May 16, 2021

Charter Schools? Count the Cost.

English: SER-Niños Charter School
English: SER-Niños Charter School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is a charter school? It’s a form of public school education that can be done in the comfort of your own home with certain regulations. A contract is signed with your local school district, county board of education or the state. This contract is called a “charter.”

I must confess, after three years of homeschooling that the idea of charter school is a bit appealing. Our taxes pay for them, leaving pretty much printer ink and paper as the only other expenses. And the ultimate bait: a free computer!

Here’s the caveat taken directly from the California Charter Schools Association site:

“Can charter schools teach religion? No. Charter schools must be nonsectarian in their programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations.”

Okay, but you’re a Christian family, and you’ll supplement the curriculum with faith based materials, right? Wrong. You signed a contract, and even including religious content in your English or history program would be a statutory violation. Even if you are willing to risk it, I want no part of a program that could label me illegal and unethical for incorporating my faith into my family’s education. In fact, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) will not allow its members to participate in public school options such as charter schools.

Anyone considering homeschooling needs to think seriously about joining HSLDA. Even if you are blessed to teach in a state with relaxed homeschooling rules. The cost to join is minimal and you have at your back a host of legal defense should you be attacked by the powers that be. Yes, it happens. All the time.

Here are just a few more things to consider regarding charter schools:

  • Is two hours a week enough time for your child to invest in music and art? That’s all a charter school wants you to log, and believe me, they will keep you so busy with the other subjects that a rigorous musical education would have stiff competition.
  • Could you teach homosexuality as an acceptable alternate lifestyle? This could soon become a universal requirement for public schools/charter schools.
  • How would you feel if your child was required to meet with your regulator alone?
  • If you fail to meet the standards (a mom in Idaho was given 1,200 pages of language arts and over 900 pages of second grade math) your child would be expelled into public school.

I’ll leave you with this true story from a California mother. She tried to withdraw her child from their charter school and was thereafter hounded by child welfare services demanding that she return her child to public school.

The freedom of homeschooling is at stake. With all the wonderful faith based curriculums out there, please think twice about signing on the government’s dotted line.

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9 thoughts on “Charter Schools? Count the Cost.

  1. I don’t always agree with him, but he does make you think. I’m never quite sure if he really believes what he’s saying, or he’s taking the extreme to make a point.

  2. There always has to be something to allure you– especially with the restrictions that they turn around and place on you. I wonder if the “free computer” is even worth anything.

  3. Some of the stories I’ve heard about computer glitches, etc, almost make it seem like they want homeschoolers to fail in the K12 program. And one mom had a 3rd grader that tested 4th grade in math and K12 sent her 2nd grade math for him, and finally got him the 4th grade textbook but it was the wrong one!?

  4. At the risk of becoming a target, I was the “reader” who Vox convinced to go the homeschooling route. And, yes, we did choose to go with the faith based program. It just seemed to defeat the purpose of homeschooling to remain under the thumb of the state and have our children’s socialization still be secularized.

    I’m glad we decided this before I found out too late that I would technically be in violation of the charter by teaching my kids with the Bible and Christian literature.

    I can count on you all for help, can’t I?

  5. I’m sure that you can count on us for anything we can give you/provide you with. You have our full support.

    Kinda funny that you were the commentor on Vox. I had the suspicion I was being scooped. 🙂

  6. I’m so glad you brought it up…it’s definitely something we all need to be more aware of. The pioneer homeschoolers of the last 30 years went through a lot for us to have the freedom we have…3 of our friends in our homeschool co-op are doing charter school, and my niece completed her senior year by that route a couple years ago.
    I promise you, your family will love the plethora of materials out there that are full of exciting Christian persepectives on history! We personally loved the Light and the Glory for Children by Peter Marshall. History that reveals God’s plan for early America…it’s for kids 8 yo and up but my kindergartners loved it.

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