A bill is advancing (SB136) through the Illinois legislature that would require homeschoolers in that state to register with their department of education. Additionally, this bill would give Illinois DESE unlimited power to request any kind of information as part of the registration process. Most homeschoolers see this as an enormous breach of parental rights and educational choice freedom.
Missouri homeschool networks are watching this legislation very closely and some may join them at a rally on February 15th at the Illinois State capitol. In fact, many states are facing sweeping education reforms initiated by the federal government and President Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, formerly the Illinois Education Secretary. It is important, in the opinion of many homeschoolers that this bill be defeated because if restrictive mandates fall upon private and homeschoolers in Illinois, it will also happen in other states across the country.
Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is requesting that Illinois homeschoolers attend hearings on February 15 at the state capitol in Springfield and to contact their legislators.
1. Please attend the hearing on February 15 at 10:45 a.m. in Room 212 in the state Capitol, Springfield, Ill. Feel free to bring well-behaved children. Please consider taking a day of vacation from work to protect your freedom. A big crowd will send a powerful message. Fill out a witness slip as you enter the room if you wish to speak. We are hoping for a very big crowd! Could you car pool and bring more people?
2. Prior to the hearing, call your senator if he or she is a committee member (see list below). Use our Legislative Toolbox to find out who your senator is. Even senators whom you think already oppose the bill need to hear from you!
3. If your senator is not on the committee, call the chairperson, the vice chairperson and the minority spokesman (see below).
4. Your message can be as simple as: “Please vote NO on SB 136.
Studies show that homeschooling prepares students for college better than other types of education. There is no need for government to expand into an area that is already so successful. A new registration mandate will require taxes to go up to pay for it.”
5. Attend the rally before the hearing! ICHE is holding a rally in the auditorium of the Howlett Building, 501 South 2d St., Springfield, Il before the hearing. Details will follow!
6. Pass this message on to others!
Chairperson : James T. Meeks
Springfield Office: (217) 782-8066
District Office: (708) 862-1515
Vice-Chairperson : Kimberly A. Lightford
Springfield Office: (217) 782-8505
District Office: (708) 343-7444
Member: Gary Forby
Springfield Office: (217) 782-5509
District Office: (618) 439-2504
Member: Susan Garrett
Springfield Office: (217) 782-3650
District Office: (847) 433-2002
Member: Iris Y. Martinez
Springfield Office: (217) 782-8191
District Office: (773) 463-0720
Member: John G. Mulroe
Springfield Office: (217) 782-1035
District Office: (773) 763-3810
Minority Spokesperson : David Luechtefeld
Springfield Office: (217) 782-8137
District Office: (618) 243-9014
Member: J. Bradley Burzynski
Springfield Office: (217) 782-1977
District Office: (815) 895-6318
Member: Kyle McCarter
Springfield Office: (217) 782-5755
District Office: (217) 428-4068
Member: Suzi Schmidt
Springfield Office: (217) 782-7353
District Office: (224) 372-7465