As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling. Educational researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years, as more parents reject public schools.
A recent report in Education News states that, since 1999, the number of children who are homeschooled has increased by 75%. Though homeschooled children represent only 4% of all school-age children nationwide, the number of children whose parents choose to educate them at home rather than a traditional academic setting is growing seven times faster than the number of children enrolling in grades K-12 every year.
As homeschooling has become increasingly popular, common myths that have long been associated with the practice of homeschooling have been debunked.
Any concerns about the quality of education children receive by their parents can be put to rest by the consistently high placement of homeschooled students on standardized assessment exams. […]
Similarly, the common myth that homeschoolers “miss out” on so-called “socialization opportunities,” often thought to be a vital aspect of traditional academic settings, has proven to be without merit. According to the National Home Education Research Institute survey, homeschoolers tend to be more socially engaged than their peers and demonstrate “healthy social, psychological, and emotional development, and success into adulthood.”
Over one-third of the 9.1 million full-time jobs among America’s diverse business franchises could be cut back or eliminated by Obamacare as small businesses struggle to maintain profitability while coughing up money to pay for Washington-mandated health care coverage, according to the International Franchise Association.
Cause premiums to skyrocket. In December, state insurance commissioners warned Obama administration officials that the law’s market regulations would likely cause “rate shocks,” particularly for younger, healthier people forced by ObamaCare to subsidize premiums for those who are older and sicker.
“We are very concerned about what will happen if essentially there is so much rate shock for young people that they’re bound not to purchase (health insurance) at all,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
That same month, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said ObamaCare will likely cause premiums to double for some small businesses and individuals.
And a more recent survey of insurers in five major cities by the American Action Forum found they expect premiums to climb an average 169%.
Cost people their jobs. The Federal Reserve’s March beige book on economic activity noted that businesses “cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”
Around the same time, Gallup reported a surge in part-time work in advance of ObamaCare’s employer mandate. It found that part-timers accounted for almost 21% of the labor force, up from 19% three years ago.
Meanwhile, human resources consulting firm Adecco found that half of the small businesses it surveyed in January either plan to cut their workforce, not hire new workers, or shift to part-time or temporary help because of ObamaCare.
Tax the middle class.IBD reported in February that much of the $800 billion in tax hikes imposed by ObamaCare will end up hitting the middle class, including $45 billion in mandate penalties, $19 billion raised by limiting medical expense deductions, $24 billion through strict limits on flexible spending accounts, plus another $5 billion because ObamaCare bans using FSAs to buy over-the-counter drugs.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would not include language to defund Obamacare in the continuing resolution bill when it returns to the House, stating, “our goal” is “not to shut down the government.”
Why on earth are they so afraid of a government shutdown? It certainly didn’t kill us in the 90’s – most people can’t even remember how (or if) it even affected them!
Maybe what they’re REALLY afraid of is Americans realizing that their lives can go merrily along just fine – and a lot freer – without Big Government interference every step of the way. That we really don’t need them as much as they need us (and our money) to legitimize their existence.
All Republican members of the Senate voted to defund Obamacare as an amendment to the Continuing Budget Resolution. The vote definitely puts a little heat on certain Dem. Senators up for re-election in 2014.
House Republican leadership recently pushed through a Continuing Resolution that included funding for Obamacare, despite the protests of many members of the GOP. Speaker Boehner and House Majority Whip Eric Cantor received flak in conservative circles for rushing through a hasty vote.
The House of Representatives possesses the “power of the purse” under Constitutional law, so it is not required to fund the executive branch’s activities. It would be extremely rare to withhold funding for government programs, but if there ever was a program as unethical and fiscally ruinous ever devised, it would be Obamacare.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 267-151 on Wednesday to approve a $982-billion continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through the rest of fiscal 2013 that fully funds the implementation of Obamacare during that period.
The House Republican leaders turned aside requests from groups of conservative members to include language in the bill that would have withheld funding for implementation of all of Obamacare, or, alternatively, that would have withheld funding for the Obamacare regulation that requires health-plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
Watching the filibuster, the thought occurred to me that this is exactly what should have been done with Obamacare in 2009/2010. Why didn’t Mitch McConnell use every parliamentary procedure to block Obamacare? More relevant to today, these same senators should engage in the same educational filibuster against funding Obamacare next week when the Senate considers the CR. If nothing else, we’re long overdue for a national discussion over Obamacare, personal liberty, and free markets. We need to take this #StandWithRand show and run with it.
