious adverse effect upon the student’s educational progress. Students excused for such temporary absences may be claimed as full-time pupils for purposes of calculating state aid under RSA 186-C:18 and adequate education grants under RSA 198:41;

[(d)] (4) The child is attending a public or private school located in another state which has been approved by the state education agency of the state in which the school is located;

[(e)] (5) The pupil has been exempted from attendance pursuant to RSA 193:5;

[(f)] (6) The pupil has successfully completed all requirements for graduation and the school district is prepared to issue a diploma or the pupil has successfully achieved the equivalent of a high school diploma by [either:

(1)] obtaining a GED certificate[; or

(2) Documenting the completion of a home school program at the high school level by submitting a certificate or letter to the department of education];

[(g)] (7) The pupil has been accepted into an accredited postsecondary education program; or

[(h)] (8) The pupil obtains a waiver from the superintendent, which shall only be granted upon proof that the pupil is 16 years of age or older and has an alternative learning plan for obtaining either a high school diploma or its equivalent.

[(1)] (A) Alternative learning plans shall include age-appropriate academic rigor and the flexibility to incorporate the pupil’s interests and manner of learning. These plans may include, but are not limited to, such components or combination of components of extended learning opportunities as independent study, private instruction, performing groups, internships, community service, apprenticeships, and on-line courses.

[(2)] (B) Alternative learning plans shall be developed, and amended if necessary, in consultation with the pupil, a school guidance counselor, the school principal and at least one parent or guardian of the pupil, and submitted to the school district superintendent for approval.

[(3)] (C) If the superintendent does not approve the alternative learning plan, the parent or guardian of the pupil may appeal such decision to the local school board. A parent or guardian may appeal the decision of the local school board to the state board of education consistent with the provisions of RSA 21-N:11, III.

5 Compulsory School Attendance; Definitions. Amend RSA 193:1, III to read as follows:
III. In this section[,]:

(a) “Child” means a child or children of compulsory attendance age who is a resident of New Hampshire.

(b) “Parent” means a parent, guardian, or person having legal custody of a child.

(c) “Parent-directed instruction” means instruction determined and directed by the parent or guardian of a child who is of compulsory school age. Such instruction may also be referred to as “homeschooling.”

6 New Paragraph; School Attendance; Limitations on State, County and Municipal Action. Amend RSA 193:1 by inserting after paragraph 1 the following new paragraph:
I-a. Under no circumstances shall the neglect provisions of RSA 169-C and RSA 169-D apply to a parent involved in parent-directed instruction. Instead, only the following civil procedure shall apply to a parent involved in parent-directed instruction:

(a) Original jurisdiction of any action brought against a parent engaged in parent-directed instruction pursuant to this chapter shall be in the Superior Court in the county of the parent's residence.

(b) The state, a county or any local jurisdiction shall not interfere with the natural right of a parent to instruct his or her child unless the acting jurisdiction has probable cause to believe that a parent involved in a parent-directed instruction program has failed to instruct or cause the child to be instructed.

(c) If there is probable cause to believe that a parent involved in a parent-directed instruction program has failed to instruct or cause the child to be instructed, a local jurisdiction may investigate, after prior notice to the parent, to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed against the parent. The Division of Children, Youth and Family Services shall not investigate any case of failure to instruct or cause the child to be instructed. No other state agency shall investigate any case of failure to instruct or cause the child to be instructed. Not more than one jurisdiction shall ever investigate a case of failure to instruct or cause the child to be instructed.

(d) A local jurisdiction shall only proceed against a parent in accordance with the Constitutional provisions for due process and a fair trial, during which the parent shall retain the presumption of innocence.

(e) A local jurisdiction shall not compel a parent to submit evidence to prove his or her innocence, nor shall the local jurisdiction presume such parent has failed to instruct or cause the child to be instructed based on the parent's failure to submit such evidence.

(f) In any action relating to a parent involved in a parent-directed instruction program, no finding or opinion that a parent has failed to instruct or cause the child to be instructed shall issue except upon evidence proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

(g) A parent involved in a parent-directed instruction program who has failed to instruct or cause the child to be instructed may be found guilty only of a civil violation. Under no circumstances shall the state, a county, a local jurisdiction, or any other government official, including but not limited to a court, remove a child from a parent's custody based on an allegation or finding of failure to instruct or cause the child to be instructed or for any other allegation or finding pertaining to a parent-directed instruction program. Only after the procedure in this section has been followed, and a court has found by evidence proven beyond a reasonable doubt, in three separate court proceedings, that a parent has failed to instruct the child or failed to cause the child to be instructed, may the court, as of the third court proceeding, order the child to be returned to a public or nonpublic school, as shall be determined by the parent.

