Schoolhouse, Dauphin Island, Alabama

This “Little Red Schoolhouse” is actually Dauphin Island Elementary School near the public beach of Dauphin Island, Alabama. Dauphin Island School house is a unique place in Mobile County, but not just because of its beach location. It is the smallest school in the district with only 68 students in K-6. The facility is also unique in that it still resembles the one or two room schools common in the early 20th century. The wood-frame main building was constructed in 1930 further east on the island and consisted of two classrooms, a hallway, and an auditorium. It was moved to the present location around 1954. Recently renovated and freshly painted, it consists of three classrooms, office space, teacher resource room, and first aid room. The All-Purpose-Room was added to the back of the main building in 1991 and serves as lunch room, meeting room, auditorium, etc. Two portable buildings, a classroom and library, are also recent additions to the campus. A covered picnic area is located just outside the All-Purpose-Room.

well, still one more observation about the pro-homeschool rally in Springfield, IL

February 16, 2011

Dear Illinois Patriot,

���� The Senate Education Committee met on February 15 to hear testimony from state administrators as well as opponents to SB 136 – the Home School Registration Bill.

���� Capitol police estimate that the number of opponents of the bill who attended the hearing was 4,000 or more.

���� Proving that the intent behind this bill was not merely to register home school children, one administrator admitted his intention to knock on every door of a home schooled child.
���� The following exchange took place between Committee Member Senator Luechtefeld and a Truancy Officer:

���� Senator Luechtefeld: “If they register – will you go to any house and see if you can help?”

���� Truancy Officer: “Yes, sir.”

���� Senator Luechtefeld: “Even those that are doing a really good job?”

���� Truancy Officer: “That’s right. And I’ll know very quickly as I knock on the door; the ones that are doing a great job won’t let me go. They’ll want me to come in. The ones that say we don’t want you around I’ll know to take further action.(emphasis added)

���� Senator Luechtefeld: “I still don’t see how this changes things just because they register.”

���� Truancy Officer: “It gives me the name and opportunity.”
���� What this Truancy Officer doesn’t seem to understand is that government entities are accountable to the people, the people are not accountable to government entities.

���� This officer seems to suggest that all home educators should be considered guilty of neglect until they prove themselves innocent by allowing government agents into their homes with no evidence of wrongdoing. This is a dangerous assault on our Fourth Amendment rights.
���� The Fourth Amendment states, “The right of the people, to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

���� Clear constraints are placed on government entities under the Fourth Amendment. Yet the officer’s interpretation of SB 136 is that the law would allow him to enter the home of any registered child without cause to gather evidence against them, and proof of their guilt is simply denying him entry into their home.

���� In an interview prior to the hearing, Senator Maloney, the sponsor of SB 136, admitted he was unaware of any problems with home educators.

���� Reports surfaced before and after the hearing that Senator Maloney had withdrawn SB 136. These rumors are false.

���� Members of Senator Maloney’s staff have admitted that, “SB 136 is not currently on the table, but what plans he has going forward are not clear.”� He has been meeting with different organizations and is “in negotiations.”

���� In plain English, SB 136 is not yet dead, and Senator Maloney is working behind the scenes on a compromise.

���� Compromise is a dirty word when it means losing freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

���� Please do the following:

��� * Call Senator Maloney at 217-782-5145 and tell him to fully withdraw SB 136. Tell him you will not accept any bill that interferes with your right as a free citizen to educate your children free of government intrusion.
��� * Call your own state senator and urge them to oppose SB 136 in any form.
��� * Sign the Illinois Campaign For Liberty petition urging Senator Maloney to withdraw SB 136 if you have not yet done so.
��� * Pass this email on to your contacts.

���� Please be aware that many reports have claimed that SB 136 is dead. It is extremely important we spread the word that this battle is not yet over!

For Liberty,

Heather Danielowski
Interim Illinois State Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

one more report on the pro-homeschool rally in Springfield, IL

     Our local radio station in Salem, IL, WJBD, had a news report on the Springfield homeschool rally.  I don’t know whether they had an actual reporter present or simply based it on wire service accounts.

