55. Maintain Parental Rights in Education by Refusing to Sign Public School Withdrawal Forms (5/15)

Whereas increasingly many public school officials have adopted the practice of requiring that parents sign a withdrawal form in order for their child to be removed from the public school’s enrollment records; and Whereas Wisconsin statutes specifically state that the parent or guardian of a child ages 6 through 18 shall cause the child to attend school and authorize penalizing the parent, guardian, and/or child for not attending; and Whereas Wisconsin statutes specifically provide that parents and guardians can choose where their child will attend a school and also state that it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the

54. Maintain the Distinction Between Homeschooling and Public Virtual Charter Schools (5/14)

Whereas the pioneers of the modern homeschooling movement in Wisconsin worked together despite their differences to ensure that the Wisconsin Legislature passed a reasonable homeschooling law that recognized the right of families to choose for their members an education consistent with their principles and beliefs; and Whereas homeschoolers have organized themselves as Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) to watch and protect their parental rights in education, especially homeschooling rights and responsibilities; and Whereas we cannot assume that freedoms and laws will continue in perpetuity once they are established and recognized, instead they must be continually safeguarded; and Whereas it is easy

53. Common Core State Standards in Education (5/13)

Whereas since the publication in 1983 of A Nation at Risk, a federal report on the status of education in the US, there has been an increasing push by both Democrats and Republicans to reform public education from the top down through federal goals, standards, testing requirements, reporting, and monitoring of children and families; these federal initiatives include Goals 2000, America 2000, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and now Common Core State Standards; and Whereas the US Constitution gives no authority to the federal or state governments in the area of education; and Whereas the US Code

52. Encouraging Homeschoolers to File Form PI-1206 Online in Accordance With the Law (5/12)

Whereas Wisconsin has a very reasonable homeschooling law that has worked well for homeschoolers for 28 years; and Whereas this law is something Wisconsin homeschoolers working through Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) have worked hard to achieve and maintain; and Whereas the educational establishment continues to look for reasons to further regulate homeschooling in Wisconsin; and Whereas when the freedom to homeschool has been tested in courts and legislatures, homeschoolers in nearly all other states have not achieved the homeschooling freedoms we currently have in Wisconsin; and Whereas when homeschool attorneys have gone to court and argued that homeschoolers should not

51. New Kindergarten Statute and Homeschooling (5/11)

Whereas the recent five-year-old kindergarten statute will result in children being put under increased pressure socially, academically, and emotionally; and Whereas, in part due to Wisconsin Parents Association’s (WPA) work and testimony over the years opposing such legislation, it does not directly affect homeschoolers today but is confusing to homeschoolers and a cause of concern for what might happen as conventional schooling is being required at younger and younger ages; and Whereas the recent statute means:

  • enforcing truancy laws on five-year-olds enrolled in conventional schools
  • providing more money for public schools

50. Prevent Further Erosion of the Role of Parents in Children’s Early Years (5/10)

Whereas educational institutions, state and federal governments, many professionals and their associations, major corporate interests as well as the media are promoting a wide range of programs and policies such as universal childcare, home visitations by professionals, birth to three programs, preschool screening, mental health screening, and four and five year old kindergarten; and Whereas these same institutions, professions, and organizations in their communications concerning these programs and policies convey the idea that they are in the best interests of the child, do not have harmful side effects, and even that they are required; and Whereas there is mounting evidence

49. Importance of Parents to Children’s Development and Learning and a Family’s Well Being (5/09)

Whereas major studies over the past 40 years have consistently shown parents and families, rather than schools or teachers, to be the determining factor in whether a child succeeds academically and socially; and Whereas day care and preschool have been shown to lead to anti-social and aggressive behavior; and Whereas child care can have serious harmful results for the child, parents, and the family (For example, an abstract from a recent major study of universal child care includes these findings: “Finally, we uncover striking evidence that children are worse off in a variety of behavioral and health dimensions, ranging from

48. Maintaining the Basic Principles of Homeschooling (5/08)

Whereas during the past 30 years, parents and families have reestablished and confirmed the basic and traditional concept of homeschooling in the United States as a practice whereby parents take primary and direct responsibility for the education of their children with as little state regulation as possible; and Whereas this practice in Wisconsin has been achieved primarily through the hard and continuous work of homeschooling parents working through Wisconsin Parents Association against great resistance from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, public school boards, teachers unions, school district administrators, and others in the educational establishment; and Whereas although today there

