Ed Maloney speaks about his proposed Illinois homeschool legislation

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by Pamela Butler

Cisco Cotto on WLS interviewed Illinois State Senator Ed Maloney this morning regarding his move to regulate homeschooling in Illinois. A few things stood out to me in this interview which I think may be helpful to keep in mind as we interact with him and the Education Committee:

1. He has not been aware of any problems with homeschooling. He expects to discover anecdotal evidence of kids falling through the educational cracks through this process. Clearly this legislation is not motivated by a failure of the homeschool community to do its job well.

2. He points out that Illinois is one state of only a very few states that do not require some sort of registration with the state. I find it very telling that, instead of being proud of this freedom and seeking to protect it, he covets the power that other states have and works to seize it for the state of Illinois. This power grab seems to be the root cause of this proposed legislation.

3. He compared homeschool registration to getting a drivers license, but he offered that there was no way we could ensure that everyone on the road has a drivers license. Exactly. Requiring homeschoolers to register will not guarantee that the rare people who hide their children’s truancy under the guise of homeschooling will be brought to light, nor will it secure an education for those unhappy children.

4. He imagines that the homeschool community would welcome this “quality control” (my words, not his) so that our reputation would not be tarnished by those who are not doing a good job of homeschooling. I think some real statistics, and not some hoped-for anecdotal evidence to the contrary, would demonstrate that we have nothing to fear from these real or imagined families. Perhaps we might suggest, as has been articulated elsewhere, that it would be more useful for the State to direct its attention toward the egregiously failing public school systems.

5. Ed Maloney believes that the State is responsible for its citizens. He repeated this a couple of times, particularly when Cisco pressed him on whether it’s the parents’, not the State’s, responsibility to educate their children. This, no doubt, is a core belief for him, and his position is not likely to be altered on this point. Perhaps, though, some legal and founding documents of the State of Illinois might be cited to restrain him from implementing his philosophy on the citizens of Illinois.

Let’s not neglect to support this committee and our fellow homeschoolers in prayer. May God continue to use us all to accomplish His will and work in the world.

Attend the Homeschool Freedom Summit: Response to SB 136 on Tuesday, February 15 in Springfield, Illinois.