State Representative Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) of the 20th Assembly District sent out an email this week which reads as follows:
Rep. Sinicki is planning to submit a request today to the Joint Legislative Council Committee requesting a Legislative Study Committee to review Wisconsin’s 1984 Home Schooling Law.
Please let us know by 4 pm today if you would like your name added to this request.
About 20,000 children in Wisconsin are homeschooled, according to one estimate. The opportunity to homeschool can provide valuable flexibility for parents and children, and many students flourish in a homeschool environment. Some child welfare advocates argue, however, that lax oversight of homeschooling can allow some abused or poorly educated children to slip through the cracks.
Oversight of homeschooling varies widely among states, and some have far more stringent requirements for parents than does Wisconsin. For example, a number of states require standardized tests, portfolio reviews, or other check-ins, while Wisconsin requires only that homeschoolers register with DPI. Some advocates argue that additional oversight could help authorities identify children who are being abused, neglected, or underserved by their parents or guardians.
With these thoughts in mind, we are calling for a Study Committee to review the 1984 Homeschooling Law. The Study Committee would include stakeholders from the homeschooling community. The intention is not to pass anti-homeschooling legislation, but to review this 34-year old law to see how it is working and what could be improved upon.
Wisconsin Parents Association has responded with the following:
It has come to our attention that Rep. Sinicki (20th Assembly District) has called for support for a request that she is planning to send to the Joint Legislative Council Committee requesting a Legislative Study Committee to review Wisconsin’s 1984 Home Schooling Law.
If you are in her district, please respectfully contact her office to let her know that the 1984 Homeschooling Law is working well as it is and does not need to be changed. Remember you are representing homeschoolers all over Wisconsin when you speak with legislators.
If she decides to move forward and submit this request, we will provide further information for you as soon as possible.
The Wisconsin Parents Association Board of Directors
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action says, “Wisconsin has one of the best homeschool laws in the country. Founders of our organization were heavily involved with passing this law, working hard to give parents the right to educate their children at home,while keeping the state’s involvement at a minimum. The law doesn’t need revisiting. It works very well, as thousands of home-schooling families will tell you.”