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Three Dave's No Waiting

Thursday, February 3, 2011

If we ain't broke don't fix it.

I am a sign reader. I especially like reading signboards over local schools. The ones that say things like Book Fair Tuesday through Thursday, or Congratulations to our students who were just in the state robotics tournament. Recently these signs have been more about money than merriment. Signs like Illinois owes our district 10.6 million dollars.

Yes, wherever I am in this great state of mine, I see signs outside schools telling passersby that they can't do the job educating their students because the state ain't showing them the money. I often joke with friends and family that I should put a sign outside our home/school that the state of Illinois doesn't owe our school any money.

So the fact that our state is broke and can't afford to educate the students they now have in the public system should be a problem that our lawmakers in Springfield to sink their teeth into. Instead one state senator , Ed Maloney (D-Chicago) is taking a different approach. He is trying to cost the state more money.

Maloney introduced SB 136 on 1/27/2011. The gist of the bill is to have all non public schoolers register annually with the Illinois Board of Education. Illinois law currently doesn't mandate any
registration annual or otherwise.

Home Educators in Illinois are considered private schools and pending this legislation, Illinois is one of the least restricted states in the country to home school. Last year my local state representative came by for a visit and wanted to know how he could help me. I told him that Illinois was one of the least restricted states for home schooling. I told him that if he wanted to keep me happy he should keep Illinois that way (Guess who's getting a phone call tomorrow?).

In Illinois my taxes go to public education. I am fine with that. On top of that I pay for all the materials and other learning (co-operatives, lessons etc.) for my students out of my own pocket. Home school families aren't the only ones, parents who send their children to private schools have to pay tuition on top of the taxes they pay for public education. I imagine that most private schoolers don't mind paying double as long as they have the freedom to educate their children the way they see fit.

I said earlier that State Senator's Maloney is trying to cost the state more money. What I meant by that is that overseeing the annual registration of all the privately educated children in Illinois is going to cost the state money. Money, they currently don't have. Money that could be going to pay all the school districts what they owe them. Money that could be used to hire more teachers, fund more programs and decrease class sizes.

But instead of using tax dollars for the job of educating the public, it seems that Sen. Maloney would like some of our tax money to regulating the private and that frankly is not a sign I'd like to see.

Note: I am certainly not the only one blogging about this issue. Click here, here or here for more views.

To return to the carnival of homeschooling click here.


  1. Thanks for the link, Bro! I'll return the favor.

  2. Thanks for posting this blog. My wife and I just moved to Illinois, and really looked forward to not having to jump through the usual hoops placed on those who choose to educate their children outside the confines of the public school system. This is just another reminder that there will always be those who seek to take away the freedoms of others in the name of regulation. I will be checking in for future updates. Oh, and thanks for the other links as well. God bless.

  3. Thanks for pointing out this proposed change in policy. You can count me as someone who does not enjoy paying high property taxes for the wasteful public schools. It enables rent seeking by state employees.
    For example

  4. Illinois needs to stick to fixing their broken system and leave homeschoolers to worry about their own children.

  5. Bottom line, what I think that Mahoney is doing is trying to find another way the state can "earn" money, and that is to go after the homeschoolers, account for all of them and get federal funding because surely the state is not going to. It's like HMO's, they try to get the most members but treat the least amount of them as possible. Like the saying goes "Money makes the world go round." Another thing the state did is to cut free bus rides for the elderly, the ones who really need it. It is budget crunching time and they are pulling at all strings to find where they can get more money instead of cutting back on their own special interst groups, pentions and payroll. Instead of doing "the job that they were elected to do" such as how to save a public educational system that is in dire need of help, they concentrate on "how can I get more money"


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