47. Institutionalizing Young Children (5/07)

Whereas there is a growing movement to institutionalize children at younger and younger ages; and Whereas this movement takes a variety of the forms including the Birth to Three year old program, Child Find programs aimed at identifying children in need of special services, preschool screening, preschool programs, and kindergarten programs for three- and four-year olds; and Whereas professionals, corporations, and government have joined together through federal and state commissions and through studies and have identified early childhood education as a good practice and part of the answer to ensuring a strong economy; and Whereas the National Center on Education

46. History of Homeschooling in Wisconsin (5/06)

Whereas the pioneers of the modern homeschooling movement in Wisconsin worked together despite their differences to ensure that the Wisconsin Legislature passed a homeschooling law that recognized the right of families to choose for their members an education consistent with their principles and beliefs; and Whereas WPA has formulated essential principles and practices to ensure that our homeschooling freedoms survive-these include knowing what is required of homeschoolers in Wisconsin; doing only the minimum required by statute or regulation; not ignoring violations of our rights, even if they seem too small to matter; not seeking or accepting benefits from the government;

45. No Child Left Behind (5/05)

Whereas the federal government has no constitutional authority over education but gains power over education by creating programs in education that give federal tax dollars to states and school districts who comply with the requirements of these programs; and Whereas the federal government has used its grants of tax dollars to influence and control education, including in recent years the establishment of national standards for elementary and secondary education; and Whereas a major piece of legislation known as No Child Left Behind was recently passed that requires of any school that receives federal education money to test children in grades

44. Mental Health Screening (5/05)

Whereas an increasing number of federal and state mental health screening programs are being established to screen preschool and school children as well as young children, teens, and adults; and Whereas the questions asked during the screenings are so general and ambiguous that nearly anyone could be identified as mentally ill or in need of further testing; and Whereas doctors, workers in health clinics, school personnel, social service workers, juvenile justice authorities, etc. are all being encouraged to conduct such screenings, and people may not realize that they are being screened; and Whereas screenings are especially targeted at groups considered

43. Student Identification Database Systems (5/04)

Whereas federal and state governments are requiring that more and more personal information about any family that receives government education services be collected, stored, and used in government controlled databases; and Whereas these databases include or will soon include a great deal of personal information that goes well beyond the names and addresses of families to include nicknames, disabilities, income level, occupation, test scores, etc.; and Whereas the information collected serves the interests and values of those designing the database systems and not the interests of parents or students and more specifically not the interests of homeschoolers; and Whereas information

42. The Media and Homeschooling (5/04)

Whereas the media in the United States holds enormous power to persuade and to inform or misinform the public; and Whereas the media is a primary source of news for most people, including those who hold it in low regard; and Whereas the media seldom does in-depth, independent fact-finding but rather relies on experts in universities, think tanks, foundations, and large organizations for the news they report; and Whereas the media increasingly reports at face value the views and prejudices of government officials instead of playing the media’s historic role as the “fourth estate” of questioning, if not challenging, government

41. Maintaining the Distinction Between Public Schools and Homeschools (and Other Private Schools) (5/03)

Whereas public school administrators and officials are contacting homeschoolers through surveys, invitations to public meetings, and other announcements in an effort to bring homeschoolers into the public schools; and Whereas private companies in conjunction with public schools are marketing public e-schools to homeschoolers; and Whereas although homeschoolers come from all walks of life, homeschool for a number of different reasons, and use a variety of curriculums and approaches to education, 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 homeschoolers

40. Education Vouchers, Educational Investment Accounts, and Tax Credits and Deductions for Education (5/03)

Whereas education vouchers, educational investment accounts, and tax credits and deductions for education that are 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 given to families but only to the institutions that families select from among those the state has certified as eligible to receive money from the state through vouchers; and Whereas such education vouchers can easily lead to state control of education and further control of families; and Whereas legislation

