23. Homeschooling, Educational Reform, Freedoms, and Money (4/95)

Whereas homeschoolers have regained significant freedom of thought and belief by working to establish and maintain their independence as private schools; and Whereas many of the educational reform initiatives authorize the state to have a greater role in public education and, through choice initiatives, certain private schools; and Whereas many of these reforms such as Goals 2000, Outcome-Based Education programs, performance-based assessment, school choice and voucher programs, charter schools, and distance learning programs are state programs and involve state goals and assessments and begin at very early ages; and Whereas the state goals and assessments apply to a student’s intellectual,

22. Families First (4/95)

Whereas social service and educational professionals, corporations, the media, and public policy makers are increasingly identifying the family as the primary cause of many of our social problems; and Whereas these same interests have tremendous political power through their professional associations, institutions, companies, and access to the media; and Whereas addressing the complexity of social problems includes assigning significant responsibility for our problems to the very professions, institutions, corporations, and government bureaucracies that hold most of the power in our society; and Whereas some of these interests are now advocating fundamental changes in the rights, authority, and role of the

21. The Independence of the Homeschooling Movement (4/95)

Whereas the homeschooling movement has to do with choosing an education consistent with one’s principles and beliefs; and Whereas maintaining this freedom requires the commitment of a diverse group of people; and Whereas basic freedoms, including freedom of choice in one’s principles and beliefs, are central to our democratic society; and Whereas the homeschooling movement has succeeded by recognizing and working for the freedom of choice for all families rather than for just those people associated with a particular political party, religious belief, ideology, educational philosophy, or approach to homeschooling; and Whereas there is a tendency by the media and

20. Privacy and Homeschooling (4/94)

Whereas there are increasing efforts by government, researchers, schools, and big business interests to identify and track the behaviors, values, interests, abilities, buying habits, and risks of individuals and families in our society; and Whereas increasing efforts are being made to screen and evaluate children’s abilities and development and to assess how well families are preparing their children for school and the values of the school; and Whereas screening, labeling, and recording of information about young children may threaten a family’s freedom to homeschool; and Whereas identification and tracking systems and practices not only invade one’ privacy but also put

19. The Federal Government and Homeschooling (4/94)

Whereas the U. S. Constitution gives no authority to the federal or state governments in the area of education; and Whereas rights and powers not granted to the state are reserved for the people; and Whereas section 432 of the federal statute General Education Provisions Act of 1970 states that the federal government may not control education; and Whereas the states have the authority to control schooling through compulsory school attendance laws based on the policing powers granted to the states by the U. S. Constitution; and Whereas the federal government acquires its power in the area of education by

18. Screening, Evaluating, and Labeling Children (4/94)

Whereas a growing number of government programs screen, evaluate, and label children at earlier and earlier ages; and Whereas the power of these programs is growing and spreading because they often involve a number of different public and private agencies, organizations, and professionals now working together through new programs to promote collaboration among government agencies; and Whereas the definition of “children with special needs” has been broadened so that many children who are following their own unique timetables but are well within the range of normal development are now being labeled as “developmentally delayed,” or “learning disabled,” or some such

17. Maintain the Distinction Between Public and Private Schools (4/93)

Whereas in the United States the distinction between public and private schools has always been maintained; and Whereas this distinction ensures freedom of choice in education including the freedom not to be subject to any doctrinaire ideology, state religion, or monopoly in education; and Whereas the United States constitution does not grant to the state any authority in education and the states have only quite recently passed compulsory school attendance laws which are based only on the U. S. constitution’s policing powers granted to the states; and Whereas the Wisconsin Department Public of Instruction has authority over public and not

16. Government Collaboration (4/93)

Whereas legislative proposals are being made to combine the budgets, rule making authorities, and exchange of information about individuals and families among the state government departments of education, social services, labor and employment, the judicial system (including law enforcement officials, the courts, and corrections), and the University of Wisconsin-Extension service; and Whereas such collaboration would greatly expand the authority of the state in the lives of individuals and families, ranging from prenatal care and counseling to day care to mental health assessments and employment services; and Whereas collaboration would change the role of the government from that of providing a

15. Outcome-Based Education (4/93)

Whereas under Outcome-Based Education (OBE) the state would set the goals for a child’s intellectual, social, emotional, and moral development and then determined whether the child’s development in each of these areas was satisfactory; and Whereas under OBE the government would decide which specific employment skills, living, skills, and attitudes a child should have; and Whereas the government would enforce its decision by granting or denying a child the certificate or diploma required for further education or a job; and Whereas OBE represents a basic change in the role of the government in education from that of providing a service

14. Education Vouchers (4/92)

Whereas education vouchers being proposed at the federal and state levels of government would allow the government to define education and impose its values, judgments, and often its testing on people; and Whereas such education vouchers would not be available to the family but only to the institutions that the family selects and which the state certifies as eligible to receive voucher moneys from the state; and Whereas such education vouchers can easily lead to state control of education similar to a state religion and further control of families; and Whereas there are better and more direct ways for the

13. America 2000 and Wisconsin 2000 (4/92)

Whereas there now exist national and state education plans and goals known as America 2000 and Wisconsin 2000 which are virtually identical in content and purpose and which would create national and state goals in education; extend the federal and state governments’ role in education and family life by merging social services and educational services and extending them into the prenatal period; institute skills clinics; and require state-mandated tests and assessments and/or a national series of assessments and a national curriculum; and Whereas these plans call for policies and legislation that would have professionals and institutions pass judgment on very

12. State goals in education (4/92)

Whereas in this country, educational goals are now chosen by students and parents, generally assisted by teachers; and Whereas the compulsory school attendance law requires attendance but does not and cannot dictate the outcome of that education (or there would be no freedom of thought or learning); and Whereas public schools provide a service for those who choose to use them; and Whereas the establishment of state goals in education would mean that the law would be requiring “education” rather than attendance; and Whereas this country was founded in large part on the basis of freedom of thought and belief

11. Opposition to State Control of Education and the Family (4/91)

Whereas parents are responsible for their children, including their educations; and Whereas the state has no constitutional, statutory, or common law authority to demand, require, or invoke any specific educational program for a child; and Whereas the state has no legal authority in education except that available under the federal constitution’s policing provision and only within the past 50 years has the citizenry used this authority to extend compulsory attendance laws through the high school years; and Whereas schools derive their authority from parents and other citizens rather than from federal or state constitutions or authorities but this unfortunately is

10. The Primary Role of Parents in Education (4/91)

Whereas parents are the primary educators of their children; and Whereas the family has consistently been shown to provide the best environment for a child’s growth and development; and Whereas the family provides continuity of significant human relationships that provide academic, social, emotional, and moral support for a child’s learning; and Whereas a child’s interaction with people of many different backgrounds and ages (rather than isolation with age-mates) provides him or her with adult role models and lessens stress and problems of peer pressure and dependence; and Whereas children are individuals who vary in talents, abilities, and needs and in

09. Unity Among Home Schoolers (4/90)

Whereas home schoolers come from all walks of life; they home school for a number of different reasons; and they use a variety of curriculums and approaches to education; however, they all have one thing in common, namely, their determination to preserve the right to choose for their children an education consistent with their beliefs and principles; and Whereas the Wisconsin statutes defining private schools (including home schools) resulted from the hard work of the full range of home schoolers and people involved in other small private schools in this state; and Whereas home schoolers have organized themselves as Wisconsin

08. Home Schoolers Taking Courses in Public Schools (4/90)

Whereas some home schoolers want to take one or more courses in a public school; and Whereas the Wisconsin Constitution provides for free public education to all persons ages four through 20 years of age; and Whereas the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has given advice to local school boards that has led to policies denying home schoolers access to public school courses; and Whereas some formal policies adopted by local school boards prevent (in highly discriminatory ways) home schoolers from taking public school courses; and Whereas such policies are often in violation of a parent’s and student’s rights under

07. Entry and Re-entry Into Public Schools (4/90)

Whereas home schooled students have consistently been shown to perform very well academically and socially; and Whereas entry/re-entry policies have been established without a demonstrated need or basis in fact by local public school districts in Wisconsin in response to or anticipation of Home-Based Private Educational Program students entering public schools; and Whereas approximately 4,000 former Home-Based Private Educational Program students have successfully entered conventional schools over the past five years without such policies being in effect; and Whereas such policies often discriminate against Home-Based Private Educational Program (HBPEP) students by applying different standards, criteria, and tests against HBPEP students