Home School Advocates Protest Mandatory Registration
2/16/11 @ 1:41:54 pm
     (Springfield, IL)  —  Hundreds of home school advocates crowded the state capitol Tuesday, expressing anger over a measure that may force parents to register the students with the state.  Lawmakers say mandatory registration will help gauge student performance and allow the state to assist with struggling students.  Senator Ed Maloney, the Chicago Democrat behind a proposal, says registering the students will create more accountability within the homeschool system.  Right now, parents only have show proof of their child’s progress if a local prosecutor files charges against them.
     Our friend Allison Henson has this comment about the WJBD report.

     I am not sure if everyone is aware of the report WJBD did on the hearings regarding sb136. If you have not done so please go over and read the story and if it doesn’t sit well with you, could you please shoot them an email describing the facts and how they could find those facts. I don’t appreciate  them saying fellow homeschoolers were expressing anger when in fact there was no anger.  There was, however concern expressed and opinions being voiced. If that was anger then all the singing at the beginning of all those ball games being watched/listened to are expressing anger! (lol!)

what HSLDA says about the IL pro-homeschool rally in Springfield

Illinois: 4,000 Homeschoolers Say “No” to Registration Bill

Dear HSLDA Friends and Members,

     An awe-inspiring 4,000 homeschoolers flooded the Statehouse today as  Sen. Maloney did his best to get the Senate Education Committee to support his plan to mandate registration for homeschoolers.  But the committee did not vote, so homeschoolers must continue to press for the withdrawal of the bill.


     Please call your own senator and ask him or her to contact Sen.  Maloney and ask him to withdraw–NOT AMEND–his bill.  Use our  legislative toolbox at to find  your senator.


     Sen. Maloney has stated he intends to amend his bill so it impacts homeschoolers only–not other private schools.  There is no way to amend his bill to transform it into a good bill.  Its objective is to push government control into your living room and kitchen, and that is unacceptable no matter how he may amend it.

     Prior to the hearing this morning, the entire auditorium filled up quickly for the 9:15 a.m.  Home School Freedom Summit in the Howlett Building.  After that, homeschoolers poured into the Statehouse. They filled the committee hearing room, then completely filled that entire floor of the Statehouse, even pushing up into the upper galleries.   Security estimated the crowd at 4,000. 

     While waiting for the hearing to start, the crowd beginning singing.    Strains of “America the Beautiful,” “God Bless America,” “Amazing Grace,” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” drifted into the committee room.  No one present will ever forget the huge, orderly, but passionate crowd, the singing, and the sense that their presence made a powerful statement in defense of liberty. No Illinois senator or representative will forget that statement, either, I believe.

     Recognizing the crowd, staff agreed–for the first time in the history of the Illinois legislature–to leave the doors to the committee hearing room open during the hearing (if the crowd would stay quiet)!    The hearing went longer than scheduled.  Homeschool leaders testified powerfully against the bill. Sen. Maloney testified that officials “needed to know” who was homeschooling, though it was never entirely clear why. 

     Some senators worried about homeschoolers “falling through the cracks.” But if “falling through the cracks” means kids ending high school without a diploma, without being able to read, without being able to enter college without remedial classes, and with a juvenile justice record,  then “falling through the cracks” is quite common in public schools. The sad truth is that the public schools do not have the solution to “falling through the cracks!”  Why have the least effective system of education supervise the most effective system?

     The senators on the committee seem closely divided between “for” and “against” on SB 136.  The change of a single vote could have dramatic consequences.  The efforts of every single homeschool family in the state are urgently needed.

Sincerely Yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

more about the pro-homeschool rally in Springfield, IL

     This article comes from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Illinois homeschoolers descend on Springfield after regulation attempt

