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May 18, 2011

School District Targets Homeschooled Students for Money

Pickerington Local School District is aiming to recruit homeschoolers in an attempt to boost enrollment numbers and revenue. The district plans to start a “community school” to lure students back into the public school system.

ThisWeek Community Newspapers reported that Bob Blackburn, the district’s director of special education, said the district is targeting children who are academically behind, those who are struggling with truancy or behavioral issues, and homeschooled students.

By mentioning homeschoolers in this list of targets, Mr. Blackburn uses a stereotype that some government education bureaucrats have about homeschool students—that they are misfits. Of course, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. Research and real world experience show that homeschool children thrive academically and socially.

Homeschooling empowers parents to custom-tailor instruction to meet the individual needs of each child, and creates opportunities to interact with people in differing age groups, providing invaluable social skills training. Community schools, on the other hand, are public, nonsectarian schools, where parents have little to no say about the instruction provided to their children. Students in these institutions are surrounded by their peers and taught a one-size-fits-all curriculum. HSLDA cautions its members about enrolling their children in government schools without considering the potential consequences.

Many school districts, like Pickerington, are surprised by the number of parents who turn down a free education for their children and choose to educate them at home. However, it’s no surprise to those who understand that many parents homeschool their children because they consider it not only their right but their duty to provide for the education and upbringing of their children. And they feel homeschooling is the best form of education available.

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Read the ThisWeek Community Newspapers article >>