06. Teacher Certification of Home Schooling Parents (4/89)

Whereas numerous studies from the past 25 years fail to show that teacher training, certification, or advanced degrees for teachers result in student achievement; and Whereas the wisdom of certifying public school teachers is being questioned (the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy has recommended abolishing undergraduate departments and schools of teacher education) and several states have waived or are considering waiving public school teacher certification requirements; and Whereas private schools in Wisconsin are not required to employ certified teachers; and Whereas the number of states requiring certification of home schooling parents has been reduced through court cases and

05. State Review and Approval of a Home-Based Private Educational Program’s Calendar and Curriculum (4/89)

Whereas there is no general agreement as to the one best way to educate children, and no set calendar or curriculum has been shown to be consistently superior; and Whereas the tutorial approach to education is recognized to be very effective in meeting the individual educational needs of a student; and Whereas the standardized approach to calendars and curriculums used in the public schools for classes of 10 to 30 students is inappropriate for home-based private educational programs; and Whereas one of the major strengths of a home school is that the small number of students makes it possible for

04. Home Schooling, Private Education, and the DPI (4/88)

Whereas the United States by its constitution, tradition, and custom has long recognized, practiced, and provided for the parent to have the primary right in and responsibility for a child’s education; and Whereas the distinction between public and private education, including home-based private education, is established by custom, tradition, and statute and is fundamental to the exercise of choice in education and to the avoidance of a state monopoly in education; and Whereas Article X of the Wisconsin Constitution grants the State Superintendent of Public Instruction authority over public, not private, education; and Whereas the Wisconsin legislature has passed a

03. State-Mandated Standardized Testing (4/88)

Whereas standardized tests are only one way of measuring the mastery of a specific set of facts; and Whereas standardized tests can become a means of determining and controlling the curriculum, teaching methods, and structure of a school or program; and Whereas there is increasing evidence that standardized tests do not measure what they claim to measure; and Whereas standardized tests can be used to label children, to justify additional testing, and to require child placement out of the home; and Whereas state-mandated standardized testing provides that the state rather than the parent would decide when children are ready for

02. Wisconsin’s Home Schooling Law (4/88)

Whereas the current law (1983 Act 512) regarding Home-Based Private Educational Programs (HBPEP) provides for (a) protecting the state’s interest in education by requiring that HBPEPs meet basic educational requirements and comply with the compulsory school attendance law; (b) protecting the parents’ rights by requiring that the information reported to the state and attested to by parents, while sufficient to protect the state’s interest, is not too burdensome or intrusive; does not violate constitutional, parental, and religious rights; and does not violate the principle of innocent until proven guilty; and (c) protecting the rights of children by allowing HBPEPs enough

01. WPA and Choice in Education (4/88)

Whereas the Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) is a state-wide association that watches, promotes, and defends the rights of parents, families, and children; and Whereas WPA recognizes that there is no one best way to educate children since their talents and abilities are so varied; and Whereas home schoolers are a very diverse group with widely varying income levels, approaches to education, religious and philosophical beliefs; and Whereas the one thing home schoolers have in common is their commitment to establishing and maintaining their parental rights to educate their children according to their beliefs and principles; Be it resolved that WPA

September 17, 2020 – Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association Statement Regarding the Consequences of Doing More Than the Law Requires

Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association has been in regular communication with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) since early August to address misinformation, harassment, and threats against parents withdrawing from public school to start homeschooling. In our ongoing communications, the DPI has noted its agreement with WHPA assertions about Wisconsin law, saying:

  • “Regarding the PI-1206 form, DPI agrees that under Wis. Stat. § 115.30(3), no school district can compel the submission of the form prior to October 15.”
  • “It is not appropriate for districts to be placing undue pressure on parents to submit a PI-1206 form, nor to be threatening

August 25, 2020 – Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association Statement Regarding August 24, 2020 Statement from Wisconsin Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Stanford Taylor

Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association (formerly Wisconsin Parents Association) has been communicating with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) regarding ongoing, urgent issues for Wisconsin parents choosing to homeschool this year. WHPA issued two previous statements to DPI, asking for prompt and decisive action. Today, State Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Stanford Taylor issued a statement entitled COVID-19 Regulatory Flexibility Framework Provisions for the 2020-21 School Year 08/24/20. In this statement, DPI offers clear guidance to all Wisconsin school districts. Under the section entitled “Home Based Private Education (Homeschooling),” the statement reads:

Home-Based Private Educational Program (Homeschooling)

February 25, 2020 – S.634 & H.R.1434 Action Required


Wisconsin Parents Association’s Legislative Watch Committee has been monitoring companion federal bills S.634 and H.R.1434 Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, and to date, both bills remain referred to their respective committees. Co-sponsors have been added, but to date, no other action has been taken.  Congress was recently urged to pass these bills, which has increased attention on them and is why WPA is calling for action at this time.

