Maine Home Schoolers Say More State Oversight “Unnecessary”

by Fred Jackson and Jim Brown

(AgapePress) – Home schoolers in Maine are facing new government challenges to their freedoms.

As many as 800 Maine home schoolers recently packed several hearing rooms at the State Legislature. They were there to speak out against Bill 405, a proposal that would force home schoolers to take the Maine Educational Assessment, a standardized test designed to gauge the progress of public school students.

The home schoolers say the bill would override their right to pick their children’s curriculum. That’s because they would be forced to teach public school courses to ensure their kids pass the standardized test.

In the midst of the debate, the sponsor of the bill, Republican Senator Pete Mills, announced he was withdrawing support for his own legislation. However, he immediately proposed a legislative study on home schooling.

But according to Scott Woodruff, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, “Home schoolers have demonstrated academic achievement at the highest levels. There is nothing to be gained academically by requiring home school students to take the MEA.”

In addition, Woodruff says Maine does not need another study on home schooling. And to back that claim, he says they provided the legislative committee with more than 150 citations of previous studies that have already covered the subject.

Kansas Education Fair Offers Alternatives to Public Schools

by Chad Groening

(AgapePress) – Many Christian parents in the Kansas City area are concerned about the safety of sending their children to public schools. As a result, a Christian newspaper there is sponsoring a faith-based education fair to offer education alternatives.

It’s the third-annual Midwest Christian Education and College Fair. And it is being put on by the Kansas City Metro Voice, a monthly Christian newspaper.

Publisher Dwight Widaman says the fair tomorrow will be a one-stop shopping experience for Christian education.

He says parents will come looking for alternatives because of the increased danger in public schools.

“The last several years have seen just a tremendous increase in school violence, and consequently, millions of parents are looking for alternatives to the public school system,” Widaman says. “Much of the violence has been directed towards Christians specifically in these incidents.”

Widaman says a recent incident in rural Hoyt, Kansas, illustrates his point, as three students there were arrested for plotting a Columbine copycat shooting.

The Christian publisher says that last year’s event drew more than 4,500 interested parents.

(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)

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