(h) No state agency or local jurisdiction shall have authority to write or enforce rules relative to parent-directed instruction programs.

7 School Attendance; Access to Public School Programs. Amend RSA 193:1-c to read as follows:
193:1-c Access to Public School Programs by Pupils in Nonpublic or [Home Educated Pupils] Parent-Directed Instruction Programs.

I. Pupils in nonpublic or [home educated pupils] parent-directed instruction programs shall have access to curricular courses and cocurricular programs offered by the school district in which the pupil resides. The local school board may adopt a policy regulating participation in curricular courses and cocurricular programs, provided that such policy shall not be more restrictive for [non-public or home educated pupils] pupils in a nonpublic or parent-directed instruction program than the policy governing the school district’s resident pupils. In this section, “cocurricular” shall include those activities which are designed to supplement and enrich regular academic programs of study, provide opportunities for social development, and encourage participation in clubs, athletics, performing groups, and service to school and community. For purposes of allowing access as described in this section, a [“home educated pupil”] pupil in a parent-directed instruction program shall not include any pupil who has graduated from a high school level program [of home education,] or its equivalent, or has attained the age of 21.

II. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a parent to establish a [home education] parent-directed instruction program which exceeds the provisions of RSA 193:1.

8 School Attendance; Bylaws as to Nonattendance. Amend RSA 193:16 to read as follows:

193:16 Bylaws as to Nonattendance. Districts may make bylaws, not repugnant to law, concerning habitual truants and children between the ages of 6 and 18 years not attending school or who are not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1, I[(h)] (b)(8), and to compel the attendance of such children at school; failure to comply with such bylaws shall constitute a violation for each offense.

9 Legislative Youth Advisory Council; Membership. Amend RSA 19-K:2, I-IV to read as follows:

I. The president of the senate shall appoint the following 7 members:

(a) Three youths who are students in secondary schools, who are [home school] students in a parent-directed instruction program as provided in RSA 193:1, I, or who are enrolled in programs that lead to a secondary school diploma, certificate of attendance, or general equivalency diploma.

(b) Three youths who are residents of this state and who are students at postsecondary education institutions located in the state.

(c) One member of the senate.

II. The speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint the following 8 members:

(a) Four youths who are students in secondary schools, who are [home school] students in a parent-directed instruction program as provided in RSA 193:1, I, or who are enrolled in programs that lead to a secondary school diploma, certificate of attendance, or general equivalency diploma.

(b) Three youths who are residents of this state and who are students at postsecondary education institutions located in the state.

(c) One member of the house of representatives.

III. The governor shall appoint the following 3 members:

(a) Two youths who are students in secondary schools, who are [home school] students in a parent-directed instruction program as provided in RSA 193:1, I, or who are enrolled in programs that lead to a secondary school diploma, certificate of attendance, or general equivalency diploma.

(b) One youth who is a resident of this state and who is a student at a postsecondary education institution located in the state.

IV. The secretary of state shall appoint the following 3 members:

(a) Two youths who are students in secondary schools, who are [home school] students in a parent-directed instruction program as provided in RSA 193:1, I, or who are enrolled in programs that lead to a secondary school diploma, certificate of attendance, or general equivalency diploma.

(b) One youth who is a resident of this state and who is a student at a postsecondary education institution located in the state.

10 Special Education; Advisory Committee. Amend RSA 186-C:3-b, II(p) to read as follows:

(p) One individual representing children with disabilities who are [home-schooled] in a parent-directed instruction program as specified in RSA 193:1, I, appointed by the governor.

11 Granite State Scholars Program; Scholar Designation. Amend RSA 188-D:39, II to read as follows:

II. The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to establishing the granite state scholar designation in high schools that do not calculate class rank, in non-accredited high schools, and for [home schooled] students in a parent-directed instruction program as provided in RSA 193:1, I.

12 Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program; Assessment Required. Amend RSA 193-C:6 to read as follows:

193-C:6 Assessment Required. Each year, a statewide assessment shall be administered in all school districts in the state in grades 3 through 8 and one grade in high school. All public school students in the designated grades shall participate in the assessment, unless such student is exempted, or provided that the commissioner of the department of education may, through an agreement with another state when such state and New Hampshire are parties to an interstate agreement, allow pupils to participate in that state's assessment program as an alternative to the assessment required under this chapter. [Home educated students] Students in a parent-directed instruction program may contact their local school districts if they wish to participate in the statewide assessment. Private schools may contact the department of education to participate in the statewide assessment.

13 Safe School Zones; Definitions. Amend RSA 193-D:1, III to read as follows:

III. “School” means any public or private elementary, secondary, or secondary vocational-technical school in New Hampshire. It shall not include [home schools under RSA 193-A] a personal residence or other space used to conduct a parent-directed instruction program pursuant to RSA 193:1, I.

14 Chartered Public Schools; Establishment and Application. Amend RSA 194-B:3, VIII to read as follows:

VIII. [Home education programs established pursuant to RSA 193-A] A parent-directed instruction program as specified in RSA 193:1, I shall not be eligible to be a chartered public school.

15 School Administrative Units; Superintendent Services. Amend RSA 194-C:4, II(d) to read as follows:

(d) Compliance with laws, regulations, and rules regarding special education, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act, [home education,] minimum standards, student records, sexual harassment, and other matters as may from time to time occur.

16 Cooperative School Districts; Procedure for Formation. Amend RSA 195:18, III(e) to read as follows:

(e) The method of apportioning the operating expenses of the cooperative school district among the several preexisting districts and the time and manner of payment of such shares. [Home education pupils] Students in a parent-directed instruction program who do not receive services from the cooperative school district[, except an evaluation pursuant to RSA 193-A:6, II] shall not be included in the average daily membership relative to apportionment formulas.

17 Cooperative School Districts; Procedure for Formation. Amend RSA 195:18, III(g) to read as follows:

(g) The method of apportioning the capital expenses of the cooperative school district among the several preexisting districts, which need not be the same as the method for apportioning operating expenses, and the time and manner of payment of such shares. Capital expenses shall include the costs of acquiring land and buildings for school purposes, including property owned by a preexisting district; the construction, furnishing and equipping of school buildings and facilities; and the payment of the principal and interest of any indebtedness which is incurred to pay for the same or which is assumed by the cooperative school district. [Home education pupils] Students in a parent-directed instruction program who do not receive services from the cooperative school district[, except an evaluation pursuant to RSA 193-A:6, II,] shall not be included in the average daily membership relative to apportionment formulas.

18 Costs of Capital Outlay and Operation. Amend RSA 195:7, II to read as follows:

II. [Home education pupils] Students in a parent-directed instruction program who do not receive services from the cooperative school district[, except an evaluation pursuant to RSA 193-A:6, II,] shall not be included in the average daily membership relative to apportionment formulas.

19 Repeal. The following law is repealed:

I. RSA 193-A, relative to home education programs.

20 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Public Sector Unions Should not Exist

Our Founders would have never approved of public sector unions. Any History teacher actually worth the weight of their diploma would know this and not be a part of a Teachers' Union. Any Math Teacher actually worth the weight of their diploma would know that the public education system and their pension system is unsustainable and would not be part of the union.

Quote of the Day - "A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom" -- F. A. Hayek, author of "The Road to Serfdom."

No teacher should be required to pay one cent toward a union, unions do not recognize individuals, unions are about group think.

Take a look at some of the signs teachers were carrying in Madison. Should these people be educating future leaders? I think not.

The following piece appears on American

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

February 20, 2011
End Public Sector Unions...Period
By C. Edmund Wright

It's about time. I've been waiting for this debate to mature for 15 years.

The battles in Wisconsin and New Jersey over public sector union benefits are merely financial precursors to a much bigger ideological war that has been on the horizon now for years, if not decades. When you acknowledge the coming battle, you realize that Governors Walker and Christie -- courageously as they are behaving -- are only nibbling at the edges of the real issue.

And the real issue is whether public sector unions should even be allowed to exist. Frankly, when even a modicum of common sense is infused into the equation, the answer is a resounding no. And the foundational reason is simple. There is no one at the bargaining table representing the folks who are actually going to pay whatever is negotiated.

Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

Well let's see what went wrong: California, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Chicago, New York State, New York City, Wisconsin...on and on I could go including almost every city and state where government workers are unionized.

Oh, and have you seen pictures of Detroit lately?

The problem is that our country has been lulled to sleep over decades of hearing that government workers are dedicated and low paid public servants who trade good pay for security. And every time a union pay debate came up, it seemed like only cops and fire fighters and teachers were mentioned. No one stopped to think that most government workers are actually bureaucratic charmers like those we see at the DMV and other government offices -- and not "heroic teachers" or crime fighters.

But as long as the private sector was humming along, there was no reason for reality to permeate that myth in most peoples' minds. But the reality is that government workers long ago passed private sector workers in pay and benefits, and now the compensation is more like 150% or even double, factoring in all the benefits, including more vacation days than private sector workers enjoy. And of course, the inestimable value of job security remains intact and strengthened -- while all of us in the private sector deal daily with the risk-reward constraints of reality that are only getting riskier.

And along the way -- with a public school teacher-educated population that understands virtually nothing about economics -- the sheer idiocy of the concept of government unions escaped almost everybody. It's almost as if the union teachers were lying to their students about economics on purpose.

