Many informed homeschoolers believe that the Home School Legal Defense Association reduces homeschooling freedoms by knowingly disseminating inaccurate information, creating restrictive laws various states, having a conflict of interest (working to affect changes in state laws, then fighting legal battles to “protect” homeschoolers from those very laws) and creating a reliance on HSLDA that disempowers individual homeschoolers, who are THE best safeguards for homeschooling.

INACCURATE INFORMATION:

“HSLDA Misrepresents Truth in Home School Court Reports”
Excerpts from 4 issues of HSLDA Court Report, with corrections by homeschool activists in various states.

“This is exactly the problem I have every year with HSLDA: they lack information and accuracy in their legislative bulletins.”
-Doris Hohensee, New Hampshire Alliance for Home Education

CONFLICT OF INTEREST:

According to HomeTaught’s Homeschooling in Texas site, “Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)…works from the premise that the state has a ‘compelling interest’ (once you click on this link, scroll down to “Legal Questions” and click on question 3) in the education of its citizenry. HSLDA cannot support the state’s interest and, at the same time, defend my own interest in educating my children.”

“HSLDA does, in fact, lobby on behalf of unconstitutional laws, then profits by defending homeschoolers from the very same laws.”
-Doris Hohensee
New Hampshire Alliance for Home Education

HSLDA’s “DANGEROUS” STUDY:

HSLDA Study: Embarrassing and Dangerous: Special Report
The Home School Legal Defense Association designed, financed and promotes a “study of test scores and some demographic characteristics (such as income and parents’ education) of a narrow segment of the homeschooling community….this study has the potential to undermine our homeschooling freedoms.”

IGNORING HOMESCHOOLING’S DIVERSITY:

HSLDA’s Web Site links only to selected organizations. The Home School Legal Defense Association has flatly refused to link to some state homeschool associations, such as the fully-inclusive Virginia Home Education Association, and has declined to work with VHEA, despite the state association’s requests. Compare lists and see for yourself.

CLOSED LOOP:

“There is a closed loop between The Teaching Home, the Home School Legal Defense Association, and certain state and local organizations. They offer limited information; you can be ignorant and not know it. You can be told certain things and not know better because you don’t see any other information or opinions.”
-Will Shaw, Virginia Home Education Association

ADMISSION?

“There is no inherent need for multiple groups if the sole reason for state organizations is the management of state political matters.” -Michael Farris [ 27 Dec 1999, E-mail letter to John Holzmann]

“POTENTIALLY THREATENING”:

HSLDA and the Gun Free School Zone Act

HSLDA filed suit in a federal court, “requesting that home schools not be considered private schools under the Gun Free School Zones Act. This action is unwarranted, unnecessary, and potentially threatening to home schooling freedoms everywhere.” The case was resolved, but article supplies important information about HSLDA’s actions.

THE TITLE SAYS IT:

Battling for the Heart and Soul of Homeschoolers

“The efforts of HSLDA and similarly motivated organizations, says Berlet, are major players behind recent efforts to mandate creationist curriculum and attack environmental education, sex education and multicultural classroom material.”

INTERFERING WITH STATE LAWS:

If It Walks Lilke a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck

In 1995, a small collection of people, all connected to HSLDA and its affiliated Michigan state association secretly introduced pushed through legislation that created a new definition of homeschooling, creating “a virgin field, ready to have a whole new set of case law plowed up out of it; a whole new set of lawyer fees to be paid to the lawyers doing the litigating, and a whole new set of homeschool families being scared into buying homeschool defense legal insurance.”

What HSLDA Has Done in Other States
Texas, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina,Virginia…

“Unschooling is banned in NH because of the homeschooling law for which HSLDA came in and lobbied.”
-Doris Hohensee, New Hampshire Alliance for Home Education

“In politics, it matters whether one has influence, and it matters whether one stirs up the opposition. In law…all the ‘influence’ one needs is the law.”
-Scott Somerville, HSLDA attorney, 30 Sep 93 HOME ED POLITICS discussion list

“No one can name any instance where HSLDA or Mike Farris has done anything other than do our level best to push the rights of home schooling forward. I defy anyone to prove otherwise. ”
-Michael Farris, E-mail to John Holzmann December 16, 1999

FREEDOMS AT RISK