Preserving our Freedom to Home Educate
The freedom of Minnesota parents to educate their children at home has only been guaranteed by law since 1987. Prior to that time, many families were charged with abuse, neglect or negligence because the school they conducted was not ‘essentially equivalent’ to the public or government schools. While we now teach in relative peace, every session of the Minnesota Legislature and the US Congress introduces bills that would adversely affect home educators. The only way we can be assured of continued freedom to teach our children is to diligently monitor the legislative process at both the state and federal levels and ACT when our interests are threatened.
As people of faith, our first and ultimate line of defense is prayer. Scripture commands us to intercede for those in authority. Please make this a part of your school’s daily routine.
Legislative involvement is a basic responsibility of every home educator. It is not an optional activity. Thomas Jefferson’s words, “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom,” remain true today. Some parents have a special interest in legislative matters and will be more involved, however, when there is an opportunity to expand our freedom or when serious problems arise, all families must unite for action.
The temptation to ignore this responsibility is foolishly strong. You may say you are too busy to do one more thing. You may think your opinion won’t be noticed. You may hope someone will speak or write for you. You may even believe you do not have the skills or facts to make a convincing case.
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” said Edmund Burke.
The most convincing civics lessons are taught when mom or dad make a phone call, write a note to their elected official or send a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. Even at a young age, children can draw a picture note to include with their parent’s letter. Occasionally, we must rally at the State Capitol in St. Paul, an activity that is especially memorable to children. Their attendance makes a strong, favorable impression on legislators.
Section 8 of the MÂCHÉ handbook contains fundamental tools that will enable you to efficiently and confidently make your voice heard. You have MÂCHÉ’s promise never to waste your time. However, when the alarm is sounded, every home educator must answer. Our freedom to home educate depends on it.
United States Capital Information
United States Capitol Switchboard:
US Senate: www.senate.gov
US House: www.house.gov
United States Senate:
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D)
Senator Al Franken (D)
United States House of Representatives:1st District: Tim Walz, 202-225-2472 1722 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
2nd District: John Kline, 202-225-2271
3rd District: Erik Paulsen, 202-225-2871
4th District: Betty McCollum, 202-225-6631
5th District: Keith Ellison, 202-225-4755
6th District: Michele Bachman, 202-225-2331
7th District: Collin Peterson, 202-225-2165
8th District: Chip Cravaack, 202-225-6211
Minnesota Government Information
North Star: Minnesota Government Information and Services Index: A very complete index to government Internet sites: www.state.mn.usGovernor Mark Dayton
130 State Capitol 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155
Voice: 651-201-3400 or 800-657-3717
House Public Information Services Office
Who Represents Me?
Where Can I find District Maps?
Where Can I find House and Senate Member Rosters?
Where Can I find Information on Visiting the Capitol?
House Television Services
211 State Capitol 651-296-2314 Fax 651-296-1326
Get copies of bills (if you know the bill number), agendas for House sessions, and the Journal of the House. Senate Information Office
231 State Capitol 651-296-0504
This office is responsible for all information about the Senate, including bill status, committee schedules, legislative information, and the distribution of bill copies. Senate Media Services
B-44 State Capitol 651-296-0264
This bipartisan office produces television programs, multi-media production, photography and graphics, as well as live coverage of the Senate floor sessions and selected committee hearings.
You've Got (e-)Mail
House: Go to Home Page, then scroll down to Electronic Notifications.
Senate: Go to Home Page, then scroll down to Information and Publications, then select Minnesota Senate Email List Subscription Form.
Get on the Web