Consider: Unions exist primarily for the function of collective bargaining, where the union bosses will negotiate on behalf of all the workers with the management of a company over pay and benefits and other conditions. This built-in adversarial relationship along with the realities of a limited resource -- known as operating revenues -- do a pretty good job for the most part of keeping contracts in line.

The union bosses represent the workers. Management represents everybody else, including the stockholders, vendors, customers and potential customers of the company. In other words, management represents everyone whose interests are served by keeping payroll costs down.

In the case of a government workforce, those whose interests are served by keeping costs down would include all who pay taxes and fees to said government. In other words, the universe of folks represented by management is far larger than that represented by the union. This inherent tension is the invisible hand of reality that keeps collective bargaining in line.

However, public sector "collective bargaining" is a bad joke, given that there are only chairs on one side of the bargaining table. The bigger universe of interested parties have zero representation in the process. There is no natural force working to keep costs in line.

Moreover, quite often the very politicians who are "negotiating" with the public unions are politicians who have been financed by those same unions. At least Bernie Madoff ripped off his clients with some panache. No such style is even required in a public sector union negotiation when the folks in charge are bought and paid for Democrats.

Under any circumstances and in any economy, it is simply a matter of time before these costs reach a tipping point. We are at that time. There is simply no more money to give to these public sector unions -- period.

And that is why we are seeing what we are seeing in Madison this week and it is why we have seen the emergence of Chris Christie as a national phenomenon. And I welcome it. Things are finally so bad -- that they are good. And by good, I mean that folks now cannot help but pay attention to the issue of public sector unions.

I submit that the very existence of these unions has only been allowed to happen because it's the kind of issue an electorate is never forced to confront -- until they are forced to confront it. And now they are. There is, as Charles Krauthammer said, a bit of an earthquake in the country. People are sensing that the nation is spinning off a cliff.

And of course it is, and public sector unions are one huge reason why. This conclusion is inescapable. And when you understand that, you understand that public sector unions cannot be allowed to exist. If they are, we will never turn back from the cliff.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Where is the Fight New Hampshire Homeschoolers?

Homeschoolers in Illinois are putting up a fight in Illinois against notification, how come New Hampshire Homeschoolers are not putting up a fight? Could it be because for 20 years people like Chris Hamilton, Mary Faiella, CHeNH and HSLDA have fought for oppressive homeschooling laws and against freedom?

The following story appears in the Beacon News. Be sure to visit the Beacon News site to see the pictures and extras associated with the story.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Home school families fight state registration
By Jenette Sturges Feb 19, 2011

Onlookers said it was a crowded room, and not just by Illinois Senate committee hearing standards.

“My husband wasn’t even able to get into the room there were so many people there,” said Keturah Mindock, the full-time mother and educator of two in Oswego.

About 4,000 parents and their children flocked to Springfield Tuesday afternoon to oppose Senate Bill 136, a bill that would require Illinois’ estimated 50,000 home-schooled students to register with the State Board of Education for the first time.

“Basically it’s just government intrusion into our lives,” said Priscilla Kenney, an Aurora mother with four children, all home-schooled. “The system isn’t broken, so why try to institute unnecessary government watch-dogging?”

State Sen. Edward Maloney, D-Chicago, said he introduced legislation requiring registration after meeting an acquaintance who home-schooled and becoming concerned about a lack of oversight.

“There are virtually no rules in Illinois, except they’re asked to teach a curriculum of math, English, science and social studies. There’s no periodic testing, no qualifications, no accounting at all,” Maloney said.

And that’s true. Illinois has some of the most relaxed guidelines in the country for home schooling. So long as children between 7 and 17 years old are being taught the same subjects they would learn in school, in English, they are in compliance with the law. Illinois parents are not required to notify the state that they are home-schooling, unless they are brought to court for truancy.

Other states are far more stringent. In heavily regulated states like New York and Pennsylvania laws vary, but they can include curriculum approval, teacher qualification for parents and home visits by state officials.

The majority of states fall somewhere in between: parents have to notify or register with the state and may have to submit test scores or other proof that students are progressing.

But home school parents around the Fox Valley said they have plenty of proof.

Proof like admission to one of the country’s most prestigious universities: Kenney’s oldest daughter, 20-year-old Fiona McCoy, attends MIT. Her three high-school-age daughters participate on a math team of home-schoolers that has taken home the state title, competing against conventional small schools, for the past four years.

“If you look at all the statistics from testing and college, home-schoolers are doing an awesome job of teaching their kids,” Kenney said.

Or take, for example, Mindock, whose daughter, Lacey, will be 7 in April. “She already reads at a sixth-grade level,” said Mindock. “Each of my children gets one-on-one attention. I don’t have to worry about 30 other kids and what they’re doing.”

The individualized education home-schoolers get also means a lot more flexibility, from curriculum to scheduling to discipline.

Gina and Armando Regalado have two children, and both are sharing the responsibility for home-schooling their 6-year-old daughter.

“He (Armando) focuses more on the language arts and theology,” said Gina. “His degree is in theology and they’re more artists. I’m more math and science.”

The ability to teach their daughter on a flexible schedule fits their lifestyle and allows them more family time, she said. Gina works in child care during the day, and her husband works as the Paul McCartney in The Cavern Beat, a Beatles cover band. But both parents used to teach high school, and that’s what really drove them to teach their children at home.

“Knowing kids in public high school, they were not really concerned about their educations, and their parents weren’t always either,” said Gina. “Ask any teacher: the parents make or break the student’s ability to learn.”

Political intrusion?

Maloney is concerned more about those students who might be falling through the cracks. He is chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee and a former administrator at both Brother Rice High School in Chicago and Oak Lawn Community High School.

“My concern isn’t with those who are doing a conscientious job, but it’s with those who aren’t. Ultimately, the state is responsible for people’s education, so to speak. If nothing is going on, they ought to know about that,” Maloney said. “I fail to see why this is such an imposition.”

Conservatives in the state senate largely agreed that the matter of education lies ultimately with parents.

“I’m a huge proponent of public education, especially locally, but I’m also a proponent of parental authority,” said state Sen. Chris Lauzen, an Aurora Republican who said the home-schooling parents from his district he talked to were relieved to hear he opposed the bill. “I am certainly opposed to state government having more control ... within our families. In the end, these are our families’ children, rather than the government’s children.”

State Sen. Linda Holmes said she also met with constituents Tuesday, but hadn’t come to any conclusions on home schooling.

“When they go on to college, home school students excel against their counterparts, but those are the kids who go on to college,” said Holmes, an Aurora Democrat. “Do we have any that don’t? How do they fare? It does pique my curiosity to want to know, if we did have a way of measuring home school kids, how well prepared they go out into world.”

Holmes said traditional schools are also a place for intervention when it’s needed. A teacher might notice, for instance, when a student is being abused.

“They’re (home school parents) doing a wonderful job and are dedicated,” she said. “I think the concern lies in: How do we address the 2 or 3 percent who are not?”

And Holmes pointed out that while registration is voluntary, there’s simply no way to know how many students are learning at home, or at the park district, the Morton Arboretum, their church, College of DuPage, and all of the other places home school parents take their students for extra classes, enrichment and socialization.

“I guess I would say the best way to explain it is: I understand the concern, but the problem is that senators tend to run with a lot of things,” said Regalado. “What they say it’s for ends up being more and more intrusive.”

Since the outpouring of opposition Tuesday in Springfield, Maloney has tabled the bill. But home-schooling families said they’re still watching carefully, expecting the registration bill to be reworded and brought back.

“I know it’s going to come back because I know there’s always going to be someone concerned about it because their family member or whoever chose a different path,” said Regalado. “I understand the concern, but I think it’s really unfounded.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Anti-homeschooling Freedom Crowd is just not in N.H.

"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom" -- F. A. Hayek, author of "The Road to Serfdom."

I think the reason all homeschoolers in New Hampshire have not fought for freedom is because they really don't know freedom. I believe they also believe what the Statists and Progressives tell them and that is that the State has a compelling interest in Education. The State does not have a compelling interest in education or its outcomes, if they did they would actually do something about the New Hampshire's failing public schools. Tenure serves the interests of teachers not students or educational outcomes. HSLDA and CHeNH have not supported or put forth a homeschooling freedom Bill in New Hampshire, because it does not serve the States interests, their financial interests or their need for power over other's lives.

Illinois currently has homeschooling freedom but will it last. Fight on Illinois homeschoolers because, "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." John Adams

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

The following piece appears on Big

Nanny State Trolls for Homeschooled Children in Illinois
by Julie Schmidt

Recently Illinois Senator Ed Maloney (D) introduced SB136 which would require “the parents or legal guardians of children attending non-public schools, a defined term, or private or parochial schools to annually register their children with the State Board of Education, in conformance with procedures prescribed by the State Board of Education.”

Basically homeschoolers and anyone else who has deemed the public education system a failure would have to register their children with the State, since apparently Senator Maloney believes “that since the State was responsible for the education of our children, the State should know who was being homeschooled,” according to Pastor James McDonald who met with the Senator along with several homeschooling advocates.

I hate to burst the Senator’s progressive utopian bubble, but as Pastor McDonald points out “in the eyes of most home educators, the responsibility to ensure our children receive a competent education belonged to parents, not the State.” I don’t think registering children, like licensing a dog, was exactly what Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he envisioned public education.

