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HSLDA throws CA charter homeschoolers under the bus


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I'm often greatly bothered by HSLDA purporting to represent all homeschoolers in the media. They go in and say that such and such a thing is or isn't mainstream in homeschooling. It's like, you don't represent me. But secular and hybrid schoolers don't have a good, strong, nationwide media voice. AND WE NEED ONE. Because until we have one, HSLDA will keep speaking for us all and news outlets will keep asking them to.

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HSLDA has always maintained that it only gets involved in homeschool situations where there are no taxpayer dollars involved.  They aren't throwing anyone under a bus, they simply disagree with you an

I'm often greatly bothered by HSLDA purporting to represent all homeschoolers in the media. They go in and say that such and such a thing is or isn't mainstream in homeschooling. It's like, you don't

The newspaper should have interviewed EdChoice or some other charter school related group. What is the point of interviewing HSLDA for an article about charter schools? This does not help clarify the

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Proponents say these charters help them tailor education to their children’s interests. Critics say education dollars should be used for education. - subtitle

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“They want that money, and they’re willing to give up that freedom to get it,” Smith said.

Smith adds that home-schooling isn’t typically expensive; a family can afford enough curriculum and books for $500 to $700 in a year.

Public education dollars should be spent on education, “and that’s it,” he said.

 

Wait a minute, the HSLDA guy is saying public education dollars should be spent on education and that's it? Why does he care how public education dollars are spent? Their whole goal is to make sure homeschoolers avoid using tax dollars in the first place. HSLDA tries very hard to be an island in the sea of education yet here they are on ps/charter school shores.

Also, if private lessons are considered educational when the students are traditionally homeschooled and paid for by the parents, then shouldn't it be just as educational if the charter schools pay for them? 

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I haven't read everything, but I homeschool in CA under a private school affidavit. I interact with a lot of public charter school peeps. I am not a member of HSLDA. I don't take government funds for a whole lot of reasons, but mostly because, to me, homeschooling is opting out of the public system. I don't want to be in a position to be reliant on those dollars when/if they get taken away or if the restrictions and requirements for using them become something I'm unwilling to live with. And I couldn't justify taking those dollars for dance lessons or fencing or whatever when public school systems seem to need them so badly and I don't. Even if public schools are using funds for Disney trips, that doesn't mean I have to or should try to justify it for myself. Public charters just weren't ever an option for me (personally, not speaking about ANYONE else) after researching extensively.

All that said, what some parents brag about getting paid for via their public charter is astounding to me. And the way they get the dollars seems kind of sketchy, and the way they talk about it is always about how they submitted the request thinking there's no way the purchase would qualify, but either their ES looked the other way or just didn't notice. It always made me think that if word got around to those who are ideologically opposed to homeschooling and active in state government, there would be a huge push to end the current system. And since homeschooling privately with an affidavit is blessedly easy in this state, I really am worried that what we do on this side of things would get caught up in that mess because the general public doesn't distinguish between types of homeschooling.

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22 minutes ago, Plum said:

Wait a minute, the HSLDA guy is saying public education dollars should be spent on education and that's it? Why does he care how public education dollars are spent? Their whole goal is to make sure homeschoolers avoid using tax dollars in the first place. HSLDA tries very hard to be an island in the sea of education yet here they are on ps/charter school shores.

Also, if private lessons are considered educational when the students are traditionally homeschooled and paid for by the parents, then shouldn't it be just as educational if the charter schools pay for them? 

The question might as well be why does anyone care how public education dollars are spent? I care and I've opted out of the system entirely (or as far as I can), but the whole system of education in this state affects homeschoolers/charter schoolers/public schoolers in different ways. I don't see any organization involved with education, including HSLDA, not having an opinion on these things and being free to comment on said positions. The reason he said that is because it is bad for homeschoolers who aren't using tax dollars getting lumped in with those who would use the dollars for things that public school parents would otherwise be paying for as extra-curriculars. If HSDLA's stance is that any money going to homeschoolers should be for education, that's probably to protect homeschoolers in general from looking like freeloaders. I am a homeschooler and my perception here of people using charter dollars for certain things is NOT good. And I am not really that much in opposition to them, but there are people here who are rabidly anti-homeschooling in any form and especially in a form that gets little Jane's ballet lessons paid for via PS dollars.

