WHPA has been working hard to preserve parental rights in Wisconsin, and opposing proposed “micro education pods” over the last year and a half. As of this writing, the proposed bill creating “micro education pods” is awaiting either approval or veto by Governor Evers. According to the Legislature’s 2021-22 Session Calendar, the next date that bills are scheduled to be presented to the Governor is April 14 (if it is presented to the Governor sooner, we will let you know). WHPA has again appealed to our members to speak up for parental rights by contacting Governor Evers
On Tuesday, March 8, the Wisconsin Senate voted to pass AB 122, and it will soon be presented to Gov. Tony Evers for his signature or veto.
This is the final opportunity to stop AB 122 from becoming law.
Please contact Gov. Evers’ office and ask him to VETO AB 122. By doing so, he protects both our clear legal homeschool and private school structure in Wisconsin, and a parent’s inherent right to educate their own children.
Contact information for Gov. Evers: Phone: (608) 266-1212 Email: https://appengine.egov.com/apps/wi/governor/voice-an-opinion You can find WHPA’s background and analysis of
On Friday, March 4, the Senate Committee on Education passed both “micro education pod” bills, AB 122 and SB 201, out of committee, and AB 122, which has already been passed by the Assembly, has been scheduled for a vote by the full Senate on Tuesday, March 8. It is critical that WHPA members and supporters speak up in defense of our homeschooling law. You can find background and analysis of these bills on our website. Call your Senator before Tuesday and ask them to vote NO on AB 122. (Find tips on our website.)
The time is NOW to call the Senate Committee on Education The Wisconsin Senate Committee on Education is voting TODAY AT MIDDAY on SB 201 and AB 122. The Committee is taking the unusual action of voting on a large package of education bills in private by paper ballot, instead of in public by voice vote or roll call vote. We have been informed the ballots will go out at 12:30 and must be returned by 1:30. If you have not yet done so, please call all the Committee members listed below immediately and tell them to VOTE NO on
WHPA was fundamental in the writing and passage of our longstanding reasonable homeschool law in 1984. Our members and member-volunteers have worked hard ever since to protect our rights. WHPA needs our members and allies to speak up now. WHPA Is Not A Lobbyist Firm WHPA is Wisconsin’s only statewide, grassroots, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to protect every Wisconsin parent’s right to educate their own children according to their own principles and beliefs. “Grassroots” means WHPA exists to empower parents to exercise their rights and freedoms. “Grassroots” means when we need to share a message with legislators, we rely on our
Yesterday, Wednesday February 23, 2022, the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Education held a public hearing to hear testimony about several proposed education bills, including SB 201 / AB 122, which would create “micro education pods” in Wisconsin. Members of the WHPA Board of Directors testified in person in opposition to this bill. You can view the hearing in full on the Wisconsin Eye website by following this link and registering for a free account: https://wiseye.org/2022/02/23/senate-committee-on-education-38/ (note: the SB 201 portion is the very first part and this video will go behind a paywall 24 hours after its posting)
The Assembly version of the proposal to create unregulated private schools, called “micro-education pods,” AB 122, passed out of the Assembly today, and we learned late this afternoon that the Senate version of the same bill, SB 201, is scheduled for a public hearing with the Senate Committee on Education tomorrow morning. This bill threatens our homeschooling rights by confusing the difference between homeschools (based on parental rights) and private schools (based on state law). It is critical that WHPA members and supporters speak up in defense of our homeschooling law at this hearing. The public hearing is scheduled for: Wednesday, February
WHPA has opposed so-called “microschools” in Wisconsin since AB122 was first introduced. It’s time for our members and all Wisconsin homeschooling supporters to call your legislator and help protect our homeschool law. Read the full Action Alert and call today.
A Wisconsin law passed in 2009 states public schools may not enroll a child in first grade unless that child has completed 5-year-old kindergarten, or applies for and receives an exemption to this requirement. Does this law mean a school can refuse to enroll a child in first grade? The answer is we don’t know for certain. The law has never been challenged or tested in the courts. However, it appears unenforceable. For a child who did not complete kindergarten, but wants to enroll in first grade, the confusing state of the law is this: First, public
As of Friday, July 23, 2021, Senate Education Committee Chair Darling has removed the public hearing for SB 201 (Creation of Micro Education Pods) from the committee’s calendar. Your testimony and attendance are no longer required on August 3. However, a hearing on the bill may be rescheduled at any time. WHPA’s Legislative Watch Committee will continue to monitor this and all proposed legislation, and update members when necessary.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 10:30 a.m.
WHPA members should already be aware of the ongoing attempt by legislators to create unregulated private schools in Wisconsin, called “micro education pods” (formerly “microschools”), and WHPA’s diligent work opposing this proposal. You can read WHPA’s previous statements and action on this proposal here and here. The Senate version of the bill, SB 201, is scheduled for a public hearing with the Senate Committee on Education. It is critical that WHPA members and supporters speak up in defense of our homeschooling law at this hearing. The public hearing
Download a PDF of this Action Alert
WHPA’s Board of Directors issued a statement to you, our members, last week regarding the proposed bill to create so-called “microschools” in Wisconsin, AB 122 / SB 201. If you have not yet read this statement, please read it here: https://www.homeschooling-wpa.org/wiki/march-8-2021-response-to-ab122-2021/ WHPA has been monitoring the creation and progress of these bills through the legislative process. The bills now have sponsors in both the Assembly and the Senate and there will be a public hearing on the Assembly bill this week on Thursday, March 18. WHPA is asking our
Download a PDF of this statement
March 8, 2021
WHPA RESPONSE TO AB122 (2021): PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO CREATE MICROSCHOOLS IN WISCONSIN
Introduction and History
Wisconsin Assembly Bill 122 (AB122) proposes to create an entirely new class of private schools in Wisconsin, called microschools. As proposed, microschools are programs of educational instruction that can be provided by anyone, anywhere, to any group of children, as long as the group consists of two to five family units and no more than twenty children. Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association (WHPA) has serious concerns about the proposed definition and regulation
Note: this paper originally appeared as an article in the February 2009 WHPA newsletter (Issue #99). It has been updated for clarity.
On February 16, in the spring primary, and on April 6, in the general election, Wisconsin voters will choose the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, WHPA does not endorse any political candidate, or ally itself with any political organization. As a reminder, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction heads the state Department of Public Instruction, which advances public schools and public libraries. Under Wisconsin law, DPI must create and process the
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.),
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
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