Homeschoolers have reason to be concerned that government funding would lead to a loss of home education freedom. Some have expressed concern that Senator Cruz’ bill S 306 would allow homeschoolers to receive federal funds. Attorney Will Estrada, Director of Federal Relations for Home School Legal Defense Association, explains legally why this bill should not be a concern for homeschoolers.
Anyone who thinks that Senator Cruz’ bill will allow homeschoolers (including in states which define homeschools as a type of private school) to receive federal funds has a deep misunderstanding of federal law.
Title I funds are limited, narrow, and are in high demand. There is a reason why Senator Cruz – and most other federal legislators who have tried to create Title I portability – only limit them to private schools, not homeschools.
The attached lengthy document (below) explains how Title I funds can be given to eligible private schools. As you can see, it’s a lengthy, convoluted process, which MUST begin with the private school trying to obtain the funds through “adequate consultation.” The bloggers who are trying to say this bill will allow the feds to control homeschools with federal funds are completely mistaken.
One sentence on page 6 is key: “A unilateral offer of services by an LEA [the local public school] with no opportunity for discussion is not adequate consultation.”
Right now, Title I services are available to private schools through the process I outlined above. Private schools cannot receive actual funds, which is what this Ted Cruz legislation would change.
So just to clarify, private schools (not homeschools classified as private schools under state law) can currently receive certain Title I services for low income and struggling students. They cannot receive actual federal dollars.
Ted Cruz’ bill, if it passed, would allow private schools that are accredited by the states (and which pass all of the fire code, safety rules, background checks, etc.) to receive certain federal funds as actual dollars.
This should end any fear among the bloggers. The private school has to essentially spend months begging for any federal funds. They’re not going to be surprised by offers for largesse from the local public schools, who are the entities which would decide who will receive these federal Title I dollars, both under current law, and under any changes from bill’s like Senator Cruz’, in the highly unlikely event it became law.
Please see the attached document, and I would recommend that we forward this to anyone who thinks Senator Cruz’ bill will allow homeschoolers to receive federal Title I dollars.
Please let me know if you would like more details about this.
Director of Federal Relations
Home School Legal Defense Association