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That's the thing, is I think there's a sort of irritation about how the money gets spent, or what qualifies, on the part of the general public, partially because they don't consider the basic economics of it.  Really the reason you can fund your DC's fencing lessons, Disneyland trip, aquarium membership, and cello is because you're providing the administration, utilities, lunch, nursing, and 8 hrs/day of child care for free.  public school parents are using (not actively, but functionally) their schooling money on teacher pay, administrative pay, building upkeep, paying for utilities and nurses and janitors (I clean our bathrooms during the school day) and so there's not enough for each child to spend the day taking ballet lessons and fancy online Latin classes and doing individualized science demonstrations in a class size of 4.  

But they take those parts for granted, so all they see is my kid isn't getting these things that your kid is getting, or if he is getting them I have to pay for them (not realizing that they don't have to pay for childcare/nursing/housing/etc.).  So they resent, which, okay.

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I think I understand the controversy enough to ask a question.

Why do some people think HSLDA is the go-to organization to speak for homeschoolers?

Some homeschoolers should work to educate the public / journalists so they understand that HSLDA does not speak for homeschoolers in general.

I don't blame anyone for answering a question when contacted.  How was the HSLDA dude to know that his view was not going to be balanced by an opposing view?  I think proper journalism requires more research and an attempt at telling both sides of the story.

Don't blame HSLDA - blame whoever is not listening to the actual stakeholders here.

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2 minutes ago, SKL said:

I think I understand the controversy enough to ask a question.

Why do some people think HSLDA is the go-to organization to speak for homeschoolers?

Some homeschoolers should work to educate the public / journalists so they understand that HSLDA does not speak for homeschoolers in general.

I don't blame anyone for answering a question when contacted.  How was the HSLDA dude to know that his view was not going to be balanced by an opposing view?  I think proper journalism requires more research and an attempt at telling both sides of the story.

Don't blame HSLDA - blame whoever is not listening to the actual stakeholders here.

The media goes to HSLDA because they actively claim to speak for all homeschoolers and all homeschool interests. That is simply not true. In as much as they misrepresent the homeschool community, I absolutely do blame them for this. They know they only represent a tiny number of members, they know that secular homeschooling and homeschooling tied to online and charter schools is growing, yet they continue to claim to be the voice of all of us.

It will continue until homeschoolers who do not fit into the HSLDA mold - secular homeschoolers, hybrid and charter homeschoolers, etc. - get a nationwide voice that's as loud.

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And FTR there does seem to be some abuse that needs to be addressed.

I've always wondered why some homeschoolers get such a sweet deal.  I know of a family with many internationally adopted / special needs kids who are homeschooled under that system.  It is interesting what gets paid for at her discretion and without much oversight.  I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, but human experience tells me that some folks don't deserve that benefit as much as others.

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The only sense in which HSLDA "cares" about public education money is that they think there should be less of it - including for public school kids.

The California model is not the norm in most states. No, it's not the only state with public charters that fund homeschooling, but it's pretty rare. How many other states even do this? I know there are a couple of others, but is it, what, like three states? In any case, it's not common.

I love homeschooling. I want more options and money available to all people nationwide. But honestly, if I lived in a state that was just handing over thousands to every homeschooler with limited oversight, I'd be annoyed. As others are posting, the per pupil spending costs in schools represent overhead that we don't have. Plus they are averaged out and go to support students who are really cheap to educate and kids with severe disabilities who need one on one aides as well as medical and technological support that's costly.

In an ideal world, I'd like to see all of us get a few hundred dollars for books and materials with some oversight, but not the per pupil amount or anywhere near it like in California. And then to have a program for students with special needs who are being homeschooled to access additional monies. I think Florida has a program like that? And then to have more schools allow homeschoolers to access hybrid and afterschool programs.

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My state attempted to start ESA accounts for all qualified students. Qualified being at least 1 year in ps prior to applying. They would have given $5k per student, with rollover so by the time my kids hit high school, I would be able to pay for full time accredited high school courses no problem. Anything left over was to go back to the general fund for other students. They had very few approved uses for the funds, basically only accredited distance/correspondence schools so a lot of what I might have wanted to use would have been off the table. $5k per student is ridiculously high for homeschooling; especially considering our state has one of the lowest $ per pupil amounts. I would have had to outsource everything and work pretty hard to spend half of that, so I can agree with the formulas being off between ps and homeschooled students. It's like comparing the cost of dinner at a restaurant to a homemade meal.  

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We had this issue back some years ago here in WA.  Some parent partnership programs were paying for all sorts of things that they probably shouldn't have.  This led to greater scrutiny of all districts, at least for a while (I don't know how things are now).  Our district responded by making doubly sure that nothing paid for with public funds was religious or for something that a student enrolled in their b&m schools would not get.

