Friday, January 7, 2011

Tax Breaks for Homeschooling Families--Carrot or Stick?

Photo courtesy of chatirygirl

With the election over, and the new year begun, it's time to send our representatives to Washington.

Some of our newly elected representatives may think they are doing homeschoolers a favor by giving us tax breaks.

Now, don't get me wrong...I love tax breaks! Don't we all?

However, "favors" almost always come with strings attached...

Strings that homeschoolers would prefer to do without, such as:

  • State involvement in curriculum choice,
  • Standardized testing (based on government school curriculum, of course),
  • Mandating that students who perform poorly on standardized tests be enrolled in public school,
  • Piles of paperwork, phone interviews, or even school official visits, to "prove" that we are homeschooling,
  • A general attitude of distrust that says, "We (the state) have given you so much. Now we expect a few things in return."
Would these kinds of things happen right away? Maybe, maybe not.

However, this is the kind of thing that can give the government a proverbial foot-in-the-door into our lives. If we don't see "sticks" like these show up immediately in "carrot" proposals, that doesn't mean they won't come. Should the LORD tarry, we will have elections again, and the next batch of representatives may not be nearly as sympathetic to homeschooling.

While it would be nice to keep more of our own money, we don't need it in the form of targeted tax cuts that will impose more regulation on homeschoolers.

Finding a way to curb out-of-control, wasteful spending on government education--now that would save everyone money! I can figure out a way to give my children a superb education without spending $9,000 per child per year...why can't the state?

For further reading on this subject, please visit:

SpunkyHomeSchool--Homeschoolers and Tax Breaks --she has some critical words for the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). This is an organization I respect, but it needed to be said. If you're a member of HSLDA, you especially need to read this and let them know what you think about it.

Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA): An Open Letter to Our Legislators --This is very well-written letter from my state's homeschool advocacy group. If you're from Wisconsin, WPA encourages you to print as many copies as you need and send them to your state elected officials. If you aren't up here with me, enjoying 14 degree weather (that's before the wind), please consider using this letter as a template, and writing your own letter.

By His Grace,



Amanda Schulz said...

My thoughts? Keep the tax breaks, we are doing just fine without it. I don't want anything that comes with strings, or potentially could. Oklahoma gives a $250 tax credit for stay at home mothers, and thats about all I want. I also read your post on LAF from last night, loved it too!! I have an inactive exhusband with my older 3 kids, and before I gained full custody feared that he would force me to put my kids back in public school, but the Lord knows, and wouldn't have called us to do it if he wouldn't have provided a way for me to do it securely. I feel for her though, it can't be easy to want to homeschool and not be able.

Anonymous said...

i'm not a homeschooling mom but i'm afraid this is just another way for the government to take control of what they don't already have control of. they act like they are doing you a favor like you said but they always get something in return. don't let the government have any control of what you currently control. i will be praying for you!

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

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Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

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