I have voted for Ted Cruz every chance I’ve had, because he’s always been the conservative choice. But I disagree with him on this issue. Strongly disagree.
*Karen Braun (also known as Spunky Homeschool and a long time homeschooling freedom watchdog) has nailed it and she hasn’t been wrong in all the years I’ve followed her:
“His [bill] provides for “the expansion of 529’s to include K-12 elementary and secondary school tuition, including educational expenses for homeschool students….Expanding 529’s ensures that each child receives an education that meets their individual needs, instead of being forced into a one-size-fits-all approach to education, or limited to their zip code. “
Cruz is wrong. This doesn’t expand “choice” for parents. It expands the reach of the federal government and allows the feds to create definition of a ” legitimate” homeschool expense. What the feds define they will refine.
HSLDA attorney Michael Donnelly sees this as a good thing. He wrote on his personal FB page, “I think this is legitimate. Why should Homeschoolers and private school parents be excluded from tax savings that everyone else gets?”
I disagree. This is NOT a good thing and it won’t stop with 529’s either.
Once the feds expand the 529 in the name of “fairness” to homeschoolers, the argument that it is “fair” will be used to expand the use of the federally funded ESA for the “legitimate” homeschool expenses.
And once we have the feds funding homeschooling control is around the corner by “rewarding outcomes.”
[Betsy] DeVos said as much in a speech in May,
“It shouldn’t matter if learning takes place in a traditional public school, a Catholic school, a charter school, a non-sectarian private school, a Jewish school, a home school, a magnet school, an online school, any customized combination of those schools – or in an educational setting yet to be developed.
Education should measure actual mastery of subject matter, not how much time you sit in a seat or where that seat is.
Education should elevate the role of technology to fully enter the 21st century.
Education should reward outcomes, not inputs.”
If this amendment passes and conservatives continue to promote federal initiatives in homeschooling as part of “choice” we will eventually lose true choice in education.”
And further, Karen gives a breakdown of how the 529 actually works:
“A family which contributes $10,000 in AFTER tax income to a 529 and realizes a 5% growth in a year, would have interest earnings of $500. Which at a 15% tax bracket means they would NOT have to pay $75 in additional taxes. But they have tied up $10,000 and it can ONLY be used for “eligible expenses” as the feds define it. Not many families I know have 10 grand to tie up in account to save $75. And if they happen to take the money for an ineligible reason they face a 10% penalty.
Most realize this and leave the money in a savings account and can withdraw it at will for whatever they want without penalty.
This isn’t about helping homeschoolers but about helping the feds get an inroad into homeschooling.”
How many one-income homeschool families do you know who will plop $10,000 into an account to save $75?
The 529 is an introduction to full school choice.
School Choice is NOT a conservative issue. It’s not “helping” homeschoolers or giving them their “fair share.” It’s an expansion of government, and worse, it allows government to dictate what parents do in their homes around the kitchen table.
“I find it highly ironic and in fact a bit hypocritical that so many homeschoolers — those of us who are quick to self-identify as conservative Christians, and profess a strong affinity toward a strict constructionist view of the Constitution — would be jumping on the bandwagon to push something that effectively amounts to . . . an entitlement!” -Ted Watt, Texas homeschooling dad (referring to the “help” of a UIL bill for Texas homeschoolers)
Read my comprehensive breakdown of “school choice” here:
Stay informed and guard your freedom. The larger government grows, and the more we “accept” in the form of “assistance,” the more we will lose our freedom to educate our children our own way.