UPDATE: Senator Ted Cruz responds to concerns about S 306 with HSLDA‘s Michael Farris.
I wrote about the kerfuffle on RedState yesterday in this post. Senator Cruz and the Homeschool Kerfuffle.
Here is an excerpt from Cruz response today with my commentary beneath it. The brief interview was posted at HSLDA and can be heard here.
Mike: Senator, there have been a few self-described researchers who’ve expressed concerns about the bill that you are a co-sponsor of, sponsored by our good friend Mike Lee, Senate Bill 306—that gives homeschoolers fair and equal access to savings accounts, the ability to participate in the Coverdell savings account programs. Can you respond to these criticisms: that people claim that the language of this bill would give the federal government the power to change definitions of homeschooling, and run away with federal control, and homeschool liberties would be abused by this bill that you and Mike Lee are supporting?
Sen. Cruz: Well sure, Mike, and I appreciate your raising that. As you know, those allegations are baseless, and they are being pushed primarily by a blogger or two who appear to be supporting Donald Trump and trying to spread misinformation. The legislation is legislation that Senator Mike Lee has introduced, who is a passionate supporter of homeschooling, as am I. And it’s legislation that simply eliminates the discrimination against homeschoolers currently in education savings accounts, so that if individuals choose to save their own money for educational purposes, they are allowed to spend their own money on homeschooling. And there’s no reason that federal law should discriminate against homeschoolers and treat them as second-class citizens. And as you know, the Home School Legal Defense Association has actively supported that legislation for a number of years, has spoken out in favor of eliminating discrimination against homeschoolers. And nothing in that legislation would open the door to even the teeniest bit of government regulation—and if it would, I would oppose it. I do not think the government has any business regulating homeschoolers, restricting their fundamental parental liberty. And allowing people to spend their own money in an education savings account to educate their kids is entirely consistent with that.”
Wow. So instead of giving a Constitutional defense he talks about “two bloggers” who support Trump. I’m truly saddened that his response starts out maligning bloggers and speculation on who they support. That’s irrelevant and intended to marginalize valid concerns.
Cruz talks about eliminating discrimination but FAILS to address if this is a Constitutional role of the federal government.
Homeschoolers as “second class” citizens? Where in the world did that come from? It is a meaningless statement to portray homeschoolers as victims. We’re NOT victims. 14 states allow homeschoolers operating as a private school to access Coverdell. Let the other 36 lobby their states. That’s how states rights work, Senator Cruz. This is a STATE issue that can be fixed at the state level.
Senator Cruz you have not answered the fundamental question, Where in the Constitution does it give the federal government the authority to categorize a homeschool as a private school” in order to fix perceived discrimination?
Maligning and marginalizing bloggers is silly and irrelevant. This isn’t an attack from Trump supporters but honest questions from people who would like to vote FOR you. Insults and dodges are not helpful.
Quite honestly this answer sounds like a progressive who plays the victim and screams, “its not fair.”
Will Estrada confirmed this to Resurgent blogger, Brian Sikma that homeschoolers “are private schools”for the purposes of Coverdell.
“According to Will Estrada, director of federal relations for Home School Legal Defense Association, a pro-home education group, 14 states currently define home schooling as a private school, which means home schoolers in those states can use Coverdell accounts. But for the remaining 36 states, there is no guidance for the use of Coverdells by home educators. S.306 simply says that home schools are private schools for the purpose of Coverdell savings accounts.”
If fourteen states obtained access it is up to the remaining 36 to address in their respective states. It’s not the federal role or your role as a Senator to fix an injustice that can fixed at the state level by homeschoolers who want the credit.
Karen Braun is a conservative homeschool mom of 6. Five are graduated, two are now Marines, and two daughters still at home. She writes about education, family, homeschooling, common core, anything else that strikes my mind and they keys at the same time.