Jefferson trusted the people closest to the issue to care most for the outcomes. Regarding education he stated in a letter to Joseph Cabell, “But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by the Governor and Council, the commissioners of the literary fund, or any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward, it is a belief against all experience.”

Hardly a resounding endorsement of the power of the State, which he was extremely wary of, when he stated in the same letter, “What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and power into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian senate.” Or even the Illinois Senate.

Jefferson also believed that education was–brace yourself progressives–voluntary. He stated, “It is better to tolerate that rare instance of a parent’s refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings by a forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of his father.” So I will give you a moment to consider how he would have viewed compulsory registration. “Appalled” would be kind.

Laurie Higgins of Illinois Family Institute (IFI) applies the “board of education” to our illustrious politicians’ posteriors when she said, “Serious thought should be given to the proper role and limits of our state and federal governments. If the vast majority of home schooling families are educating their children well, IFI doesn’t believe that it is appropriate to penalize them in order to solve the problem of the failures or inadequacies of a minority of home schooling families.”

If you happen to live in Illinois, or even if you don’t, and would like to apply your own board to the backside of this government intrusion, you can find the latest status and who to call at IFI’s website.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Homeschooling Laws in New Hampshire are Tyrannical

These are part of the current homeschooling laws.

Annual evaluations are due by July 1.

Homeschoolers are required to evaluate their children and file the evaluation results annually with their participating agents. Homeschoolers can meet the annual evaluation requirement in one of three ways:

(1) have their children evaluated by a certified teacher, or a teacher currently teaching in a nonpublic school;

(2) test their children using a national student achievement test, or a state student assessment test used by the resident school district. A composite score on either test at or above the fortieth percentile is an acceptable score; or

(3) use any other valid measurement tool that is mutually agreed upon in writing by the parent (or legal guardian) and the participating agent.

If you submit a standardized test score, remember to order your exam in plenty of time to get your composite score back before the July 1 deadline. A list of testing options is available at the NHHC website.

If you submit a portfolio evaluation, please confirm in advance the evaluator’s credentials and availability to review your student’s portfolio this year. If you are seeking an evaluator, visit our evaluators page.

The above laws do nothing to improve the quality of education I provide to my children. The only interests they serve are the interests of the State. If a homeschooled student fails to score above the fortieth percentile they are put on probation. This is not equitable with what happens in the public schools, nor should it be. However, when a child in a public school fails to score above the fortieth percentile they are not forced into a private school or to homeschool they stay in the same failing school, the teacher is retained because she has tenure. Why are homeschoolers treated differently? Tens of thousands of public school students fail to score above 40% every year. Homeschooilng laws are tyrannical and only serve the interests of the State. For the seventh year our feeder school district has failed to make annual yearly progress. The teachers still have their jobs, taxpayers still have to pay for their failure. The above laws do nothing to improve the quality of the education I provide my child, in fact they hinder my child's education because they have absolutely no benefit to my child but to the State. The quality of my children's education will improve greatly when I am finally able to educate my child as I see fit and without people trampling on my rights to do so.

Quote of the Day - “It is better to tolerate that rare instance of a parent’s refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings by a forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of his father.” - Thomas Jefferson

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Friday, February 11, 2011


HSLDA appears to continue to fight for their own interests and keep New Hampshire Homeschoolers oppressed by promoting tyrannical homeschooling Bills. Frankly, I am tired of it, what fool buys a membership to HSLDA when it is HSLDA's backing of tyrannical laws that encourages membership into HSLDA in the first place. HSLDA has never put forth a Bill that would let New Hampshire Homeschoolers practice their Constitutional and Natural rights to educate their children as they see fit and in peace. The likelihood of HSLDA interrupting my school year 100%, the likelihood of NH DCYF interrupting my school year .0002. I suggest New Hampshire families boycott HSLDA and CHeNH until they put forth a full homeschooling freedom Bill.

Quote of the Day - "That all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights."

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Testimony for HB 595

The following is the testimony I gave to the House Education Committee regarding HB-595. Frankly, I do not think this legislation goes far enough but it is a step in the correct direction.

Quote of the Day - "A recent MORI poll, commissioned by the Campaign for Learning, found that 90% of adults were favourably inclined towards further learning for themselves.....The bad news is that 75% said they were unhappy and alienated in the school environment and that, therefore, they preferred to learn at home, in the local library, at their workplace - anywhere other than a school-type setting." - Meighan

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Good afternoon, Chairman Balboni and Honorable members of the House Education Committee,

I am writing today to ask you to vote ITL on HB-301 and OTP on HB-595. I would like to see complete homeschooling freedom in New Hampshire because in a free society, the sole purpose of the State is to protect our freedoms. That's all. Nothing more.

Any parent willing to lift the education burden from fellow taxpayers should not be regulated by the State. Parents in 24 states have this right; Live Free Or Die parents should have it as well. I am asking you to pass HB 595 which will move us closer to freedom and away from the current laws that declare parents to be guilty until proven innocent.

There are approximately 200,000 public students statewide. According to the fall 2010 NECAP results 23% of our students in grades 3-8 and 11 failed to demonstrate proficiency in reading, 34% failed to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and 45% of our students failed to demonstrate proficiency in writing. There are only about 5,000 homeschoolers in New Hampshire; far more public school students fail to achieve proficiency in basic academics than homeschool students. Taxpayers spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually, yet tens of thousands of students fail to read at grade appropriate level. Frankly, I do not understand the need of some legislators to focus on homeschooling's safely controlled campfire, while public school Rome is burning to the ground.

My children are my responsibility. I have decided that my children shall not be a burden on the rest of society by educating them at home. I have chosen that they not suffer as part of a failing educational system. If I wanted to provide my children a substandard education I would send them to my local public school which has failed to meet Annual Yearly Progress for its seventh year.

I am tired of having to fight for my constitutional right to instruct my children as I see fit. I am tired of fighting organizations that benefit from horrific homeschooling laws designed to fatten their pocketbooks. Frankly, I am tired of the witch hunt against homeschoolers and the nanny state homeschooling laws.

Today this fundamental question comes before to the legislature: Shall the state control parental instruction, or shall parents invoke their historical prerogative to instruct in freedom. Please OTP HB 595.

Best Regards,

Catherine Peschke

"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."
Ronald Reagan

"Education of all children, from the moment they can leave their mother's care, in national establishments at national cost." Friedrich Engels, 1847 in the draft of the Manifesto called, "Principles of Communism"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jim's Testimony for HB - 545

The following is Jim's testimony for HB - 545. If New Hampshire is going to get homeschooling freedom we must abolish the HEAC which serves the interest of the DOE and not homeschoolers.

Quote of the Day - "Homeschooling and public schooling are as opposite as two sides of a coin. In a homeschooling environment, the teacher need not be certified, but the child MUST learn. In a public school environment, the teacher MUST be certified, but the child need NOT learn." - Gene Royer

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Good morning,

I am here today to urge this committee to abolish the HEAC by voting OTP on HB545. As a Homeschooling parent and Croydon School Board member, I offer my perspective on how the HEAC's activities are a disservice to homeschoolers, the legislature, and the public at large.

In support of the call to eliminate the HEAC, I offer two fundamental conjectures: 1) The HEAC serves no useful purpose, and 2) The HEAC actively operates against the interests of the very homeschoolers it purports to represent.

In theory, the HEAC provides collective representation for a group of citizens who do not benefit from, dare I say eschew, collectivism itself. To understand why this is irrevocably problematic, contrast this to the model of a public school board.

Communities elect school boards to apply collective representation to the operation of public schools. This model is necessary because public schools operate in a collective manner. Classrooms, schedules, and policies within public schools require a high degree of consistency. This necessitates compromises among the public stakeholders. The school board's job is to listen to the public and align school operation as best as they can, knowing they cannot please everybody.

Homeschooling is fundamentally different because it operates in an individual, not collective fashion. Indeed this very independence and lack of conformity draws many of us to choose homeschooling. Individuality means I may teach my child chemistry when someone else's child learns to draw, and another parent's child leans to write. Thousands of microscopic classrooms have no need for alignment, and thus have no need to develop consensus. When granted their inherent rights, parents have no use for a committee to represent their individual homeschooling preferences. The HEAC thus serves no useful purpose.

Every representative body runs the risk that members will fail to promote the will of their constituents. A common driving force is the motive of self-preservation. HEAC has repeatedly demonstrated this tendency. As homeschoolers across the state call for expanded freedom, such freedom makes the HEAC unnecessary to even the most obstinate observer.

The most destructive element of the HEAC is its ability to provide political cover to lawmakers hostile to the interests of homeschoolers. I have witnessed this on several occasions. When the HEAC or a subset offers support to hostile legislation, they allow homeschool opponents to deny their opposition to homeschooling freedom.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant. In this way, the HEAC is the shadow behind which homeschool opponents hide. HEAC becomes the enemy to those it claims to serve.

Please restore transparency legitimate self-representation to homeschoolers by eliminating the HEAC.

Jim Peschke

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Screwtape and Karl Marx

Screwtape would be so proud of the Department of Education and HSLDA. Karl Marx would be so proud of the HEAC and groups like the CHENH, yep just useful idiots in my book.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

No to HB 301, Yes to HB 595

HB 542 appears to be the only Bill that will give homeschoolers complete homeschooling freedom however, HB 542 appears to be stuck in Committee. I hope that Representative JR Hoell, a homeschooling parent will get HB 542 out of committee. At this point HB 301 supported by HSLDA is a big threat to homeschooling freedom as the article from the Union Leader states below, "House Bill 301 also would repeal the home education law and make it a violation under child welfare laws for parents to "purposely" fail to provide an education for their children."

Homeschooling parents need to come out in full force to the State House to speak out against HB 301 and in support of HB 545.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Education bills could create tax quandary puzzle
New Hampshire Sunday News Staff

Several bills aimed at supporting parental choice in education, if all were to pass, could create a financial incentive for some parents to keep their kids home to learn, one sponsor acknowledged last week.

House Bill 340 would require communities to grant property tax abatements of up to $3,500 for each taxpayer's child not enrolled in the public schools.

There's some confusion about whether the proposed tax abatement would apply to home-schooling parents. Rep. Carol Vita, R-Middleton, the prime sponsor, said that wasn't her intent.

Her idea was to give parents who pay to send their children to a school out of their district -- private, parochial, charter or even another public school -- the tax break. "This is only if you want to send your child out of the school district," she said.
But Sen. James Forsythe, R-Strafford, the sole Senate sponsor of the measure, said it "would also apply to home-schoolers as well."

"The intent is if you're not using a public school system, and spending money on private school or home school, this would allow you to get a tax break," said Forsythe, who said his wife previously home-schooled their two children for seven years.

"I think respecting parental choice is what this bill's all about. And empowering them to have more choices for their kids' education."

The tax abatement proposal comes at a time when home-school advocates are pushing for less state regulation. The House Education Committee on Tuesday will hear three bills related to home education:

House Bill 595 would repeal the state home education law and assert "the natural right of parents to determine and direct the instruction of their children."

House Bill 301 also would repeal the home education law and make it a violation under child welfare laws for parents to "purposely" fail to provide an education for their children.

And House Bill 545 would repeal the state Department of Education's rule-making authority for home education.

Forsythe, who also co-sponsored HB 595, said he does have some concerns about unintended consequences should all the measures pass.

"The only problem with that is it might set up an incentive for some folks to keep their kids at home to get the tax break but not actually school them," he said.

Daniel Kimble is president of Christian Home Educators of New Hampshire, which represents more than 100 families in the state. His six children, ages 2 to 17, are home-schooled.

He said his organization is looking for less regulation.

"You go back to the beginning of the founding of our country, and it's always been the parents' rights, the parents' responsibility, to educate their children," he said. "Required schooling, it's a modern phenomenon ... and it's ended up causing problems for home-schoolers and for those that want to go back to traditional ways of schooling."

Kimble said he supports repeal of the home-schooling law and likes the idea of a tax abatement for families like his. He doesn't believe it would create an incentive for parents to keep their kids home.

"I see it as a benefit that somebody who wanted to home-school their children but felt they didn't have enough money to be able to buy curriculum, you're now getting (money) ... back," he said.

Rep. Lucien Vita, Carol Vita's husband and a co-sponsor of HB 340, said the bill might have to be amended so it does not include home-schoolers. "The purpose of this bill is to stop people having to pay twice for something you only get once," he said.

Some have other concerns about the proposed abatement.

Greg Moore, House policy director, said Republican leadership supports the home-education bills, but has not taken a position on HB 340.

There is some concern, he said, that "because it requires the municipalities to offer tax abatements, it may well violate Article 28A of the (state) constitution." That prohibits adopting unfunded mandates that pass on costs to local communities, he explained.

Rep. Betsy Patten, R-Moultonborough, a member of the Municipal and County Government Committee that will hear the tax abatement bill, said she shares those concerns. And she said it also might open the door for other taxpayers who don't have children in the schools to demand abatements as well.

Passing a tax abatement or exemption for one group of taxpayers, Patten said, "just shifts it to everybody else in the community."

"You have to realize the consequences of it are that everybody else has to pick up that $3,500," Patten said. "And that's some amount on everybody's tax bill."

Judy Silva is deputy director for legal services and government affairs at the New Hampshire Municipal Association. She said the association would have "some real problems" with HB 340 as written.

Silva explained towns can collect an extra 5 percent on the municipal portion of property taxes, called an overlay, that is used to cover abatements. But she said HB 340 calls for the proposed abatements to come out of the education portion of the property tax bill, where no overlay exists.

Silva also said the proposal could raise equity issues, with other taxpayers claiming they are entitled to abatements if they don't use their municipality's schools, fire departments or landfills.

And she agreed with Patten that other taxpayers would have to pay more if the abatements were mandatory. "Since what is collected in taxes is based on what the budgeted amount is, it needs to be made up," she said.