Vic’s Statehouse Notes #372
Are extremist neo-Nazi parents going to teach hate to their students in Indiana home schools funded by you, the taxpayer?
Senate Bill 305 would allow every parent (there are no funding limits in the current bill) to sign up online for an Education Scholarship Account worth on average $7,000. What the parent does with that money is up to that parent, with no supervision or accountability to the taxpayers or to state or local officials.
They could teach neo-Nazi curriculum materials such as those recently uncovered in an investigation by journalist Christopher Mathias printed in the Huffington Post on January 29, 2023. He found that a podcast and a Telegram group called Dissident Homeschool located in Upper Sandusky, Ohio has become a resource of neo-Nazi materials for 2,500 subscribers. Obviously some of these neo-Nazi subscribers could be in Indiana.
The article’s author reports that as the Dissident Homeschool channel reached 1,000 subscribers, the neo-Nazi leader posted a message saying: “It fills my heart with joy to know there is such a strong base of homeschoolers and homeschool-interested national socialists.”
The channel, the article reports, “has developed extensive lesson plans that other neo-Nazi parents could use for their children” including one where “their kids can practice cursive while writing out a racist quote by George Lincoln Rockwell, the infamous American neo-Nazi.”
SB 305 offers no protection from extremist parents. It may be legal now to conduct a home school such as this, but should we pass a law giving parents tax dollars to do so?
No, we should not! If you want to join others to oppose this bill in the Statehouse, you are invited to the Indiana Coalition for Public Education Day of Action at 2 p.m. on Presidents Day, Feb. 20 in the south Atrium.
Turning schooling into a private good only for parents
For nearly two centuries, schools in the United States have been a force for democracy by teaching American history and civics to every student to prepare each new generation to maintain our Constitutional democracy.
Parents under SB 305 can decide not to teach history or civics in their home school. It is not required.
Parents can set all school rules. 180 days is not required.
Parents can set graduation requirements. Specific credits are not required.
It’s all up to the parents, who must agree in the online application saying they will spend “part of the money” so that their student will study “reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies or science.” Note the “or” in that sentence. Art, music, or foreign language will not be required. After two decades of exhaustive work, the high standards Indiana has adopted will be moot.
When asked about performance data in the current ESA program for special education students, the bill’s author Senator Buchanan seemingly dismissed schooling as a public good when he said:
“Parents are the ultimate judge. Are they getting what they want?”
This narrow view of schooling leaves out important parts of American society:
Are businesses getting what they want?
Are those who love democracy getting what they want?
Are those who pay taxes getting what they want?
Are those who love America getting what they want?
Are trained educators getting what they want?
Are students getting what they want?
SB 305 is a radical plan. If you want to add your voice to fighting it along with the proposal to bring partisan politics into school boards and other attacks on public education, come to the:
ICPE Day of Action at the Statehouse
Monday February 20, 2 p.m. on Presidents Day.
See the ICPE website for details on the Day of Action: www.indianacoalitionforpubliced.org
Thank you for your active support of public education!
Vic Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Vic’s Statehouse Notes and ICPE received one of three Excellence in Media Awards presented by Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization of over 85,000 women educators in seventeen countries. The award was presented on July 30, 2014 during the Delta Kappa Gamma International Convention held in Indianapolis. Thank you Delta Kappa Gamma!
ICPE has worked since 2011 to promote public education in the Statehouse and oppose the privatization of schools. We need your membership to help support ICPE lobbying efforts. We need all ICPE members to renew their membership if you have not done so.
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