BY KEVIN McDERMOTT > > 217-782-4912
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 10:17 am | (37) Comments
Home schooling supporters crowd the Illinois Capitol Tuesday Feb. 15, 2011 — Hundreds of Illinois homeschool advocates cram into the state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. to protest a bill that would require homeschooled kids to register with the state. Kevin McDermott/Post-Dispatch
     SPRINGFIELD, Ill. 10:17 a.m.– The halls of the State Capitol are crammed this morning with what appear to be hundreds of homeschooling parents, kids and supporters, here for a hearing on a regulatory bill from which the sponsor already is reportedly is backing off.
     The bill would make home-school kids register with the state Board of Education.  Currently there are no regulations. The sponsor, Sen. Ed Maloney, D-Chicago, originally presented the bill as merely a way for the state to know how many kids there are who are homeschooled, as they are currently completely off the radar.
     “It’s as simple as that,” he told the conservative website Illinois Review last week.
     Not so simple, as it turns out. Religious, libertarian, conservative and other websites have erupted with the issue in the past week, culminating in the crowd outside the hearing room right now.
     There are reports that Maloney has pulled the legislation (SB 136), though it’s still currently in the system. In any case, the expectation around here is that lawmakers will quickly drop this thing once they get a look at all these angry moms, and get back to not balancing the budget.
     The hearing starts shortly. We’ll update here.
     UPDATE- 1:30 pm: As a crowd of hundreds sang “God Bless America” and “Amazing Grace” outside the hearing room, the committee heard “subject matter” testimony, meaning there would be no vote on legislation.
     Maloney, in testimony, expressed surprise at the outrage over the bill. “The majority of parents do an exemplary job” at homeschooling, he said. He said the concern is those who use their right to homeschool as merely an excuse to let their kids stay out of school.
     In the crowd was Larry Wright of Harvard, Ill., who said his reasons for homeschooling his kids were both religious and philosophocal. “I want to raise them the way I think they should go,” he said. “I’m responsible for my kids, not the state.”
     He said he understands the bill would require just registration, not restrictions, but that it’s still “intrusive and unnecessary.”
     “They’re trying to fix something that’s not broken,” he said.
     Testimony indicated that Illinois is one of about a dozen states that don’t require homeschooled kids to register with the state. That list includes Missouri.
     Maloney said after the hearing that he isn’t planning to pursue the bill for now, but will talk with homeschoolers about what can be done to identify those children who “fall through the cracks.”
     “It was a productive hearing. Everybody learned something,” Maloney said.

what happened at the IL pro-homeschool rally in Springfield

     This article is apparently taken from a Springfield, IL, newspaper.

An article about SB136


     A phalanx of families from all over Illinois mobbed the Capitol Tuesday morning to protest a bill that would have required parents who home-school their children to register with the state.

     Hundreds of families – their children in tow – packed the second floor of the rotunda and a meeting of the Senate Education Committee to oppose Senate Bill 136.

     Sponsor Sen. Edward Maloney, D-Chicago, pulled the bill from consideration, saying he agreed to not introduce the legislation pending the outcome of the committee testimony.

     “A bill was introduced that had consequences beyond what I was trying to accomplish,” Maloney said.

     Maloney said the idea for the bill came about in conversations with acquaintances who told him there is no regulation of home schooling in Illinois.

     Opponents of the measure argued that requiring home-schoolers to register would provide no benefit to a majority of students, while imposing a burden on parents and costing the state money.

     Scott Woodruff, senior counsel for the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association, said his organization helps home-schooled families find legal guidance in regards to which states have the best environments.

     He typically ranks Illinois in the top 12 or so among states with the least burdensome home-school laws.

     “If SB136 passes, or any version of it, I would have to knock Illinois down quite a bit,” Woodruff said.

     Supporters said the lack of regulation leads to abuse of the system and families falling through the cracks.

     “There are children whose education and well-being are not being addressed by home schooling,” said Michael McCreery, executive director of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools.

     “With our knowledge of them being in our geographic area, we can point to programs … we can assist. We can not assist without our knowledge of their existence,” he testified. “Every child should have the opportunity to someday sit where you are right now.”

     Steve Bandy, a health care analyst with the state from Athens, was at the statehouse to protest the bill. Bandy has five children, age 22, 19, 17, 10 and 8 – all home-schooled.

     “I listened to the testimony, and the one question I still have … families are falling through the cracks, and that was evident up front, but how will registering address these families?” Bandy said.

     Bandy’s primary concern in home schooling his children was making sure they developed strong values, something he said he felt his family could do better than the public schools.

     “My bride and I, we see what their (our children) needs are, we know we’re complying with the state – we’re teaching them foreign language, science, math – all the aspects required, but we are the ones able to determine what curriculum we pull in.”

     He said this allows them to tailor the lessons to each child’s strengths, as well as allowing them to not require their children to study areas they do not agree with, such as the theory of evolution.

     Some parents turned the event into a civics lesson.

     Scot Shelburne, pastor of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Peoria, took his four home-schooled children to the Capitol.

     “They had a field trip today,” Shelburne said. “We’re trying to teach them how to respectfully lodge your opposition to a bill and see democracy work.”

More about the homeschool registration bill in Illinois

      Holly Ramsey posted on TribLocal, the “citizen reporter” (glorified blogger) arm of the Chicago Tribune. She says, “Feel free to help this info go viral via sharing the link on FB, Twitter, lists etc. We need folks continuing to make those calls!”

Home Educators Oppose Mandatory Registration Bill

By Holly Ramsey Saturday at 8:02 a.m.

     IL State Senator Edward Maloney (D-Chicago) has introduced SB 136, a bill requiring annual registration of home schoolers with requirements to be established by the State Board of Education.

     Reaction in the home schooling community has been swift and negative, with a large volume of emails and calls expressing opposition being placed to Education Committee members. Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Scott Woodruff is calling for at least 2000 home                                    educators to attend the Tuesday, 2/15 Education Committee hearing at 10:45 am in Rm 212 of the State Capitol in Springfield.

     Senator Maloney defended his bill in comments to Illinois Review arguing, “There is virtually no regulation, no curriculum requirements, no periodic checking on their {home schoolers} progress.”

     Not true, counters HSLDA’s Woodruff. Home educators in IL must already comply with what Woodruff calls “significant, adequate and substantive” standards. People v. Levisen (1950) confirmed home schools as legal private schools in IL. Levisen requires that such education is provided in good faith, that there is adequate instruction, that all branches of learning required to be taught in the public school are provided, and that the education advantages be “at least commensurate” with that of the public school. According to the Levisen precedent, it is the family and not the prosecution who bears the burden of proving these conditions have been met.

     Naperville home educating mom of three Ellen Stukel believes SB 136 to be “dangerously vague.” She worries that the bill raises the possibility of the Board Of Education limiting the freedom parents have to create individualized educational plans for their child.

     Laura Lauzen-Collins, Ph.D of Bolingbrook designed her son’s home education program and shares Stukel’s concern. “History suggests that often more regulation follows such small initial steps. This kind of regulation may impede and dissuade future homeschooling families from starting to homeschool their children and could also interfere with those of us who are already currently homeschooling our children.”

     “In its current form the bill appears…unnecessary, excessive, and provides no solution to a given problem in the public or private education systems,” stated Education Committee member State Senator Suzi Schmidt (R-northern Lake County). “Additionally there is no available information regarding how this mandate might improve education for students, the number of families it will affect, or the anticipated additional cost to taxpayers it will create. Because the proposed legislation seemingly provides no added value to education and is unnecessary to student achievement, I do not support this bill.”

     The National Education Association has long desired more strict regulation of home education. Resolution B-75, passed by the NEA in 2007, flatly asserts that home education “cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience.” When home schooling occurs, the NEA believes “instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state Department of Education should be used.”

     By that standard, a parent would need no fewer than five different teaching certificates to home educate their high school aged child. Secondary level home education would effectively cease to exist. Most home educating parents are not currently state certified teachers. However, home schooled students outperform their traditionally schooled counterparts on the ACT. In 2009, the national average on the ACT was 21.1 compared to 22.5 for home schoolers.

     In 2008, the Il Education Association was the largest contributor to Senator Maloney’s campaign and contributions from teacher unions accounted for more than 10% of his campaign funds according to data collected by The National Institute on Money in State Politics.

     SB 136 needs six votes to pass the Education Committee. Home educators will continue their grassroots campaign against SB 136 by converging on Springfield Tuesday to show their opposition to this mandatory registration measure.

     Senate Education Committee Members include:

Committee Chairman, Sen. James T. Meeks (D-Chicago)
Springfield: 217-782-8066
District: 708-862-1515

Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Westchester)
Springfield: 217-782-8505
District: 708-343-7444

Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton)
Springfield: 217-782-5509
District: 618-439-2504

Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Highwood)
Springfield: 217-782-3650
District: 847-433-2002

Sen. Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago)
Springfield: 217-782-8191
District: 773-463-0720

Sen. John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago)
Springfield: 217-782-1035
District: 773-763-3810

Sen. David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville)
Springfield: 217-782-8137
District: 618-243-9014

Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Decatur)
Springfield: 217-782-5755
District: 217-428-4068

Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa)
Springfield: 217-782-7353
District: 847-752-7004

Sen. Christine Johnson (R- Sycamore) *To be sworn in 2/14.*
Springfield: 217-782-1977
District: 815-895-6318

     Here is a link to the article: