When it comes to homeschooling in Wisconsin, we all are where we are today because of the tireless work of the volunteers who came before us. The following timeline of major WHPA milestones is just the tip of the enormous iceberg that is WHPA’s invaluable historic and ongoing work to secure, preserve, and protect the rights of homeschooling families in Wisconsin.
Working together through WHPA (formerly WPA), homeschoolers in Wisconsin have reclaimed and maintained basic freedoms in education and family life.
WHPA helps thousands of homeschooling families to discover ways in which homeschooling can work for them. WHPA provides encouragement, support, and accurate information about learning resources and laws.
WHPA educates the general public about homeschooling and promotes a climate of opinion that respects homeschooling, so that our homeschooling rights are more secure.
WHPA builds and maintains a strong and effective grassroots organization that brings together a widely diverse group of people for the common purpose of maintaining the right of parents to choose for their children an education consistent with their principles and beliefs.
WHPA Major Milestones
- Homeschoolers meet in response to legislative proposals. (AB887)
- WPA organized January 6. Membership costs $15/year for a family.
- 2,500 people (the vast majority opposed to unreasonable homeschooling legislation) attend Jan. 24 legislative hearing.
- WPA coordinates campaign that results in reasonable homeschooling law. (1983 Wisconsin Act 512, enacted May 10, 1984)
- WPA’s First Annual State-Wide Conference is held in Stevens Point on June 2nd.
- WPA arranges meeting with legislators and the DPI to protest first version of form PI-1206 which was not consistent with new law. DPI revises form.
- First edition of WPA handbook.
- 325 adults attend 2nd Annual Conference in Stevens Point.
- WASB resolution to give the DPI authority over homeschools tabled after WPA gives more accurate information to WASB delegates.
- WPA defuses and discredits a misleading DPI-sponsored “research” report by UW’s Lufler.
- WPA’s “Perspectives” opposes state-mandated standardized testing.
- RESOLUTION: 1. WPA and Choice in Education
- RESOLUTION: 2. Wisconsin’s Home Schooling Law
- RESOLUTION: 3. State-Mandated Standardized Testing
- RESOLUTION: 4. Home Schooling, Private Education, and the DPI
- WPA alerts homeschoolers about an ad hoc legislative committee considering homeschooling legislation. Hundreds call committee members. Committee drops proposal.
- RESOLUTION: 5. State Review and Approval of a Home-Based Private Educational Program’s Calendar and Curriculum
- RESOLUTION: 6. Teacher Certification of Home Schooling Parents
- RESOLUTION: 7. Entry and Re-entry Into Public Schools
- RESOLUTION: 8. Home Schoolers Taking Courses in Public Schools
- RESOLUTION: 9. Unity Among Home Schoolers
- WPA publishes expanded handbook.
- WPA opposes unnecessary Legislative Council study of homeschooling, refuses to serve on committee but provides accurate information.
- Legislative Council study committee decides not to recommend increased regulation of homeschooling.
- Over 2,000 homeschoolers and supporters attend WPA Day at the Capitol (Feb. 6) to affirm and celebrate Legislative Council committee’s decision.
- RESOLUTION: 10. The Primary Role of Parents in Education
- RESOLUTION: 11. Opposition to State Control of Education and the Family
- WPA informs members and coordinates testimony at Nov. 4 hearing on “education reform legislation” that would increase regulation of homeschooling, establish portfolios on 3 year olds, etc. 300 homeschoolers attend. Legislators delete all homeschooling proposals.
- WPA Membership cost increases to $20/year.
- WPA informs homeschoolers and others of problems with reform legislation. Over 1,000 attend hearings in nine cities, the vast majority opposed to the legislation. WPA is influential in having some of the worst provisions removed although legislation passes.
- RESOLUTION: 12. State goals in education
- RESOLUTION: 13. America 2000 and Wisconsin 2000
- RESOLUTION: 14. Education Vouchers
- WPA publishes booklet, “For All Our Children: Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities in Education” about problems with current developments in education and ways to counter them.
- In July, the DPI publishes misleading and inaccurate “Questions and Responses” about homeschooling. WPA responds with accurate information, including letter in Dec. to school officials clarifying information about entry/re-entry and shared services.
- RESOLUTION: 15. Outcome-Based Education
- RESOLUTION: 16. Government Collaboration
- RESOLUTION: 17. Maintain the Distinction Between Public and Private Schools
- WPA continues to track and analyze proposals for “education reform legislation” and problems with the DPI’s plans for collaboration.
- WPA’s tenth annual conference attended by over 1,000 people.
- WPA works for exemption of public school students from state-mandated testing.
- RESOLUTION: 18. Screening, Evaluating, and Labeling Children
- RESOLUTION: 19. The Federal Government and Homeschooling
- RESOLUTION: 20. Privacy and Homeschooling
- WPA publishes “Perspectives on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child” showing the problems raised by the Convention.
- PRAIRIE, a national version of the WPA newsletter, published by WPA.
- Exemption of public school students from state-mandated testing adopted.