I will say that families who enroll their children in public charters and then use the money they get from that to fund things that obviously stretch the definition of "educational" are the ones who are throwing everyone else under the bus.  

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8 minutes ago, EKS said:

I will say that families who enroll their children in public charters and then use the money they get from that to fund things that obviously stretch the definition of "educational" are the ones who are throwing everyone else under the bus.  

The thing is... what on the list isn't educational? A number of the things are definitely not necessary. But I would argue that they're all educational. I dropped over $100 last week to take my kids to an amusement park to do calculations for physics and celebrate the year. Did I have to? Nope. Was every moment we spent there educational? Um, definitely not. But if I got money from the state for education and had enough, I'd totally have spent it on that and not felt a bit bad about it. Same with, say, ds's ballet education. If I had that money, I'd totally drop it on ballet with no guilt. I feel like the onus is on the state to define the use of those funds more clearly and oversee them.

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I homeschooled in CA and knew many homeschoolers in public charters schools. I was surprised/shocked at the money they received. They were as equally shocked when I said I wanted no part of it. Yes, I paid for all my own curriculum, violin lessons, horseback riding lessons, co-op classes etc. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

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23 minutes ago, Farrar said:

The thing is... what on the list isn't educational? A number of the things are definitely not necessary. But I would argue that they're all educational. I dropped over $100 last week to take my kids to an amusement park to do calculations for physics and celebrate the year. Did I have to? Nope. Was every moment we spent there educational? Um, definitely not. But if I got money from the state for education and had enough, I'd totally have spent it on that and not felt a bit bad about it. Same with, say, ds's ballet education. If I had that money, I'd totally drop it on ballet with no guilt. I feel like the onus is on the state to define the use of those funds more clearly and oversee them.

Sorry, there’s nothing educational about amusement parks.  I doubt all these homeschoolers are taking “physics measurements” at Disney. It’s pure consumerism. And I say this as someone who has spent thousands on amusement parks around the world bc my son is a coaster enthusiast with his own YouTube channel. I just don’t call that school, that’s all. 

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2 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

I have an 11 mm kidney stone at present...

If you see this, I am really sorry that you are suffering with a kidney stone. I hope you can get some relief soon.

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7 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

Sorry, there’s nothing educational about amusement parks.  I doubt all these homeschoolers are taking “physics measurements” at Disney. It’s pure consumerism. And I say this as someone who has spent thousands on amusement parks around the world bc my son is a coaster enthusiast with his own YouTube channel. I just don’t call that school, that’s all. 

Our high school physics classes go every year to an amusement park. I doubt they are measuring anything that day. 

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6 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

Sorry, there’s nothing educational about amusement parks.  I doubt all these homeschoolers are taking “physics measurements” at Disney. It’s pure consumerism. And I say this as someone who has spent thousands on amusement parks around the world bc my son is a coaster enthusiast with his own YouTube channel. I just don’t call that school, that’s all. 

We did a bunch of the things from this packet:

https://www.sixflags.com/sites/default/files/SFA_PhysicsDayWorkbook.pdf

I felt pretty good about it as a fun and educational day. They run it for classroom kids at most amusement parks and schools bring busloads. Disney runs educational days as well where they do these types of classes with science and engineering. Is it extravagant? I mean, maybe. Definitely not necessary, like I said. But I absolutely dispute that it's not educational. If you don't want to call it school, that's fine. But I feel zero guilt about calling that a school day.

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And, look, to be clear, if you don't want to go outside the box or do horseback lessons or parkour for PE or take big field trips, that's fine. But I'm a little surprised to be told in a dismissive way that those things aren't educational on a homeschool board, of all places.

When school kids do these things... I'm sure sometimes they're done in an educational way and sometimes they aren't. Just like homeschoolers. When I was in the classroom, some of the field trips I oversaw were very educational. And very worthwhile for the kids in a variety of measures, even if not every second was spent on worksheets and filling things out somewhere.

And I don't know if states should allow spending on those things by homeschoolers either. Honestly, I think maybe they shouldn't. We get nothing here. If you homeschool, it's like choosing a private school. It's on you to pay. Like I said above, maybe it should be a very limited amount, with more for special needs. But also, I DO think public schools should do those things - I think they should take kids outside to parks and amusement parks and to weird classes and to farm days and all that stuff. I think it makes a school a better place most of the time. So then in that context, I don't know. I do know that the way that California's charters is run is a problem and they should crack down. But also, if I was there, I'd take advantage of it like everyone else.

