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Friday, December 20, 2013

Ohio home schoolers win one

   Ohio home schoolers won a big one this week.
  A union-supported Democrat--naturally--had proposed restrictive "mental health" assessment for home schooling student and their parents.
  If this bill had been successful, the state would have had control over who could home school their children based on a "mental health professional's assessment of the parents.
  The legislator--as usual, a Democrat--proposing the onerous legislation had only the best intentions for Ohioans, naming it "Teddy's Law," after a child who was abused and ultimately died by the hands of an abusive parent, who chose to home school to hide her behavior.
  Such intrusions always start this way, usually with the hoping of "saving even one life" and in some way curtailing the freedoms of thousands under the guise of "saving even one life."
  Schools themselves are often guilty of this, for example, banning students from carrying water bottles because one student ten years ago was guilty of putting vodka in a water bottle.
  This source explains the impact of the law:
This legislation replaces the authority of a child’s parent in determining if home education can be pursued under 3301-34 regulations (tagged to Revised Code 3321.04) or if students should have access to eSchools by designating public children’s service agencies the sole authority to allow the “application” to proceed.
This proposed state mandate would require the public children’s service agency to meet with the person submitting the application (the parent) and would require an in-person interview with each child for whom the application is made. The stated purpose of these interviews would be for the agency to determine if it is “in the best interest of the child to grant admission” to the eSchool or to grant the excuse from public school attendance to home educate.
The legislation further requires that the children’s service agency conduct in person interviews two additional times during the school year.
  So many people howled in protest that this law has been withdrawn. Maggie Thurber at Ohio Watchdog has a rundown of the withdrawal of the bill:
After coming under fire for what many were calling the “worst ever” home schooling bill, an Ohio state senator has decided to withdraw a controversial bill that would have required background checks for parents who decided to home-school their children.
  In contrast, Columbus City Schools spent "more than $3 million" trying to pass a school levy in excess of 9 mills. Dispatch:
The group that pushed for passage of the Columbus schools levy raised $800,000 more in the last few weeks of the campaign, putting it over the $3 million mark.
It appears to be one of the most-expensive school-levy campaigns — if not the most costly — in Ohio. Final campaign-finance reports, released late last week, show that $100,000 donations were coming in days before the polls opened.
  The extraordinary amount of money was unsuccessful in achieving its goal; indeed, detractors suggested supporters of the levy should have funneled the money back into the school system. Based on test results, Columbus Schools score 4/10 on the Great Schools website.
  Columbus scores, available here, speak for themselves:
The results from Columbus City Schools are:
Performance Index: D
Performance Indicators: F
Overall Value-Added: F
Gifted Students' value-added: F
Students With Disabilities' value-added: C
Bottom 20 percent of students: C
Four-year Graduation: D
Five-year Graduation: D
Annual Measurable Objectives (closing achievement gaps)F
 UPDATE: And from Matt Walsh, before this was resolved, an observation that Senator Cafaro was "exploiting" the death of a child for her own means and that the child's (Teddy's) abuse had been documented and ignored by children's services before the mother took him out to home school:
In keeping with the government’s long tradition of being incompetent in every possible facet of existence, this young child’s abuse was already reported to Social Services. Social Services failed to act, and now, in response to THEIR OWN failures, politicians want to give them MORE power. This is a brand of mania that you can only find in government: an agency bungles its authority, and the solution is to give them more of it. 
  Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Let the sentinels in the watch-tower sleep not.

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