39. Government Imposed Immunizations (5/02)

Whereas bills have been introduced in several states, including Wisconsin, authorizing the governor to require that all citizens be immunized against one or more diseases by declaring a public health emergency; and Whereas there would in effect be no exceptions to this requirement since those objecting or refusing to be immunized for reasons of health, religion, or personal conviction would be placed in quarantine; and Whereas giving the government this authority would override existing statutory law that recognizes and provides for exemptions from required immunizations based on health, religion, or personal conviction; and Whereas clear evidence indicates that immunizations are

38. Public E-Schools (5/02)

Whereas public e-schools are public schools that are located in homes by means of a computer and the requirements and oversight of federal and state governments; and Whereas these schools are often called homeschools and the public will undoubtedly view them as homeschools; and Whereas these public schools require state and federal testing of students; and Whereas such schools are required to meet federal and state standards; and Whereas such tests and standards will dictate the curriculum of the schools; and Whereas state and federally mandated curriculums eliminate any real choice in how an actual homeschool could have an education

37. Homeschools Defined by Law as One Family Unit (5/01)

Whereas Wisconsin statutes state that, “‘Home-based private educational program’ means a program of educational instruction provided to a child by the child’s parent or guardian or by a person designated by the parent or guardian. An instructional program provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based private educational program.” (s. 115.001[3g]); and Whereas a homeschool in Wisconsin is a private school that is limited to one family unit; and Whereas a national homeschooling organization based outside of Wisconsin has informed some homeschoolers in Wisconsin that they can disobey this part of the statutes by using a

36. Standardized Testing Required by the Federal or State Government (5/01)

Whereas schools need to prepare students for tests they are required to take, which means that required tests dictate what curriculum will be used and how it will be taught; and Whereas federal testing represents a major increase in government control of education because although states, not the federal government, have the policing authority to make laws that govern schools, the federal government is claiming it has the authority to require federal testing of students in schools that accept money from the federal government; and Whereas federal testing is especially powerful because it applies the same requirements to the whole

35. Survey Research on Homeschooling (5/00)

Whereas survey research on homeschooling undermines our homeschooling freedoms in several ways, including the following:

  • Survey research is generally designed to compare homeschoolers to students in conventional schools, using the standards of conventional schools, which implies that homeschools should adopt the standards, practices, and values of conventional schools and assumes that these are the only correct ones.
  • People who feel homeschoolers should be required to take state-mandated tests can point to survey research that includes homeschoolers’ scores on standardized tests as evidence that homeschoolers are willing to take such tests.
  • Research that indicates that even a

34. Laws designed to prevent certain families from homeschooling (5/00)

Whereas constant pressure for increased regulation of homeschooling comes from a number of sources; and Whereas legislation that increases regulations for any homeschooler inevitably increases regulations for all homeschoolers and when laws are designed to prevent certain families from homeschooling, everybody loses homeschooling freedoms; and Whereas such laws would make the state the judge of all homeschoolers in order to prevent a very few from homeschooling; and Whereas the argument that “homeschooling families that are doing a good job should not object to requirements designed to ensure that children are getting a ‘good education'” only works if families don’t mind

33. Legislation That Undermines Homeschooling Freedoms (5/99)

Whereas homeschoolers are a small minority that has regained its rightful educational freedoms in Wisconsin through hard work and maintained them through constant vigilance; and Whereas our approach to education is generally not understood or shared by the majority of people in our society; and Whereas our elected representatives are accustomed to providing state programs in education in exchange for state regulation of schools by means of state goals, state educational standards, state-mandated tests, state audits of educational institutions, and state prescriptions of who is qualified to teach and/or receive benefits; and Whereas most homeschoolers value their homeschooling freedoms more

32. Graduation Test (5/99)

Whereas recent legislation requires that beginning in 2003, public school students must pass a state-mandated graduation test in order to receive a diploma; and Whereas in the future this test could be required of private school students (including homeschoolers) either in exchange for vouchers or merely because the state decides such tests are a good idea for private school students; and Whereas such standardized tests are unfair and biased against women, minorities, and people who do not have the same values and experiences as those who design the test; and Whereas such tests do not measure important qualities such as