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13 minutes ago, Farrar said:

And, look, to be clear, if you don't want to go outside the box or do horseback lessons or parkour for PE or take big field trips, that's fine. But I'm a little surprised to be told in a dismissive way that those things aren't educational on a homeschool board, of all places.

When school kids do these things... I'm sure sometimes they're done in an educational way and sometimes they aren't. Just like homeschoolers. When I was in the classroom, some of the field trips I oversaw were very educational. And very worthwhile for the kids in a variety of measures, even if not every second was spent on worksheets and filling things out somewhere.

And I don't know if states should allow spending on those things by homeschoolers either. Honestly, I think maybe they shouldn't. We get nothing here. If you homeschool, it's like choosing a private school. It's on you to pay. Like I said above, maybe it should be a very limited amount, with more for special needs. But also, I DO think public schools should do those things - I think they should take kids outside to parks and amusement parks and to weird classes and to farm days and all that stuff. I think it makes a school a better place most of the time. So then in that context, I don't know. I do know that the way that California's charters is run is a problem and they should crack down. But also, if I was there, I'd take advantage of it like everyone else.

I didn’t think expressing an opinion that amusement parks aren’t educational is dismissive, it’s an opinion. It is equally a surprise to me to hear such a thing on a homeschooling board. I need to move DS up a year based solely on his roller coaster education, which is extensive and expensive 😂

we also get nothing for the fairly astonishing taxes we pay. That’s just fine, homeschooling is a privilege. 

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8 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

Sorry, there’s nothing educational about amusement parks.  I doubt all these homeschoolers are taking “physics measurements” at Disney. It’s pure consumerism. And I say this as someone who has spent thousands on amusement parks around the world bc my son is a coaster enthusiast with his own YouTube channel. I just don’t call that school, that’s all. 

Our local science museum has an annual summer camp called "amusement park physics," and they spend one day at the nearby big rollercoaster park.  😛  I also have several books about amusement park physics.  The rollercoaster park mentioned has a curriculum for school groups that want to study this as part of physics.  I think it's a great idea - though I am sure the kids' mental focus is elsewhere for most of the day.

Also, my kids' class picnic this year was at said rollercoaster park.  Pretty sure that wasn't a science lesson.

That said - parents have to pay for all of this out of pocket.  Even though we pay tuition for school / summer camp, there is an additional fee for the parks.  (And for Washington D.C., and 6th grade environmental camp, and pretty much everything that is more than a nominal out-of-pocket cost.)  So, do I think homeschoolers should get it paid for out of tax money?  No, not to the extent it isn't "free" for all kids in the state.

I could see paying for, say, one physical extracurricular in lieu of phys ed for the years the kid would have had to take phys ed at school (even though public school kids may have to pay to take the same class).  For non-special needs kids, I don't see that including horse riding (which is very expensive and not accessible to most public school kids at all).  I guess I feel uncomfortable with the idea that there is so much leeway in the use of the funds.

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22 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

Since charter schoolers are not homeschooling, I don't even know why HSLDA stuck their two cents in. 

 

Because they call it home schooling and that can affect the type of home schooling HSLDA does support if the general population associate all home schooling as the same thing.

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42 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

I didn’t think expressing an opinion that amusement parks aren’t educational is dismissive, it’s an opinion. It is equally a surprise to me to hear such a thing on a homeschooling board. I need to move DS up a year based solely on his roller coaster education, which is extensive and expensive 😂

we also get nothing for the fairly astonishing taxes we pay. That’s just fine, homeschooling is a privilege. 

I mean, of course it's an opinion. So is mine? It just surprises me to hear on a homeschool forum that things like going to an amusement park and doing physics problems calculating forces and so forth aren't "really" educational, which is basically what you're saying. For me, part of the whole point of homeschooling is that I know that learning doesn't have to happen through a textbook (not that there's anything wrong with that either).

Edited by Farrar
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2 hours ago, Farrar said:

The media goes to HSLDA because they actively claim to speak for all homeschoolers and all homeschool interests. That is simply not true. In as much as they misrepresent the homeschool community, I absolutely do blame them for this. They know they only represent a tiny number of members, they know that secular homeschooling and homeschooling tied to online and charter schools is growing, yet they continue to claim to be the voice of all of us.

It will continue until homeschoolers who do not fit into the HSLDA mold - secular homeschoolers, hybrid and charter homeschoolers, etc. - get a nationwide voice that's as loud.

