You’ve already braved the weather, taken the tours, attended the session, and spoken with your delegates and senator in previous years. Why spend another day doing it again?
If you are interested in protecting the freedom of parents to home-educate their children, then participating in Home School Day at the Capitol is extremely important. The 2018 session of the legislature starts January 10th. Home School Day at the Capitol follows on January 16th, intentionally early in the session so that the presence of your family may thwart any homeschool-negative legislation.
Many well-meaning legislators think that more and stronger laws for homeschoolers would fix what they view as problems. Too often, however, the problems they perceive are based on false, anecdotal “evidence.” Visiting with home-educating families gives legislators real-life, positive examples of homeschooling while offering them the opportunity to discuss their concerns. Answering their questions with kindness and prudence in an informed manner can be what dissuades them from supporting harmful legislation.
Your presence can also positively affect any beneficial legislation that CHEWV hopes to introduce this session. Many legislators have never met a homeschooling family. They may not understand how current West Virginia law negatively impacts homeschooling students. Issues like the TASC requirement for Promise Scholarship eligibility and unnecessary driver’s license hurdles need to be addressed in the legislature. A visit from your family may be the deciding factor in their support of an important bill. Further, the development of a good relationship with your delegate and senator prior to the introduction of legislation may help keep the doors of communication open in the event of other issues arising.
Finally, many delegates and senators may simply not understand why the ability to homeschool is so vital to West Virginia families. Whether you homeschool due to religious reasons, bullying, problems in the school system, feeling your children were falling through the cracks of the public school, special needs, or a myriad of other concerns that caused you to make the necessary sacrifices to educate your children at home, our representatives need to hear from you. They need to get to know us. They need to have their concerns addressed, and they need to see that we care about educating our children. Then they may better understand how the laws they pass, and the rules made by other state agencies, affect homeschooling. You can make a huge difference. Mark January 16th on your calendar now, and add your voice and presence to those of other CHEWV families!