More than a dozen parents have emailed me in the last week or so about articles written by two activists regarding US Senate bill 306. I’m tired of repeating myself in email, so I decided to write this article. For the record, those two activists are Anita Hoge and Alice Linahan.
I had quite a lot of respect for these two ladies. They fight the good fight and there is usually something useful in their observations. However, in the last month, that respect has been wiped out.
It’s not just that they are attacking Ted Cruz, whom I openly support, but I’m weary of their constant ranting all over Facebook and Twitter about something that just isn’t so. If going for the level of saturation that makes those who follow you want to unfollow you was your goal — you made it!
The flavor of these articles is that there is some malicious conspiracy being led by two of the leading defenders of homschooling and school choice to prostrate homeschoolers before the altar of big government. These articles are unhelpful, inflammatory and frankly, wrong.
You Have The Right To Your Opinion, But Not Your Own Facts
Let me say first that this is a bill is effectively dead right now. There has been no new activity on it.
What S306 does is allow homeschoolers to take advantage of Coverdell education savings accounts and amends IRS rules to do so. Here’s the synopsis:
Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to allow a state educational agency to allocate grant funds among local educational agencies based on the number of eligible children (children age 5 to 17 from a family with an income below the poverty level) enrolled in the public schools and the state-accredited private schools within each local agency’s geographic jurisdiction.
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) allow payment of home school expenses from Coverdell education savings accounts; (2) remove the dollar limitation on contributions to Coverdell education savings accounts and require such accounts to provide adequate safeguards to prevent contributions from exceeding the amount necessary to provide for the qualified education expenses of the account beneficiary; and (3) allow tax-exempt qualified tuition programs (529 tuition programs) to pay qualified pre-kindergarten, elementary, and secondary education expenses.
The IRS covers savings plans of all kinds, including Coverdells. Every American’s financial dealings crosses paths with the IRS and homeschoolers are no different. They file tax returns just like everyone else.
S. 306 doesn’t change anything other than giving families who want the added financial ability to extend their homeschooling abilities.
Currently there are fourteen states which play out and define homeschooling as being the equal to that of a public K-12 education. That leaves thirty-six states that don’t and S. 306 is aimed at those states. S. 306 still allows states the freedom to define what is a private school and what is the equivalent of a public k-12.
In other words, the federal government cannot define who you are, Homeschoolers — the state still does that, as well as your own choices in using a Coverdell in your state or not.
Homeschoolers who think this is a big conspiracy to control them and do not wish to engage in these Coverdell plans are free to NOT ENGAGE in using such savings accounts.
Just as homeschoolers have operated financially on their own for decades, they are free to CONTINUE operating that way.
Shorter: NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO DO ANYTHING.
Q & A
To these two women writing these articles, I’d also ask a question or two.
If your attacks aren’t at least partly politically motivated, then why aren’t either of you addressing Mike Lee with your ‘the fed is trying to define homeschools’ diatribes? You know, Sen. Mike Lee? The SPONSOR of the bill?
In an article at RedState, Cruz responds; clearly aware of these accusations. Cruz accurately calls them politically motivated, which sends the comments section into a total sputtering freak out. Boo-freaking-hoo.
Anita Hoge has demonstrated her dislike for Ted Cruz all over Twitter; she clearly has no idea what a margin loan is. Hoge has even beclowned herself by painting Cruz to be the same as Jeb Bush on Common Core:
— Anita Hoge (@HogeAnita) January 19, 2016
Linahan makes regular pleas to Trump as well.
— Alice Linahan (@AliceLinahan) November 11, 2015
However on Trump’s Common Core ‘untweet’ in South Carolina, Hoge is silent. So is Linahan. Gee, where are our big Common Core Warriors now?
Ladies, what Donald Trump knows about education could fit on the head of a pin — and what he knows about Common Core is even less. What he does say about education appears to just be parroting other campaigns.
As a mom fighting Common Core at the state and national level, I find being made the cheer line of rally talking point on some note card more than a little insulting.
Having said that, for what reason are you attacking the ONE candidate in this race that actually has fought for parental rights, actually knows what Common Core is and wants the US Department of Ed on the chopping block?
Calling This What It is: Rank Dishonesty and pig-ignorance
Also at RedState, there is an article responding to this over-hyped nonsense. In that RedState article, this line of attack by these two activists is brutally, yet accurately summarized:
“What is circulating now is a story that Ted Cruz supports the federal regulation of homeschooling. There are two underlying causes of this story: rank dishonesty and pig-ignorance.”
I await the incoming comments which will likely be littered with tons of links to websites I’ve never heard of and topic totally unrelated as ‘proof’ that what I just said is wrong and that I have no idea what I’m talking about.
None of them will be published. This pig-ignorance ends here.