I think it is possibly laziness, ignorance ir straight-up bias on the part of the media. All of these journalists that specialize in education should understand the nuances of all of the options out there and be able to explain it to the general public. Instead, we get the same message from HSLDA and all of the other groups. If the public doesn’t understand the basics of their educational options, then they are incapable of making an informed opinion on the subject. 

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Our homeschool in Alaska, under an umbrella district program, absolutely allowed funding for zoo passes, horseback riding, dance, etc, as well as materials like language arts programs and math software.  

This isn’t really that revolutionary, and honestly I thought everyone knew that HSLDA doesn’t cover those sort of hybrid programs in terms of legal advice and help, because you’re signing on with a district for some level of control or reporting in exchange for funding....?  I knew this eight years ago.

 

 

In Alaska, at least, half the funds must go toward materials and enrichment in core subjects - math, language arts, science, history, etc.  That, plus grade reporting and listing materials used in some form or fashion, as well as explaining how various funds would be used on a requisition form, were key requirements of the charters and stopped a fair bit of the abuse. But certainly some people still took advantage of it in an arguably unethical way.  

It wasn’t set up that way and most families I knew who were using them, including us, absolutely used the funds appropriately and within the legally allowable scope.  But we were with Galena school district, tested with them, reported grades to them.  Had a contact teacher we checked in with.  We home educated, but definitely not identically to how we do it now, single shingling it and paying 100% out of pocket.  The charters are charters, even if mom is the teacher and producing her own coursework.  

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5 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

HSLDA has always maintained that it only gets involved in homeschool situations where there are no taxpayer dollars involved.  They aren't throwing anyone under a bus, they simply disagree with you and so do I. They're maintaining a philosophically consistent position of complete autonomy from the public system, which includes public funds.  Do I agree with everything they do?  No, I wish they only dealt with homeschooling laws and nothing else.  Do I agree that it would be a terrible idea to give taxpayer funds to homeschoolers?  Yes.  It blurs the lines which has the potential to create all sorts of legal precedents and legal definitions that in the long run have a worse effect on homeschooling as a whole.  And I do fully support tax credits for homeschoolers?  Yes,  because they aren't taking tax money out of the government coffers, they're crediting taxpayers for the relief they're provided the system (on average $10,000 per kid per year.)  

I have used the public system for homeschoolers at Eagleride in Mesa, AZ.  I knew I was enrolling my kid for extra curricular public school classes.  I have no problem with the legal distinction. I made the distinction when people asked where my kid goes to school. (Public enrichment school for extra curriculars 2 days a week,  homeschooling for core subjects 3 days a week.) Whether or not that made me a real homeschooler in someone else's eyes doesn't matter me. It' a bad mental habit to get upset about other people's classifications.  You can tell people how you classify yourself, and then they'll agree or not.  Whatever.  I only care about legal issues because that can really cause people serious problems down the road.  Those were public school classes open to only legally registered homeschoolers.  They set the schedule, content, rules, testing requirements, vaccination requirements, etc. I'm in or I'm out, but I have no say over what they do and HSLDA doesn't either.

Bingo.  That’s my understanding as well, having done it both ways.  I’m not a giant HSLDA cheerleader but this has always been fairly cut and dry, and not a huge secret as to their reasoning and scope.

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FTR San Diego is a republican pocket in CA so this article is essentially designed to push certain buttons and provide talking points and not much else. 

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47 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I mean, of course it's an opinion. So is mine? It just surprises me to hear on a homeschool forum that things like going to an amusement park and doing physics problems calculating forces and so forth aren't "really" educational, which is basically what you're saying. For me, part of the whole point of homeschooling is that I know that learning doesn't have to happen through a textbook (not that there's anything wrong with that either).

That’s not what I said. I said, most people probably aren’t calculating forces at Disney.  Therefore, it’s not educational. What you’re saying is something like: every time I go outside with my kids we do air analysis therefore breathing is educational, everyone that breathes must be doing some version of that analysis and therefore  breathing=educational. What I am saying is that this average joe goes to the park so the kid can ride the coasters. And I assume that’s what most people do. That=not educational. I will be on the lookout for the g-force calculating masses next time though!!

Edited by madteaparty
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3 hours ago, madteaparty said:

Sorry, there’s nothing educational about amusement parks.  I doubt all these homeschoolers are taking “physics measurements” at Disney. It’s pure consumerism. And I say this as someone who has spent thousands on amusement parks around the world bc my son is a coaster enthusiast with his own YouTube channel. I just don’t call that school, that’s all. 

