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.