- RESOLUTION: 21. The Independence of the Homeschooling Movement
- RESOLUTION: 22. Families First
- RESOLUTION: 23. Homeschooling, Educational Reform, Freedoms, and Money
- WPA shows how state legislation on juvenile justice and Children in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) will negatively affect all families.
- 400 people attend WPA’s Families First day at the capitol to protest juvenile justice and CHIPS legislation.
- Library outreach program launched by WPA.
- Homeschooling in Wisconsin, fourth edition of WPA handbook, published.
- WPA counters negative actions by local school districts.
- RESOLUTION: 24. Maintaining Wisconsin’s Homeschooling Law
- RESOLUTION: 25. Maintaining the Fundamental Foundation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities
- WPA works successfully to deny DPI’s budget proposal that would have created a DPI homeschool consultant paid by homeschoolers’ filing fees.
- WPA strongly opposes SB106 which would have set the precedent of the state determining who is eligible to homeschool. 400 homeschoolers attend hearing on this bill. The bill dies in committee.
- RESOLUTION: 26. Attempts by the State to Determine Eligibility to Homeschool
- RESOLUTION: 27. School-To-Work Programs
- RESOLUTION: 28. Day-Time Curfews, Truancy Sweeps, and ID Cards for Homeschoolers
- RESOLUTION: 29. The Real Cost of Tax Credits for Homeschoolers’ Educational Expenses
- RESOLUTION: 30. Impact on Homeschooling Freedoms of Homeschoolers’ Qualifying for Public School Sports Teams
- RESOLUTION: 31. High Schools’ Mock Trial Involving a Homeschooler
- Homeschoolers working through WPA help defeat a parental rights amendment to the WI Constitution that would cost us our freedoms.
- WPA helps to amend truancy bill so it is less damaging.
- WPA opposes curfews and ID cards for homeschoolers.
- WPA successfully opposes tax credits for homeschoolers.
- RESOLUTION: 32. Graduation Test
- RESOLUTION: 33. Legislation That Undermines Homeschooling Freedoms
- WPA opposes Walworth County committee’s attempts to increase state regulation of homeschooling.
- WPA opposes AB129 which would allow homeschoolers to participate in public school recreational and extracurricular activities and would undermine homeschooling freedoms; the bill dies.
- WPA supports increased funding for public libraries.
- WPA opposes public school graduation test.
- Wisconsin State Historical Society purchases all WPA newsletters.
- WPA Membership cost increases to $25/year.
- RESOLUTION: 34. Laws designed to prevent certain families from homeschooling
- RESOLUTION: 35. Survey Research on Homeschooling
- WPA counters changes in military pilot program.
- WPA opposes AB 712, which would create a tax deduction for classroom expenses, including for homeschoolers; the bill dies.
- WPA corrects Legislative Reference Bureau Brief.
- RESOLUTION: 36. Standardized Testing Required by the Federal or State Government
- RESOLUTION: 37. Homeschools Defined by Law as One Family Unit
- Fifth edition of handbook published.
- WPA clarifies statute on “more than one family unit.”
- WPA works to increase funding for library systems.
- WPA presents testimony against state funding for full-day four-year-old kindergartens.
- WPA alerts members to problems with charter schools.
- WPA informs homeschoolers and others of the problems with statewide public e-schools.
- WPA works to ensure funding for public libraries.
- RESOLUTION: 38. Public E-Schools
- RESOLUTION: 39. Government Imposed Immunizations
- WPA opposes federal homeschooling legislation that would lead to federal regulation of homeschooling.
- WPA works to maintain the distinction between homeschools and public e-schools.
- WPA helps homeschool support groups form policies on public e-schoolers.
- RESOLUTION: 40. Education Vouchers, Educational Investment Accounts, and Tax Credits and Deductions for Education
- RESOLUTION: 41. Maintaining the Distinction Between Public Schools and Homeschools (and Other Private Schools)
- WPA corrects DPI’s claim that local school districts should be involved in determining grade placement in homeschools..
- WPA alerts homeschoolers and others to problems with public school student identification system and how to insure homeschoolers are not included in it.
- WPA introduces “Did You Know?” feature to its newsletter.
- RESOLUTION: 42. The Media and Homeschooling
- RESOLUTION: 43. Student Identification Database Systems
- WPA researches and alerts members to risks of increased mental health screening.
- WPA introduces CONNECTIONS to its newsletter and conference.
- WPA provides a sample letter to school district administrators on homeschoolers’ privacy.
- WPA corrects Wisconsin League of Women Voters’ information on the homeschooling law and explains why it should not be changed.
- WPA opposes federal legislation that would undermine homeschooling freedoms.
- WPA successfully opposes an amendment to the state budget bill that would have provided tax credits for homeschoolers.
- RESOLUTION: 44. Mental Health Screening
- RESOLUTION: 45. No Child Left Behind
- WPA publishes sixth edition of Homeschooling In Wisconsin.
- RESOLUTION: 46. History of Homeschooling in Wisconsin
- WPA publishes Kitchen Tables and Marble Halls: WPA and Homeschooling in Wisconsin.
- WPA Membership cost increases to $30/year.
- RESOLUTION: 47. Institutionalizing Young Children
- WPA publishes “Let’s Not Institutionalize 3, 4, and 5 Year Olds.”
- WPA Annual Conference moves from UW-Stevens Point to UW-Oshkosh
- RESOLUTION: 48. Maintaining the Basic Principles of Homeschooling
- WPA responds to court decision on virtual charter schools and subsequent legislation with analysis, fact sheets, notices to members, testimony, and updates.
- WPA shows the problems with another federal parental rights initiative.
- WPA celebrates 25th Annual Conference.
- WPA sends email to Wisconsin virtual charter school superintendents insisting that they cease and desist from linking homeschooling with public schools.
- WPA publishes the 100th issue of its newsletter.
- RESOLUTION: 49. Importance of Parents to Children’s Development and Learning and a Family’s Well Being
- WPA publishes Fact Sheet: Stand Up for Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Oppose Increased Preschool, Screening, Universal Child Care, and Home Visitations
- Website revamped
- WI Act 41 passes requiring children who attend a public school for first grade to have completed a kindergarten program.
- RESOLUTION: 50. Prevent Further Erosion of the Role of Parents in Children’s Early Years
- Wisconsin DPI moves filing of PI-1206 from paper to online.
- WPA successful in getting DPI to change online version of PI-1206 to comport with Wisconsin law.
- WPA Membership fee increased to $35.
- RESOLUTION: 51. New Kindergarten Statute and Homeschooling
- WPA provides information about why public school sports threaten homeschooling freedoms.
- RESOLUTION: 52. Encouraging Homeschoolers to File Form PI-1206 Online in Accordance With the Law
- WPA provides information about how a new group of virtual charter schools blur the lines between homeschooling and VCS due to the way they operate.
- WPA opposes parental rights constitutional amendment.
- WPA celebrates 30th Annual Conference
- WPA convinces DPI to correct language on their website regarding Diplomas and Special Education.
- WPA publishes the 7th edition of Homeschooling in Wisconsin.
- RESOLUTION: 53. Common Core State Standards in Education
- WPA and its members successfully get proposed sports legislation withdrawn.
- WPA Key to Wisconsin Court Case That Supports Homeschooling Freedoms and Parental Rights
- WPA persuades DPI to change the language on its website regarding enrollment in a homeschool
- RESOLUTION: 54. Maintain the Distinction Between Homeschooling and Public Virtual Charter Schools
- New WPA website is launched.
- Sports legislation included as an amendment to the 2015-17 budget, and is signed into law.
- RESOLUTION: 55. Maintain Parental Rights in Education by Refusing to Sign Public School Withdrawal Forms
- RESOLUTION: 56. Maintaining the Fundamental Foundation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities (5/15)
- RESOLUTION: 57. Impact on Homeschooling Freedoms of Homeschoolers’ Qualifying for Public School Sports Teams (5/15)
- WPA transitions to new leadership team.
- Volunteer Legislative Watch Committee formed.
- Updated 7e of the handbook released, with sports legislation updates, and new artwork by Wisconsin artist, Heidi Hankley.
- WPA opposes school vouchers and other efforts to provide public funding for homeschoolers.
- WPA holds 1-day member event in place of full conference.
- WPA successfully opposes request to the Joint Legislative Council to create a Study Committee to review the Home-Based Private Educational Program Law in Wisconsin.
- WPA opposes federal Enhancing Educational Opportunities for Home School Students Act allowing use of 529 savings accounts for homeschooling expenses due to the potential added oversight which comes with tax-favored benefits.
- WPA’s 35th Annual Conference and Resource Fair moves from UW-Oshkosh to Holiday Inn-Stevens Point
- The all-volunteer Question Answering Committee (QAC) begins as the successor to the previous all-volunteer Regional Contact (RC) system
- WPA returns to all-volunteer model with working board
- WPA opposes federal Student Empowerment Act allowing use of 529 savings accounts for homeschooling expenses due to the potential added oversight which comes with tax-favored benefits.
- WPA opposes legislation which would have the unintentional effect of restricting homeschools to a specific location; the bill dies.
- WPA holds 1-day member event in Amherst, WI in place of full conference.
- The phrase “and freedom” is added to WPA mission statement.
- WPA’s 37th Annual Conference and Resource Fair cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
- WPA officially changes name to Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association (WHPA).
- WHPA works with parents, schools, school districts, and DPI to reassert homeschooling rights, and clarify that homeschoolers are on the same legal footing as other educational programs.
- DPI changes the language on their website regarding the filing of the PI-1206 Homeschool Report because of WHPA’s efforts.
- WHPA cancels 38th Annual Conference and Resource Fair due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
- WHPA holds virtual members meeting and a series of virtual mini-events in place of conference.
- WHPA opposes proposed Wisconsin legislation that creates a new classification of schools – “microschools” – based on the definition of homeschools.
Last Updated on 08/25/22