Come January, many children currently enrolled in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be compulsorily moved out of their current health plans and into state-run Medicaid plans – as a result of Obamacare.
During the 2012 election campaign, Democrats denied that ObamaCare made $716 billion in cuts to Medicare in order to provide funding toward $1.9 trillion in new entitlement spending over the next ten years.
In an announcement on Friday, however, the Obama administration revealed that it would be significantly reducing funding for Medicare, a move that one health insurance analyst said “would turn almost every plan in the industry unprofitable.”
[…] Regarding the cuts, America’s Health Insurance Plans’ (AHIP) president Karen Ignagni said, “Washington cannot tax and cut Medicare Advantage this much and not expect seniors to be harmed.”
Younger, healthier people, many of whom voted for Mr. Obama in droves, will see their insurance premiums climb sharply as Obamacare demands that insurers provide them with more medical coverage than they want or need.
[…] Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna Inc. — the nation’s third-largest health insurance company — warned at the end of 2012 that Americans will face a “premium rate shock” when the president’s tidal wave of regulations kick in next year.
Mr. Bertolini predicts unsubsidized insurance premiums will shoot up by 20 percent to 50 percent, on average.
Those numbers may be just for the lucky ones. Some consumers will see their costs double. “We’re going to see some markets go up as much as 100 percent,” Mr. Bertolini told Bloomberg News.
In less than a year, Americans will be hit with not only higher insurance premiums, but massive tax increases:
While much of the dialogue on healthcare reform centers on the federal mandate of health coverage for all Americans – which many conservatives call the largest tax increase in U.S history – less attention is being given to the massive sales tax increase on the purchase of health insurance also implicit within the legislation that will dramatically escalate costs for employers and consumers.
[T]he tax increases that remain on the books will cost taxpayers more than $675 billion over the next ten years. Chief among these will be the sales tax on the purchase of health insurance, totaling $101.7 billion, and making it larger than all the other industry-specific taxes combined.
“The health insurance tax will add a financial burden on families and small businesses at a time when they can least afford it, and it should be repealed, ” says AHIP, a trade association representing health insurance industry providers, in today’s call for the repeal of the health insurance tax before it can take affect.
Last month, the CEO of the nation’s largest health insurance company warned that he and his peers may balk at participating in Obamacare’s insurance exchanges — online, government-run portals where consumers and small businesses without conventional employer-sponsored coverage may shop for policies starting next year.
[…] That’s ominous news for Obamacare. If insurers don’t participate in the law’s exchanges, then consumers who had hoped to secure affordable coverage through the new marketplaces will instead find few choices and high prices. Taxpayers could be hit hard, too, as higher premiums in the exchanges will require more public spending on subsidies.
[A]s ObamaCare’s official launch date approaches, even its backers are beginning to admit that the law could actually create powerful incentives for millions of people and thousands of businesses to drop their coverage, despite the mandate.
[…] “We are very concerned,” California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told federal health officials at a December meeting, “if there is so much rate shock for young people that they’re bound not to purchase (health insurance) at all.”
The cause of this rate shock is simple: ObamaCare imposes what is called “community rating” on insurance companies, effectively forcing them to charge the young and healthy more so they can charge older and sicker consumers less.
[…] ObamaCare also forbids insurance companies from turning anyone down — a reform called “guaranteed issue” — which also will provide an incentive for some to drop coverage, knowing they can get it back any time.
“Even with the tax penalty … some healthy people would avoid purchasing coverage until they are sick,” Howard Shapiro, director of public policy at the Alliance of Community Health Plans, told regulators .
The problem is that if the young and healthy drop coverage, the result would be what the industry calls a “death spiral.” Premiums will climb as the pool of insured gets sicker, causing still more to cancel their policies.
“Let me be exactly clear about what health care reform means to you…if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you.”
I’ll put it this way: if it begins with “let me be clear,” it’s guaranteed to be a lie. “Let me clear” is code for, “make sure you listen to my whitewash talking points to hide what’s REALLY going on.”
President Obama’s health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.
CBO said that this year’s tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they’ll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.
This is one of many reasons why we homeschool, but homeschooling is not for everyone. Parents have a God-given right and responsibility to choose the best education for their children. They should NOT be forced into a government monopoly that deliberately undermines the values they are trying to instill in the next generation.
When discussing the school choice issue with other Christians, I often here responses like “How are we supposed to be salt and light in the schools if we pull our kids out?” and “We can counter-act the bad stuff they learn in school by teaching them about God at home and in church.”
