HSLDA Media Release
June 5, 2001

Defense Conference Bill Helps Home School Families At Bases

For immediate release
December 13, 2001
Contact: Robert Ziegler
(540) 338-8663 or robert@hslda.org

A provision in the Defense Authorization Conference bill for 2002, inserted at the urging of Home School Legal Defense Association, will allow home school families at military bases to have access to base educational facilities.

The provision has its origin in HR 830, a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) earlier this year. The Conference bill was approved on the floor of the House 382-40 Thursday. The Senate is expected to consider it soon.

In some countries, military families find it almost impossible to have their children participate in activities like music and sports, except at Department of Defense facilities, but the department policy concerning use of these facilities has been unclear and at times has discriminated against home-schooled families.

At HSLDA's behest, Rep. Hostettler introduced the bill to amend the defense department's policy to "allow home school students who are eligible for enrollment in a school of the overseas defense dependents' education system to use auxiliary services of such schools."

"Our military families who home school are at a distinct disadvantage when stationed in some other countries," said Tom Washburne, director of the National Center for Home Education (HSLDA's national lobbying arm). "This bill language simply makes certain that families who home school are not denied the facilities available to other service families in DoD schools.

"While civilians that home school in the U.S. will likely have access to other facilities needed to pursue music, sports and other activities, many service families overseas will only have real access to what is available at the base," Washburne said. "They shouldn't be denied these because they exercise their Constitutional right to educate their children at home."