📠🔔Legislative Update: Report From the Capitol📓✒
Report From the Capitol:
Our legislative team attended the House Education Committee meeting this morning. Dr. Michael Rice (Michigan's Superintendent of Public Instruction) met with the committee. He is the one who has been pushing for mandatory registration of homeschoolers the past couple of years. We wanted to be present to see what is being suggested and give you an immediate heads-up! Fortunately, home education was not mentioned once during this meeting. However, it did give a window into some of their agenda.
Dr. Rice would like all students to be REQUIRED to begin their formal education by age 4. This sentiment has been previously proposed by Governor Whitmer, and we will be on the lookout for this in Governor Whitmer's budget proposal that should be released soon. Changing the compulsory age for Michigan children is apparently the solution they are coming up with in lieu of the 3rd grade reading law we currently have. During the meeting, it was made clear that we currently have a situation where teachers are needing to be "coached" by professionals on how to teach literacy to their students. We taxpayers are paying for these "literacy coaches." There is, allegedly, not enough funding for this program and not enough "coaches" available. Our big takeaways from the meeting:
Mr. Rice wants to require education to begin at age 4. This would change the compulsory age in Michigan from 6 years old to 4 years old.
Michigan's public educators truly are not prepared for their professions upon graduation.
More money and more government oversight always solves the problems, from their perspective.
We are pleased that home education was not specifically mentioned during this meeting. We were also able to have conversations with new House Education Committee members, some of whom appear to be promising allies of home education and would help to push back if negative legislation is introduced in the future. We plan to continue to follow up on and nurture these relationships with new legislators on the education committee (as we have done since 1984).
While MiCHN is a volunteer organization made up of concerned homeschooling parents just like you, we believe there is strength in numbers and there is cost involved in maintaining the presence we have had in the legislature for almost four decades, and keeping homeschoolers in the state networked and informed. If you would like to help protect and preserve homeschooling freedoms here in Michigan, please consider supporting our work through donations (we are a tax-exempt, 501-c-3 non-profit organization) and through annual memberships.
**It is important you understand we can not act on a bill, unless one is introduced. At this time, there has been NO BILL introduced in committees nor the chambers that would stipulate more regulations on homeschoolers. With that in mind, MICHN would encourage you to prayerfully consider what you can do TODAY:
Write a letter introducing yourself and your family. In the letter thank them for all their hard work and service to the people of Michigan. Tell them you are praying for them, ask them if they have any specific prayer requests they would like to share with you-be it work or family related. If they share a request-be sure to follow up with a 'Thinking of You Note' and see how they are doing.
Pray for our elected officials. Considering using a resource like pray1tim2.org.
Visit them in their local district office or in Lansing. Many legislators set aside certain times in their districts to meet with their constituents. Consider blessing them by taking a delicious treat with you or leaving a small gift like special "made in Michigan" food or decorative item.
Send cards of encouragement throughout the year. Birthdays (usually posted on their website), 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all great opportunities to thank them for their service. Consider including a family picture and hand-drawn pictures or notes from your children to make it more personal.
Invite them to homeschooling events in your area-picnics, programs, graduations, concerts, etc.
Consider volunteering in their office or on their campaign. If you have confidence in what they stand for, offer your time to help: homeschoolers can assist with mailings, phone calls, placing yard signs, distributing literature door-to-door, marching in local parades, etc.
-Your MiCHN Legislative Team