18 November 2010

Update on the Michigan Board of Education Proposal to oversee Michigan Homeschoolers

OK, I have researching the message that came through (through a long chain of alerts) from Rep. Opsommer yesterday.

Rep. Opsommer did indeed post an announcement that the Board of education is pondering a proposal that they oversee homeschoolers as well as public schoolers, but then the trail ran dry.

I checked the Board of Education meeting minutes for the last few months and so far have turned up nothing. Rep. Opsommer's office wants me to provide them with my address within Clinton or Gratiot County before they will chat with me and since I live outside his district I'm not expecting a reply any time soon.

My most generous interpretation is that Rep. Opsommer was reporting on a corridor conversation, and that the situation is not as immediate a threat as I first thought.

That the Board of Education would have members that think that way is no surprise, but as Rod says:
In a way they are declaring that they haven't got enough to keep themselves busy, and when you think about the state of public education, that's just truly bizarre.... in other words "get a handle on the stuff that is under your jurisdiction before you decide you need a handle on the stuff that is under mine"
If he was reporting on a corridor conversation, I am glad that
Rep. Opsommer spoke up on behalf of homeschoolers. But I have to wonder at the tone of his report. He didn't *say* he was responding to an official proposal, but he certainly left that impression.

I still intend to write to my newly seated legislators to let them know what I think...but perhaps it would be best not to mention this incident. If my interpretation is too generous, I don't want to stain my message with the taint of rumour.

Update to the update: one of my contacts (thanks, Dawn!) turned up an attachment to an agenda for a recent meeting that had attachments referring to homeschooling and she turned up this quote:

Board member Elizabeth Bauer (D-Birmingham) noted that the 2000 Census listed some 250,000 school-aged children in the state who are not enrolled in any school.

And she said local districts have an interest in knowing how many home schooled students are in their communities because in many cases those children re-enter public schools at the high school level.

"They come to high school because they want the social situation," she said. "They often come unprepared."

"Home schoolers want to come to high school because they want the social situation but that is a problem because they are not prepared," board member Elizabeth BAUER said. >>
(Note: Elizabeth Bauer lost her seat in the November 2nd election.)

So, it is really official.


  1. lol - love Rob's response.

    Glad it doesn't appear to be an emergency.

  2. The concept of attachments having attachments is a bit bizarre. I am surprised they allow it, if you go enough levels deep you could hide anything. Or that may be why they allow it.


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