HSLDA Urges A “NO” Vote On E-Verify In Springfield

Home School Legal Defense issued an alert, today, regarding an initiative on Tuesdays ballot in Springfield, Missouri.

According to HSLDA, homeschooling freedoms are in jeopardy due to the proposed ordinance that will require families use the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify systems to check the citizenship of anyone they may hire to teach their children.

As most homeschool families hire tutors or employ teachers in co-op situations, Scott Woodruff, Senior Council for HSLDA, feels the regulation placed on them, in this situation would, “be a catastrophe for the cause of freedom.” Detail of their alert is posted below.

A proposed ordinance will appear on the City of Springfield ballot that will require you to use the Department of Homeland Security’s system (“E-Verify”) to electronically check the citizenship of any person before you hire him or her to teach your children any subject or skill.

Most homeschool families occasionally hire a teacher or tutor, or teachers in a co-op, to teach their children something worth learning. This is a normal and healthy aspect of homeschooling. But your ability to do this without government regulation will end if the ballot measure passes.

Action Requested

1. Please go to your appropriate polling place on Tuesday and vote “no” on the “E-Verify” ballot measure.

As you would expect from a legal document, the language on the ballot describing this proposal is wordy and complicated. It’s the one that starts off by saying: “Shall the City of Springfield make it unlawful for any business entity, that is any person or group of persons performing or engaging in any activity common enterprise, profession or occupation … ”

About the middle you will see this language: “further, all businesses in the City of Springfield are required to participate in E-Verify to verify the eligibility of all workers and conditional hires … ”

This is the proposal we urge you to vote “no” on!

2. Since time is short and the election is very close, please pass this on to your friends.


You might think that the proposed ordinance would only apply to businesses. Unfortunately, the ordinance defines “business entity” to include “any person” doing “any activity” for any (undefined) “benefit” or (undefined) “advantage.” Every adult and child in the city of Springfield would therefore come under the definition of “business entity” (See section 2.A. of the ordinance) and be subject to city regulation (See section 3.B of the ordinance).

You might think that churches or clubs would be exempt. They are not. “Business entity” is specifically defined to include any not-for-profit group. This means your church, your hunting club, your missions organization, your ALERT or AWANA group, your neighborhood association, your homeschool co-op, your state, regional, and national homeschool support groups, etc., would be subject to this regulation. (See section 2.A. of the ordinance.)

You might think that if you or your group hires someone to do something that is not really “work,” you would be exempt. Unfortunately, the ordinance defines “work” to include “all activities” conducted by a business entity. As already explained, every man, woman and child in Springfield comes under the definition of “business entity.” Therefore every single activity of every single man, woman and child in Springfield would potentially be subject to this regulation. (See section 2.F of the ordinance.)

If you hire anyone to babysit your kids, mow your lawn, rake your leaves, give a talk to your group, shovel the snow off your sidewalk, walk your dog, etc., you would be subject to city regulation. If your kids try to sell lemonade on the sidewalk or your baseball team wants to wash cars for donations to buy uniforms, it would be subject to city regulation. If your Boy Scout troop wants to sell popcorn or your Girl Scout troop wants to sell cookies, they would come under city regulation.

Your church could not hire a pastor, secretary, or choir director without coming under city regulation. You could not “hire” your own kids to do household chores without coming under city regulation. The scope of this ordinance and its attempt to micromanage economic activity at the most humble level is simply breathtaking.

If you are shaking your head in disbelief, I challenge you to read the text of the ordinance yourself. You can find it here >>

Here is a link to the complete language you will see on the ballot on Tuesday, February 7.

Whatever you may feel about the perhaps well-intentioned people who are promoting this ordinance, it would be a catastrophe for the cause of freedom.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom in Missouri!

Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel


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