As homeschoolers, it is vitally important that we remain vigilant and stay involved in the legislative procedures of our state. Homeschoolers have not always had the freedom to homeschool in all states, so we must remain alert to threats to our freedom. Often it is the state and local governments who govern homeschooling.
There are many policies and issues that can have negative impacts on homeschooling after being passed by your local governments. Here are some ways that you can advocate for homeschoolers within your community.
Developing Relationships with Your Representatives
An important part of advocating for certain policies is getting to know some of the people who draft them. It is always beneficial to meet the people who represent you—such as your state senator, your state representative, and even your city council member.
This might sound intimidating, but don’t worry! Remember, they work for you! As a voter you elected them, and they are supposed to be accountable to you since you are part of the constituency that decides whether or not they get elected. If they are not representing you, you can always fight to unseat them and elect someone else.
Pick up the phone, call their offices and ask to schedule a meeting with them in person. When you meet with your representatives, take your entire family. Let them know that you are a homeschool family and that you are politically active. Explain to them how important it is that homeschooling remain legal in your community.
This will help them to understand how important it is to advocate for homeschooling when they are facing such a vote. Don’t forget to let them know that you will follow up with them periodically and will contact them whenever an issue related to homeschooling comes up for a vote or discussion.
Reviewing Proposed Policy Related to Education and Families
One of the best ways to advocate for the protection of homeschooling is to keep an ever vigilant eye on the policy that is being voted on or discussed by your representatives. It is always good to review legislation related to education and families on the federal level, state level, and even on the city and local levels.
An easy way to do this is to simply keep an eye on your most trusted news source(s) and to read any legislation that is filed related to families or education. This information is almost always publicly available.
Testifying on Proposed Policies
When issues related to family or homeschooling are being discussed or voted on by your state legislature or city council, the first step is to talk to your representatives and let them know whether you support or oppose it. However, you should not stop here.
There will almost always be a public hearing for major policy changes related to family law and homeschooling. Make it a point to be at as many of these public hearings as possible. Not only will you be able to voice your position on these issues, but you will establish a reputation for being vigilant and present at hearings for similar policy propositions.