New Report on Colorado Homeschooling History: A Call to Vigilance

It’s easy for those who have secured the benefits of educational freedom to take them for granted. That’s especially true in the case of homeschooling, as parents in New Hampshire have responded to a bill that would restrict their rights:

The legislation has angered many home schoolers who showed up in record numbers when the bill was being debated in Concord. “There were about a thousand home schoolers there. It was a record-breaking crowd, never been that many home schoolers,” the [Home School Legal Defense Association’s Mike] Donnelly notes. “In fact some of the people at the state house said that they’ve never seen such a large crowd inside ever.”

It’s encouraging to see so many Granite State homeschoolers rallying to action. If what’s going on across the country doesn’t wake up and make Colorado homeschoolers vigilant, then maybe a refreshing and comprehensive look at the history of securing parental rights in this arena will.

My Education Policy Center friend Marya DeGrow has written a simply awesome new issue paper called Colorado’s Homeschool Law Turns Twenty: The Battle Should Never Be Forgotten (PDF). Two decades ago, after numerous legal battles and legislative battles and struggles with local and state education officials, Colorado parents finally won the legislative right to teach their kids at home.

Marya herself was homeschooled, and her mom Judy Gelner was one of Colorado’s pioneers for educational freedom. So if you want to understand how the movement unfolded, the arguments that defined the debate, the key people who advanced the cause, how the state’s homeschooling law has developed into its current form, and why ongoing vigilance is needed to preserve the right, then this paper – thoroughly researched, but with a personal touch – is a must-read.

I gave up part of an afternoon with my Legos to read Marya’s report, if that tells you anything.