Homeschool NonDiscrimination Act
HONDA: Points to Consider
to consider when reading the proposed
legislation and the analyses are:
- there is no reference to education in the United States Constitution, it
is left to the States and the People according to the Tenth
- federal sway over public education is managed only through
the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution
- federal sway is managed only because states accept federal
- homeschoolers do not accept federal money
- the question of who will define the terms included in the
proposed legislation, especially concerning acceptance either
of federal money, or tax breaks
- the question of the status of homeschoolers in states
without laws regulating homeschooling, with reference to the
language, "pursuant to state law"
~ Home Education Magazine Blog Editorial by Valerie
Introduction and History
On the 14th of September, 2005, HSLDA
announced the introduction in Congress of HR 3753/SB 1691,
the Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act of
2005. If the bill is enacted as it stands, Section
10 would be a new part of public law, not a correction of existing
law, and would be the first section concerning military recruitment
addressing a specific population: homeschoolers.
Instead of closing the federal barn door after some of the
horses have already left, this one opens the barn door to invite
the rest of the federal bureaucratic herd inside through the
setting of precedent, including definitions of homeschooling
in federal law.
HR 3753, 109th Congress, First Session, 13 September
2005, Home School Non-Discrimination Act of 2005
The bill itself can be found by typing HR 3753 into the search
box at the Thomas site
provided by the Library of Congress. The link expires so
a search needs to be done each time.
In 2003 a similar bill was unilaterally introduced into
Congress, just as was the current version, without discussion
among homeschoolers. Many homeschooling organizations worked
to keep the bill from being passed into law.
The big change in the 2005 version of HoNDA is the useless
inclusion of provisions to help homeschoolers enlist in the military.
This is a big change, with implications not only for the federalization
of homeschooling, but for military readiness and taxpayer concerns
If a homeschooled teen who used a self-directed course of
study wishes to enlist in the military, the solution is easy:
acquire one semester of full-time college (15 credit hours).
This is the standard for all citizens, and homeschoolers are
no exception. The work-around is in place for citizens
who want to serve their country with no additional legislation
The alleged non-discrimination bill was killed the first time
around. This time, with the inclusion of the military enlistment
language, the paper it is written on should be burnt as well.
your representative, and kill this bill.
~ Valerie Moon
A Sample Letter to a Congressional
School Non-Discrimination Act of 2005 (Introduced in House),
HR 3753 IH
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
Sen. John Cornyn
September 25, 2005
I'm writing this letter to encourage you to vote no on HR
3753 also known as "HONDA".
The following is a summary of arguments in opposition to the
proposed legislation that I feel would be detrimental to homeschoolers.
[He then makes his points.]
Thank you for your time.
~ Joshua , TX
I guess we really don't need
Under a special
test program, the Army is now treating home school graduates
as educational Tier I, the same educational category as high
The Army now offers home school graduates who qualify the
same enlistment incentives as traditional high school graduates,
including cash bonuses up to $20,000 for enlistments of three
or more years and the Army College Fund, which provides up to
$70,000 for college.
~ Daryl Cobranchi
I have to add my $.02. My son was homeschooled, and enlisted
in the Marine Reserves at Tier I status back in December. He
could have just as easily enlisted Full-time. He considered the
Air Force, and they, too, were more than happy to enlist him
as Tier I with a homeschool diploma. He was 90% through the enlistment
process with the Air Force before a buddy persuaded him to join
the Corps with him (yes, I could just about choke his buddy,
but my son has no regrets). I can't speak for Navy or Army, but
I do have direct experience with USMC and USAF. For a reference
to time, his first contact with the USAF recruiter was in May,
2004, at which time the recuiter said that homeschoolers could
enlist under a pilot project, which I believe has been extended
(must have been, because the pilot project expired in Sept. of
last year, and my son didn't begin the enlistment procedure with
USMC until late Oct.) There is some scanty information on this
on the H$LDA website.
~ Tori in Texas
Scott Somerville responds
Scott Somerville is blogging HSLDA's
"official" response to HoNDA criticism over at Chris O'donnell's blog. So far I don't think anyone's mind has
been changed, but the conversation is just getting started.
I spoke with Senator Inhofe's Office
just hung up from a very nice discussion with a woman in Senator
Inhofe's office. I explained to her that I was calling regarding
yesterday's comments from Mr. Somerville on my blog. I told her
how I picked out Senator Inhofe for the calling campaign*. This
person was very nice and interested in what I had to say. I read
her the comments and she asked me who Mr. Somerville was. I explained
who he was. She assured me that Senator Inhofe's policy on calls
was to log in the issue and tally the for and against calls.
She said that two people had that responsibility in the office
and that she was one of them. I asked her if it would be fair
to categorize that the office was receiving a fair number of
calls on both sides of the issue and she said yes. So there you
have it folks. Our calls do count and they are being received.
I had explained about how I was working on the issue with the
blog and she asked for the url. I shared this url and and the
one for HR 3753/ S 1691-Homeschool
NonDiscrimination Act 2005 with her. I explained to her the
diversity of the opinions that I linked to from this blog and
I thought it reflected how HSLDA does not speak for all homeschoolers.
She assured me that she would speak with the Senator about our
conversation. I left the conversation feeling good about our
work on this bill. Let's keep those calls and emails going.
I sure agree with this quote:
"While the intent of the bill may be honorable, the
effect of the bill is potentially disastrous for homeschooling
parents who want to remain free from government regulation. This
is because the federal government has no constitutional authority
to directly regulate the education of homeschooled students,
whether that regulation is for the benefit of the students or
~ Deborah Stevenson