Thursday, May 05, 2005

Truancy and push outs.

This report is out of Lansing MI, but it's remarkable that this attendance officer 'gets it'.

Patrick Wilson [Attendance Coordinator]: "Some say they will homeschool their child, and it does 2 things- avoids me the chance to prosecute them any further, and #2, it ruins homeschoolers reps that are trying to do the right thing." WLNS television, Lansing, MI

For years homeschoolers have noticed an increase in what we call 'push outs'. When there are discipline issues with a child, the public school may suspend them for the year. So the parent registers as a homeschooler because they cannot afford a private school, or the school won't accept a child with a discipline problem and so homeschooling is the only option. The parents are completely unprepared for this sudden lifestyle change. They resent the fact that the system they assumed would do the job, won't. They've already got a full time job and they write me desperate to know how to enroll their child in a 'homeschool' where they can drop their child off for an education. I have to give them the bad news that they may have to quit their jobs and educate them about the rules and give them resources to begin this job themselves.

The downsides are, as homeschoolers have seen and this attendance coordinator testifies, the child isn't really educated and the name of homeschooling suffers unintended collateral damage.

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