Disney Education is a great resource and the classes have a great reputation overall.  By way of personal experience, my son took a photography class through the program at Epcot - he said it was by far the most informative and helpful of all the art classes he took in high school (including at the CC and the Art Museum). So, yeah, I wholeheartedly believe that a lot of education can occur at amusement parks with careful planning.

Disney Youth Programs - Including Properties of Motion Physics (you know, roller coasters and such).

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7 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

 

But, it is taking a stake. That's my point. Read the quotes I listed below. It's take a very obvious position that charters are ripe for abuse.

Given the information in the article, I would be inclined to agree. Admittedly I have not read all 235 pages of the indictment, but any organization that doesn't require adequate accountability is ripe for abuse. In this case it happens to be the California public school funds that were misused as they were applied to the Homeschool Charters.

Here's another article:

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/watchdog/story/2019-06-01/sd-me-charter-schools

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4 hours ago, Janeway said:

The thing that bothers me is how much money the administration seems to be pocketing. There is a huge difference between what the parents get and what the school gets.

 

 

See I don't know how these charters work. It sounds like they don't work like Alaska Charters at all.  Alaska "Charters" that act like homeschooling are actually attached to school districts and the public school district skims off the top for their own benefits. It adds to the money for b&m public schools.

Some are also called coorespondence schools and the administrative structure is different basically they are just an arm of the school district whereas the charters have their own elected board etc. but still all funds come from the public school district and still have certain rules they have to follow imposed by the district and the district I'm in has gotten super tight with what they will choose to pay for. No field trips, not even a zoo or museum.  The most lenient district that pays for everything also seems to code some funky stuff on the transcripts like Spanish for Italian since they don't actually have an Italian teacher and they have to code it as a class they have a teacher for.  

You also have to turn in samples and get transcripts and do all the testing their district does so it's not entirily admin free. That and most provide some services too.

 

It sounds like the CA ones aren't part of the school district though but maybe I'm misunderstanding.  

 I'm not sure what states function like CA versus AK. 

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I agree HSLDA should keep their mouth shut about these groups that don't fit them.  I am amazed at what CA charters get to spend their money on in WA it is much more limited.  It was freer but as longs as we have been using our ALE their are no private field trips, no classes outside of what the school provides, no school supplies that are usually supplied by students.  So their are private music lessons at the school if they can contract a teacher, lots of field trips but set up by the school.  The district skims off the top, when the occasional huff is thrown about those homeschoolers they pay for the district is very clear that the program makes them money.  

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8 hours ago, hjffkj said:

This isn't surprising to me.  I wouldn't imagine that HSLDA would support home school charters.  I'm not a fan of HSLDA and have never considered becoming a member but charter schools are governed by a different set of laws, in most states, than home schooling in general and I wouldn't expect them to have any stake in that game.

It isn't that HSLDA doesn't "have a stake in that game." It is that charter school people don't need HSLDA, as their children are in enrolled in a public school system and therefore technically not homeschoolers, and shouldn't need anything HSLDA has to offer.

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For all those Disney trips or amusement park trips for honor roll or band or physics, there was always significant fundraising done and if the student couldn't raise the money through selling candy or whatever, they paid the difference. There may have been a scholarship fund for less privileged kids, but it was not funded from general PS dollars (in my CA public schools when I was growing up). In 8th grade a trip to DC was offered and the cost was totally paid for by students. Maybe I'm dating myself, but at the time it was about $1k and a very small percentage of the class actually went. The only people who might have had their way paid were teacher chaperones.

I can almost guarantee that regardless of what homeschoolers want to count as educational, and even if it *is* educational, the general public does not feel gracious about educational dollars going to homeschoolers should be for Disney or other hugely privileged activities while they watch their kids teachers paying out of pocket for minimal supplies in the classroom. It just isn't a good look.

It is one thing for me to put a rollercoaster physics day in my portfolio to show the district, or to write down my kid's swim lessons as PE. It's another thing entirely for other swim lesson parents to hear me bragging about how I got the district to pay for it with my homeschooling funds while they've done PTA fundraisers for basic stuff for their school and paid for their own swim lessons.

 

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Oh and I will add as some who privately homeschooled for 11 years but is currently in a Charter school that yes, we need different names for the 2 categories because the non-homeschooling general public will conflate the 2 and assume we are getting the benefits of both and the costs of neither and get angry. That isn't good for any of us politically!

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8 hours ago, lewelma said:

Interestingly, NZ homeschoolers get an allowance with no oversight at all.  It is an allowance for the *supervisor* (the homeschool parent) not for educational expenses.  We are allowed to spend it on anything we want, including food, bills, petrol etc.  

