Questions have arisen regarding Governor Huckabeeâ€™s commitment to homeschooling. HSLDA-PAC is confident that Governor Huckabee is a strong supporter of home education, and we stand by our endorsement.
As discussed in this article, the Arkansas legislature passed a homeschool law in 1999, which was signed by Governor Huckabee. The law represented a step backward for homeschool freedoms.
Arkansas' homeschool law was enacted in 1985 when Bill Clinton was governor. It was one of the most restrictive laws in the nation. After Bill Clinton was elected president, Jim Guy Tucker, another Democrat, became governor. Unfortunately, homeschoolers were not able to roll back this terrible law during his administration. After Governor Tucker resigned from office because of legal difficulties, Mike Huckabee became governor in 1996.
Prior to the 1997 legislative session, the Arkansas Christian Home Education Association and HSLDA approached Governor Huckabee about supporting changes in the homeschool law. Governor Huckabee actively supported and lobbied legislators to get a bill passed which transformed Arkansas into a much more favorable state for homeschoolers. HSLDA attorney Dewitt Black wrote Governor Huckabee a thank-you letter. He replied, "Dee, it was my pleasure and privilege to get behind this effort on behalf of home school students in Arkansas, and I sincerely appreciated the backing of the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Arkansas Christian Home Education Association." HSLDA still has the original of this letter from the governor.
Only two years later, however, during the 1999 legislative session, two bad bills were introduced to impose restrictions on the homeschoolers. There was a great deal of momentum to get these bills through.
To avoid a major step backward for homeschool freedom, local homeschool leaders worked with a homeschooling father in the House of Representatives to sponsor a bill which would place some additional regulations on homeschoolers but would avoid the much worse provisions of the other two bills. HSLDA could not support this compromise bill because we always stand on the side of homeschool freedom and against government regulation. We opposed the bill and urged our members to lobby against the bill without success.
The political reality, however, was that the homeschoolers were going to have to give the opposition something or they were going to get something much worse. As far as Governor Huckabee was concerned, it was a bill the homeschoolers wanted. It was sponsored by a homeschooling father in the legislature and had the support of the Arkansas Family Council. The bill was enacted and became Act 1117.
HSLDA-PAC has spoken directly with Governor Huckabee and we believe that by his words and actions he is a firm supporter of homeschooling.
This video discusses more of Governor Huckabee's relationship with homeschoolers.
http://www.hsldapac.org/dnn/Home/Govern ... fault.aspx
Many of us live in states where we have been in the unfortunate position of having to support one law that may not be ideal, to avoid the consequences even worse laws. The situation in Arkansas was such a case.
I'm a conservative Christian who is in my 12th year of homeschooling. One of the reasons I began homeschooling was to teach my children how to discern truth, and defend it. We as Christians are bound to uphold the truth, and should make every effort to do so in ALL aspects of our lives. I ask you, as fellow homeschoolers, to be wise, and not fall prey to rumors and false information. It takes a lot of work, but we ALWAYS need to search for the truth, and be careful that we are not guilty of spreading rumors.