Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Homeschoolers Betrayed For Money

   You won't believe who's fighting AGAINST Home Educators' freedom, at the capitol!
   The Homeschool Book Fairs & Conventions that are held in OKC & Tulsa each year, are a very big business which heavily funds the lobbying budgets for OCHEC.
   OCHEC does not want homeschoolers making deals with the state, because free curriculum and inclusion on the school district's varsity squad would undercut their business venture as well as the business partners who pay massive booth fees for the big convention halls.
   It's not enough for them to personally opt out of public school teams. No, they want the state legislature to shut down the effort for every other family who educates at home.
"My Big Homeschool organization's success depends on shutting down the only viable sport options for rural home educators."
   The big metro homeschool sport organizations have several hundred athletes. For recruiting, they really don't want to compete with public schools for attracting the best homeschool athletes. But remote areas of the state have no practical options for the home educated athlete.
   I was a board member for NOAH as well as a multi-sport coach for teams my kids were on. I flatly told my fellow coaches and board members that I support whatever gives the most freedom for homeschool families. The metro homeschool sports teams are essentially saying; "My organization's success depends on shutting down the only viable sport options for rural home educators." I do not want to be part of that organizational policy, so I resigned.
   Like an Amish man who dares to wear a plaid shirt, anyone who reject's the strict guidelines of OCHEC is shunned. Home education co-ops are under the same threats and a significant number of them have been rejected by the self-appointed spokemen of Oklahoma home education. OCHEC won't even voluntarily refer to disobedient co-ops as real 'homeschoolers'.
   What's even worse is that OCHEC uses terminology which refuses to acknowledge other homeschoolers who disagree with them. They forced affiliates to kick out families who tap into state resources to enhance their kids' education. Oklahoma has unprecedented arrangements to give families access to a portion of the funding which public schools get. At least now, families can get traditional homeschool curriculum paid for by the Oklahoma Dept. Of Education.
   OCHEC hates that because it undercuts the book fairs they've made fortunes off of. Those book fairs fund the entire operations, lobbying, and board retreats.
   OCHEC makes a very subtle and corrupt redefinition of what home education means. They define it by where the money comes from and goes through. Home educating literally means 'educating at home', but that's too inconvenient to their strategy and growth.
   Money corrupts. That's the message OCHEC uses to convince families to "Fear The State". But money has clearly corrupted the OCHEC strategy of putting their business in front of the families they claim to represent. See OCHEC lobby against homeschool opportunities

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