It is quite a lot less though and have you heard the worry (paranoia?) Of some of the older homeschoolers when asking for an increase after 30 years being the same is mentioned? 

But yes, taking money from the government need not mean surrendering control.

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8 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Are you assuming that the person doing the reporting didn't ask HSLDA? Based on what I've seen, HSLDA gets asked to comment on just about any story that involves homeschooling. You also don't get to decide what other people have to say about these issues when they come up.

Which may be the problem.  Do HSLDA represent the people the article was about? If not why ask them.  

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9 hours ago, moonflower said:

That didn't read like a hit piece to me.

I will say (based on different FB groups) that people in CA who use those dollars to homeschool, either to buy curriculum or to use it on top of their homeschool curriculum for lessons or field trips are feeling very, very panicked about possibly losing the money (among other things, but the money is the chief concern that I see). So any negativity about the way the system works, especially with the bills currently being floated feels like an attack. And sometimes it is, honestly. There are a lot of people on the left and right that don't have favorable opinions of public charters for homeschoolers. And if the only difference between being able to afford to homeschool or not is that $2 or $3k from the state, then it puts some people up a creek if they are eliminated.

But it seemed pretty plain to me that the HSLDA guy interviewed in the article wasn't trying to hide anything about the mission of the organization or their stance on charters, or that the HS community in general is divided on public charters. 🤷‍♀️

The funny thing is that I can get all the stuff I view as "extras" if I sign up for Inspire or another charter, but they won't pay for my bare bones CLE math workbooks because it's got Bible verses on some of the pages. So it's not as if there are no lines drawn anywhere or oversight of anything.

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5 hours ago, madteaparty said:

I didn’t think expressing an opinion that amusement parks aren’t educational is dismissive, it’s an opinion. It is equally a surprise to me to hear such a thing on a homeschooling board. I need to move DS up a year based solely on his roller coaster education, which is extensive and expensive 😂

we also get nothing for the fairly astonishing taxes we pay. That’s just fine, homeschooling is a privilege. 

Why is it a privilege?  It is your child and your responsibility to rasIe them.

All the kids I saw mentioned in the article though we're 7 and under though.  I would like to see what a high schooler would use the money for - a couple of AOPS, WTMA and Lukieon courses would take care of $2800 quickly.  And I don't see why the charter needs to keep $4000 to $6000 per kid - for what?  I don't see why they are given that much since they don't have the overheads of public schools 

Edited by kiwik
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Listen, if I don't begrudge public schoolers one or two not-so-educational field trips in a year - and I really don't! - then I am not going to draw the line at homeschoolers who use public funds doing the same thing.

You know what's educational about a trip to the amusement park? It's the student's reward for slogging through math all year when they'd rather have goofed off. They got their education, now they get their treat, and I'm really okay with that. I'm not okay with the HSLDA being their usual obnoxious selves.

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1 hour ago, kiwik said:

It is quite a lot less though and have you heard the worry (paranoia?) Of some of the older homeschoolers when asking for an increase after 30 years being the same is mentioned? 

But yes, taking money from the government need not mean surrendering control.

Yes, definitely heard the angst. But we are tied to the Correspondence School supervisors' allowance. So when they get an increase, we demand the same. No reason to rock the boat without them. 

Edited by lewelma
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When people ask, "Why do people care?" they should picture them them looking at a 10k property tax bill or filing for state income tax while trying to cut their personal budget again. Yes, if money is spent people will care and honestly they should. It may be educational to go to an amusement park to learn physics but it's not the most cost effective way to do so.

 

When you say kids ought to go to Disneyland on the taxpayers dime, you are taking that money out of people's pockets. You are saying your neighbor ought to pay for your kid's Disneyland trip.

 

Edited by frogger
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2 hours ago, frogger said:

When people ask, "Why do people care?" they should picture them them looking at a 10k property tax bill or filing for state income tax while trying to cut their personal budget again. Yes, if money is spent people will care and honestly they should. It may be educational to go to an amusement park to learn physics but it's not the most cost effective way to do so.

 

When you say kids ought to go to Disneyland on the taxpayers dime, you are taking that money out of people's pockets. You are saying your neighbor ought to pay for your kid's Disneyland trip.

 

I see that tax bill and raise you a bit in this state, but frankly I don’t care they went to Disney. I mean I would lose a lot of life energy if I looked at my local school budget. Do what you want, all the day long, yes even on the public dime when you’re the only ? state that gets to do this, whereas the rest us schmucks are not only high reg and pay out of pocket for all the testing, and get to not even walk in the public school fields never mind participate in anything. But don’t mock people’s intelligence and tell them they’re going to Disney for all that amazing education...it’s not going to recruit anyone to your cause and yes, I’m basically  far down the socialism line myself. 

 

Edited by madteaparty
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4 hours ago, kiwik said:

Why is it a privilege?  It is your child and your responsibility to rasIe them.

All the kids I saw mentioned in the article though we're 7 and under though.  I would like to see what a high schooler would use the money for - a couple of AOPS, WTMA and Lukieon courses would take care of $2800 quickly.  And I don't see why the charter needs to keep $4000 to $6000 per kid - for what?  I don't see why they are given that much since they don't have the overheads of public schools 

It’s a privilege because it’s private education. Not everyone can afford to privately educate. 

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Every once in a while I see a flood of “help me spend this charter school money” threads and posts on FB. A big motivator to what could be called frivolous spending by some seems to be the whole ‘use or lose it’ setup. 

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13 hours ago, madteaparty said:

That’s not what I said. I said, most people probably aren’t calculating forces at Disney.  Therefore, it’s not educational. What you’re saying is something like: every time I go outside with my kids we do air analysis therefore breathing is educational, everyone that breathes must be doing some version of that analysis and therefore  breathing=educational. What I am saying is that this average joe goes to the park so the kid can ride the coasters. And I assume that’s what most people do. That=not educational. I will be on the lookout for the g-force calculating masses next time though!!

I agree with this.  Also, Disney is ridiculously expensive (roughly $100 per person), and at least when I was there last (1989, so my information may be a tad outdated), the roller coasters there were all either inside or entangled in sets (Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, that Gold Rush thing), which I would think would make doing physics calculations a bit more difficult.

But the larger point here is not whether one can have an educational experience at Disneyland; it's whether one should use public education funding for such a trip.  My opinion is that without further clarification on the part of the state, that such a trip is stretching the intent of how the funds are meant to be to be used.  The best solution would be to allow families to use a certain amount of their funding for field trips, with a list of pre-approved choices and a process for requesting venues that are not on the list.

For those who would rather not have the state mucking about in their homeschool (like me), there would be the option of homeschooling independently.

Edited by EKS
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I pay way more in property taxes than I’m getting back by using our charter school funds. I’m saving the state even more money than I’m getting by not sending my kids to our local public school. I’m surprised by how many people here are against us using these funds. Just because other states do not have this system is not a reason to vilify it. We have so far only used our funds on curriculum and lessons but if I can use them for an educational day field trip to an amusement park we happily will. It’s crazy to vilify what we do as a field trip but say it’s ok when a public school spends a lot more public funds to arrange the same trip with buses and teachers. 

My kids are without a doubt getting a better education at home, even though it never had any inducement to do so because of funding. CA voters in my opinion should be a lot more concerned about the substandard education kids are getting in actual physical public schools than by the fact that we can use funds to homeschool. The very strong teacher’s union is continuing to try to end the option of choice by putting severe limitations on the ability of charters to exist. There’s a new law in place that requires I use $500 of each child’s funds on educational curriculum which just goes to show those in charge have no understanding of homeschooling. I reuse my oldest’s childs materials with my youngest and I can get used material from my charter school but now CA is requiring I buy materials. That’s a law that needs to be addressed as wasteful not funding for field trips or lessons. Again as I said in my post that was quoted earlier I thought the idea of amusement park passes sounded unlikely to be valid. Whatever went on with the school under indictment is not going on with all the other charter schools. Just as improper budget accounting at a brick and mortar school is not proof that all schools are reckless. I’m not going to accuse all CA Catholic schools to be reckless because of the recent scandal involving one school whose nuns stole their money. 

Homeschooling is good for families and the state. Again we are saving them money by not enrolling our kids. Those schools get the benefit of smaller class sizes. Even our funds our used to help the economy in CA if we pay for lessons and field trips. My legitimate charter requires constant monitoring and testing so it’s hardly like these families are not adequately schooling their kids. Lazy parents would be far more likely to drop their kids at the local school than keep them at home in hopes of finagling a field trip out of it. About a year ago 10% of CA students were being homeschooled, a number that is growing, and the teacher’s unions are nervous about it and continuing their efforts to shut it down. With online options and schools continuing to offer substandard education I am sure this model of homeschooling will only increase and hopefully be more accepted across the country. 

Edited by ExcitedMama
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