What would the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act do?

These bills would provide federal tax credits, not for homeschoolers, but for businesses and individuals

June 29, 2019 – Legislative Watch Update – Wisconsin Budget

The Wisconsin Assembly and Senate have passed the Wisconsin 2019-21 biennium budget and it has been sent to Gov. Evers for his signature (he has until July 5 to sign). WPA’s Legislative Watch committee monitored the budget bills (AB56 and SB59) throughout this process for any provisions or amendments which would have affected our homeschool law. There were very few amendments offered in this budget cycle, and most importantly, there were no proposed changes to Wisconsin’s home-based private education law! WPA’s Legislative Watch committee continues to monitor and analyze legislation which could impact our very reasonable homeschool law. We encourage

April 16, 2019

ACTION NEEDED: On March 29, 2019, H.R.1994 SECURE Act was introduced, and as a part of this bill, language was inserted to expand the use of Section 529 Education Savings Accounts* to qualified homeschool expenses. (On February 12, 2019, WPA asked for action on H.R.65 Enhancing Educational Opportunities for Home School Students Act and H.R.621/S.157 Student Empowerment Act. Read more about it below.) Please call or email your Representative and Senators and respectfully ask them to REMOVE from H.R.1994 SECURE Act the language referring to Section 529 Education Savings Accounts being used for homeschool expenses. You may also wish

February 12, 2019

ACTION NEEDED: Three bills have been introduced in the 116th Congress to expand the use of Section 529 education accounts* to qualified homeschool expenses.

(On July 20, 2018, WPA asked for action on S.3102 Student Empowerment Act, introduced during the 115th Congress. Read more about it below.) Please call your U.S. Representative and Senators and respectfully ask them to OPPOSE both H.R.65 Enhancing Educational Opportunities for Home School Students Act

January 8, 2019

On December 20, the House of Representatives included H.R.6674 Student Empowerment Act as an amendment to H.R.88 Shiloh National Military Park Boundary Adjustment and Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Designation Act (also referred to as the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018). The Senate previously passed H.R.88, and the bill is now at a status of “Resolving Differences.” The Student Empowerment Act expands the use of Section 529 funds to qualified homeschool expenses. Since the activity for this bill was conducted during the 115th Congress, Congressional leadership must decide whether to take this bill up

July 20, 2018

On June 21st, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX) introduced bill S.3102. This bill is being proposed to amend the Internal Revenue Code that permits kindergarten through grade 12 educational expenses to be paid from a 529 account.  Senator Cruz would like homeschoolers to have access to this program and to be able to use these accounts for their homeschooling expenses. Last time this proposal was presented, many homeschoolers did not support this change and homeschoolers were left out of the legislation. Why is this a problem for Wisconsin homeschoolers? While Senator Cruz (from Texas) is attempting to be helpful to

April 10, 2018

The Wisconsin Legislative Council has released the Joint Legislative Council Co-Chairs’ recommendations for the establishment of study committees. NONE of the approved study committees pertain to homeschooling. This is great news for homeschoolers in Wisconsin. Homeschooling was not seen as a problem in need of study or possible legislative solutions by the Co-Chairs of the JLC . There will be no study committee regarding homeschooling. Thank you all for your contacts with legislators regarding this issue.

January 31, 2018 – Action Clarification

1) Representative Sinicki has submitted her request to the Joint Legislative Council to create a Study Committee to review the Home-Based Private Educational Program Law in Wisconsin. The time for contacting Representative Sinicki about this matter has passed. 2) Now it is time to contact the chairs and members of the Joint Legislative Council. They are the people who will decide whether or not to form this committee. No matter what district you live in, please contact the council co-chairs: Representative Brooks (608) 267-2369 Rep.Rob.Brooks@legis.wisconsin.gov Senator Roth (608) 266-0718 Sen.Roth@legis.wisconsin.gov Let them know that homeschooling in Wisconsin is working and that you do not

January 30, 2018 – Representative Sinicki Requests the Formation of a Committee to Study Wisconsin Homeschool Law

We have confirmed that Representative Sinicki has requested that the Joint Legislative Council create a Study Committee to review the Home-Based Private Educational Program Law in Wisconsin. The purpose of a Study Committee is to identify a problem and offer legislative solutions. Since the homeschooling law in Wisconsin is not a problem and we do not want additional homeschooling legislation, we do not want this to move forward. Please contact the co-chairs, Representative Brooks and Senator Roth, and let them know that Wisconsin’s homeschooling law is working well as it is and you do not support the creation of a Study Committee. Phone

January 28, 2018 – WPA Response to Abuse and Regulation

Child abuse is never acceptable in any situation.  Laws are currently in place that make the abuse of children illegal and legally punishable, and that allow authorities to remove children from unsafe environments, no matter where those children are being educated. Many public statements recently suggest that there should be additional regulation of homeschooling to prevent child abuse.  Anecdotes used to illustrate the need for increased regulation of homeschooling are overwhelmingly stories of families who were already in contact with Child Protective Services. These cases do not represent a failure of homeschooling—they represent a failure on the part of a system

September 21, 2017 – Budget Bill Signed

The 2017-2019 Wisconsin Budget Bill has been passed and signed.  No items were included in this budget that affect home-based private educational programs. As always, we encourage you to contact your legislators throughout the year to let them know that you do not want any changes to the current homeschooling law.

September 7, 2017 – 2017-2019 Biennial Budget Bill

After the events of the 2015-2017 Budget Bill, we’ve kept a close eye on the current Budget Bill (2017-2019).  However, in spite of having the deadline of July 1, 2017, as of this posting, the Budget Bill has not yet been passed.  At this time, there is nothing that affects homeschoolers in the current Budget Bill, however, things can change at the last minute.  We will be watching the Budget Bill as we move well past the deadline.

June 22, 2017 – Update to WI youth employment laws

On June 21, 2017, Governor Scott Walker signed 2017 Act 11 into law.  This law eliminates the requirement that minors ages 16-17 obtain a work or street trade permit. A work permit is still required before anyone under the age of 16 is allowed to work in any job with the exception of agriculture or domestic service work. Employers must have a work permit on file for the minor being employed before they may allow the minor to begin work. Details on how and where to obtain a work permit are here. State youth employment

February 17, 2017 – Contact your legislators today.

Please contact your state and federal representatives to let them know:

  • That you are a constituent (offering your name and street address to confirm this).
  • That you are a homeschooling parent.
  • That you do not want any public dollars (vouchers, tax credits, educational savings accounts, etc.) to be directed to Wisconsin homeschoolers.
  • It is incredibly valuable to contact your legislators before any specific legislation comes to a vote.  If legislators know that homeschoolers do not want this type of help, they are less likely to introduce and support legislation that offers public dollars to homeschoolers. WPA has long asked homeschoolers to to contact

    February 15, 2017 – Where is the proof that vouchers for homeschooling will bring more regulations?

    First, it is important to say that homeschooling voucher programs (like the one outlined in HR 610) have not been successful at the state level, so we have no specific data about how homeschooling vouchers would increase regulation other than to compare it to private schools accepting voucher money vs. those that are not (keep reading for information about states with tax credits). Voucher programs for homeschoolers that have been introduced in other states have not passed due to homeschoolers not wanting the money which would surely lead to regulation. When the government offers money for a specific purpose (education, roads, etc.),

    February 11, 2017 – A few things that Wisconsin homeschoolers should be aware of

    Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education.  She is a strong proponent of vouchers for “school choice.”  Her list of choices includes homeschooling. A bill (HR610) was introduced, at the federal level, by Rep. Steve King (R) of Iowa.  This bill seeks, in part, to render financial assistance to parents who choose to educate their children outside the public school system, including homeschoolers. The bill has now been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. WPA believes that homeschoolers taking any government money (i.e. vouchers, tax credits, educational savings accounts, etc.) will lead to additional regulation

    January 10, 2017 – A few words from WPA for the new year

    We are at the beginning of a new legislative session in Wisconsin as well as the beginning of a new federal administration. Homeschooling is gaining popularity and recognition, and many legislators see themselves as supporting homeschooling by offering special treatment to homeschoolers. We have a unique situation in Wisconsin that homeschoolers in most other states do not have. We have an enormous amount of freedom to homeschool in whatever way works for our family as long as we follow our reasonable homeschool law. All government favors come with the requirement of accountability. Taxpayers are right to expect accountability for how

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