"It's not a cafeteria; you can't pick and choose,” the superintendent told Woodbridge homeschooling mom Shay Seaborne.
Seaborne has been fighting for the right to choose for several years now.We should be able to pick and choose. Every parent should be able to pick and choose. And that could help expand services, greatly reduce bullying and the ill effects of mass socialization, strengthen families and communities, and help schools grow more effective in every community.
Schools are very reluctant to allow parents to participate fully in the education of their children because schools have become accustomed to compulsory attendance laws that ensure no one can ever question anything. Consequently, we have a school system without any real checks or balances on their power and that has made it a self-perpetuating bureaucracy. There isn't any structural pushback or way for citizens to have some say over a service that their children are forced to use. It is a recipe for the overgrown system that we have now.
Next, Seaborne challenged the PWCS policy of refusing to allow non-public school students to be partially enrolled.
“With state law providing .5 ADM for each student taking two classes, and this being on a space-available basis, it made no sense to me to bar these children from class,” Seaborne said.
When Seaborne asked the superintendent at the time to change this policy, he responded, “It’s not a cafeteria; you can’t pick and choose.”
Seaborne then invited school board members and candidates to meet with the FOLC Eclectic Homeschoolers group that she had founded. After a discussion of the partial enrollment issue, the homeschooling group began to draft a new partial enrollment policy.
Seaborne and the rest of the group reminded the school board that homeschooling families could also choose not to respond to the Triennial School Census, which counts all children, including those who are homeschooled, and which affects public school funding.
“If all homeschoolers in PWC, over the three year period covered by the census, it would cost the school division about $2.5 million,” she said. “As we expected, the mention of $2.5 million served as a wake-up.”