Presidential candidate Donald Trump mentioned homeschooling for the first time at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit last weekend. In the middle of a discussion on education and school choice, Trump said, “School choice means that parents can homeschool their children. 100%.” (You can watch the video below, with Mr. Trump’s remarks around the 17-minute mark. You can also search for “home-school” and read the full transcript here.)
While HSLDA has not endorsed any party or candidate in the 2016 Presidential election, it is encouraging to see a presidential candidate from one of the nation’s major political parties speak out in favor of homeschool freedom.
Will Mr. Trump’s plan extend government vouchers to homeschool families? Mr. Trump’s reference to homeschooling was in the middle of a speech laying out his plan to encourage school choice by offering vouchers for private and charter schools. While we have not seen the final plan, and therefore cannot address the accuracy of such concerns, HSLDA will continue to oppose any attempt by Congress or the executive branch to give government money to homeschoolers, because we believe this is outside the constitutional authority given to the federal government and government funds often carry stipulations that limit homeschoolers’ curriculum choices.
Mr. Trump’s reference to homeschooling marks the first time since the 2016 party conventions that any of the current candidates for President have spoken out about homeschool freedom. (Gary Johnson and Darrell Castle have mentioned homeschooling in the more distant past.)
We hope to see a continued and deepened discussion of the value and impact of homeschooling as we near the first round of Presidential debates and move toward Election Day.
For additional information about the various party platforms and candidate stances: