by Calvin Freiburger, LifeSite News:
LANSING, Michigan (LifeSiteNews) – Liberal Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and fellow Democrats are calling for more stringent state oversight of homeschooling in the Great Lakes State, ostensibly for the sake of catching fraud and abuse, but critics fear the real purpose is so state officials can meddle in parental rights.
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The Detroit Free Press reported that some lawmakers are calling for homeschool students to be registered with the state, lamenting the fact that Michigan is one of 11 states not to count or register them. Democrat state Rep. Matt Koleszar claimed that “abusive parents are taking advantage of that to avoid being found out,” whereas in schools, “students are in the presence of mandated reporters and adults who might be able to recognize abuse.”
Supporters cite the recent case of two Michigan couples who have been charged with adopting almost 30 children, whom they allegedly mentally and physically abused, for the purpose of pocketing almost $1 million that was meant to go to the children’s care.
“One reason why this abuse was able to go undetected in the Flore home … was due to the fact that all the children were homeschooled,” Nessel claimed. “There has to be some sort of monitoring so that those children also benefit from those protections.”
Others pushed back on the notion that homeschooling was to blame, or that registering all homeschool students was the correct solution.
“Instead of exploiting a false political narrative about home education to make headlines, Representative Koleszar’s time would be better spent focusing on improving Michigan’s struggling public school system, focusing his attention on the real problems that plague the state’s Child Protective Services and the abuse of children in union-backed schools,” responded Michigan Christian Homeschool Network vice president Israel Wayne.
“We have fought long and hard in both the courts and the legislature to secure our current Michigan homeschool laws, and today we reiterate our position that we will resist, to the fullest measure, any efforts to restrict the homeschool freedoms that families have enjoyed since 1993,” Wayne added. ‘Homeschool families should not be burdened with additional regulations because of a few bad parents who break the law and abuse their children.”
“Requiring homeschool students to register with the state is an egregious violation of parental rights, an invasion of privacy, and an unwarranted government overreach,” added Republicans state Rep. Jaime Greene, a homeschooling mother who sits on the House Education Committee. “This homeschool registration proposal not only disregards parental rights but also misguidedly focuses on regulating a successful and legitimate educational choice, diverting attention and resources away from addressing systemic problems within government agencies.”