31. High Schools’ Mock Trial Involving a Homeschooler (5/98)

Whereas the 1998 Wisconsin High School Mock Trial Tournament, sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin, presented an extremely negative and misleading impression of homeschoolers (see their 1998 Handbook of Case Materials); and Whereas the case materials developed by the State Bar of Wisconsin and distributed to high schools throughout the state foster misunderstanding and unwarranted prejudice against homeschoolers; and Whereas the materials reduce truancy to a simplistic behavior and fail to distinguish between compulsory attendance and compulsory education; and Whereas the materials are similar to the highly prejudicial and misinformed testimony presented at a hearing in April, 1997, before

30. Impact on Homeschooling Freedoms of Homeschoolers’ Qualifying for Public School Sports Teams (5/98)

Whereas homeschoolers have regained significant freedom of thought and belief by working to establish and maintain ourselves as private schools independent of public schools; and Whereas Wisconsin has a reasonable homeschooling law that homeschoolers have worked hard to get passed and to maintain; and Whereas homeschoolers are a very small minority but large and powerful interest groups are pressing for increased state regulation of homeschooling; and Whereas, in order for Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) rules to be changed so that homeschoolers could participate on public school sports teams, homeschools would have to comply with the Department of Public Instruction

29. The Real Cost of Tax Credits for Homeschoolers’ Educational Expenses (5/98)

Whereas state and federal governments are proposing tax credits for educational expenses and are trying to convince homeschoolers to support such proposals by including homeschooling expenses; and Whereas specific expenses such as “educational” expenses qualify for tax credits only if those expenses meet the state’s standards in education, schools qualify only if they are accredited or in some other way approved by the state, tutors qualify only if they are officially licensed, etc.; and Whereas tax credits are one way for the government to get people to do things the government wants them to do whether or not these things

28. Day-Time Curfews, Truancy Sweeps, and ID Cards for Homeschoolers (5/98)

Whereas state and local governments and public and private agencies are using increasingly repressive measures to try to keep young people in school, including day-time curfews and police pick-ups of young people who are not inside a school building during “school hours;” and Whereas such repressive measures have not been shown to be effective in any case but rather have often been found to be counterproductive; and Whereas these measures are a severe infringement of people’s basic freedoms and civil liberties, including the freedom to be in public places and not be interrogated or arrested without reasonable evidence and due

27. School-To-Work Programs (4/97)

Whereas school-to-work programs would greatly increase the influence that schools have over people’s lives by giving the schools the authority to issue “certificates of initial mastery” and “certificates of advanced mastery” that would be required for some jobs; and Whereas school-to-work programs aim to change the fundamental nature of schooling by requiring that students acquire certain knowledge, skills, abilities, and values in order to pass the tests that lead to the certificates; and Whereas proposed state and national standards in education give the government the authority and ability to require that students acquire specific knowledge, skills, and abilities; and Whereas

26. Attempts by the State to Determine Eligibility to Homeschool (4/97)

Whereas Wisconsin has a reasonable homeschooling law that is working well; and Whereas Wisconsin’s homeschooling law protects both the rights of families to homeschool and the interest of the state to see that its citizens do not grow up to be a burden on the state; and Whereas any law that establishes eligibility requirements for homeschooling undermines the rights and responsibilities of parents to choose for their children an education consistent with their principles and beliefs; and Whereas any law that gives the state the right to determine who is eligible to homeschool gives the state inappropriate authority in private

25. Maintaining the Fundamental Foundation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities (5/96)

Whereas the primary rights and responsibilities of people are given by God or nature and not by the state; and Whereas parental rights and responsibilities for rearing children, especially in the areas of education, health, and welfare, are so fundamental that they cannot be realistically reduced to statutory or constitutional language; and Whereas the state does not now have at any level of government (federal, state, or local) the authority to direct how a child should be educated, cared for, or nurtured; (For example, compulsory school attendance laws require attendance but do not require education.) and Whereas once people ask

24. Maintaining Wisconsin’s Homeschooling Law (5/96)

Whereas Wisconsin has a reasonable homeschooling law that homeschoolers have worked hard to pass and maintain; and Whereas homeschoolers are a small minority; and Whereas there are interests that are politically and financially powerful that would like to see increased regulation of homeschools by the state; and Whereas any change to the homeschooling law or any privilege or benefit to homeschoolers that might be proposed, such as providing legislatively that homeschoolers be counted for state aids when taking one or more courses in a public school, could easily open up the homeschooling law for debate, change, and amendment; and Whereas

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