These are valid concerns, but the truth is that our children are not being salt and light; rather, they are being corrupted by the very system they are trying to influence. A recent study by the Barna Group found that approximately 70% of kids who grew up in a Christian church were no longer faithful to the church by their 20s. According to Barna, this is a fairly recent phenomenon. During the first half of the 20th century, young adults pretty much stayed faithful to the Christian faith. But this trend changed during the 1960s, when we saw the Bible and prayer taken out of government-run schools while at the same time witnessing the birth of the Sexual Revolution.
For decades, the anti-Christian crowd has been using government-run schools to undermine and attack Christianity. And that strategy continues today. Just last week, the Southern Education Foundation issued a paper claiming that Georgia’s school choice program (where individuals and corporations can receive tax credits for contributing to charitable funds that award scholarships to enable underprivileged kids to attend private schools) is supporting Christian schools with “anti-gay” policies. SEF claims that any private, Christian school that expects it teachers and students to adhere to Biblical standards of conduct—including those that prohibit pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexual behavior—is “anti-gay” and that those schools should not be allowed to participate in the scholarship program.
If a private school teaching Biblical morality is “anti-gay,” then wouldn’t parents and churches that teach these same ideas also be “anti-gay.” And this is the message that is being taught 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to our kids attending government-run schools. They are taught that Biblical values and beliefs are bigoted, ignorant, and unacceptable. So we if think that 2 hours a week (if that) at church can counter-act 40 hours a week of teaching that Christianity is wrong, we are fooling ourselves.
If you take seriously the Biblical command that you, as a parent, are to train up a child in the way he or she should go, then you realize that the command means more than just taking them to church once or twice a week. It means making sure that every aspect of their education affirms, not mocks, Biblical principles and values.
It is maddening how a century of “progressive education reform” has conditioned American parents to unquestioningly surrender their children to a system that has proven to fail no matter how much money it gets or reforms are tried.
It’s maddening that we have tacitly accepted the notion that government bureaucrats should decide where, when, how, and even what our children learn.
It’s maddening that no matter how much their child’s needs are not being met, poor parents are virtually powerless to do anything about it, while their children remain trapped in failing and – often dangerous – government schools.
Every parent deserves a choice. Every child deserves a chance. It’s LONG past time to take back the power that rightfully belongs to parents to determine what is best for their children when it comes to education.
The third annual National School Choice Week is officially underway. Once again, school choice advocates—including parents, teachers, schoolchildren and administrators, and many others—will come together to promote educational choice, with more than 3,600 events taking place nationwide.
School choice is something to celebrate, because it gives families the power to choose the best schools for their children—helping children to improve educational outcomes and increasing overall parental satisfaction.
Similarly, research reveals that students who participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP)—the nation’s longest running school choice program—for all four of their high school years had a 94 percent graduation rate, compared to a 75 percent graduation rate for their peers who attended four years of public high school.
Parents Are More Satisfied with their Child’s Academic Experience
Parents of school choice students also report high levels of satisfaction with their children’s schools. In Florida, 93 percent of parents whose children participate in the McKay Scholarship Program—a voucher program for special-needs students—report being satisfied with their child’s school, compared to just 33 percent of parents whose special-needs children were enrolled in public schools. DCOSP parents are also more likely to report satisfaction with their children’s schools and are more likely to describe their schools as safe. And Milwaukee school choice parents also report high satisfaction rates with the schools their children attend.
Education comes in many forms—from private school choice to online learning, to charter schools and public schools and home schooling. Parents should be empowered to give their children the education that best meets their child’s unique learning needs. School choice makes this possible by giving families from every background the ability to set the course for the brightest educational future for their children.
I’ve often said that it’s an incredibly dangerous conflict of interest for any government to be involved in shaping the hearts and minds of future voters and citizens.
Government-run schools have a built-in incentive for teaching the next generation to think the way the ruling class wants them to, to vote for bigger government intrusion into their lives, and to be unquestioningly loyal to the Nanny State, which they are indoctrinated to view as their benefactor.
This is one of MANY reasons why I – a public school graduate myself – choose to homeschool.
The swelling legions of homeschoolers poke a subtle rebuke at America’s ever expanding nanny state. Under both parties,Washington has systematically invaded private spheres and co-opted public services historically performed by local bodies. But a spontaneous groundswell of freedom minded folks has continued America’s rich inheritance of rugged individualism.
The God-fearing, flag-waiving, gun-toting homeschool crowd embodies the American spirit of mutual self-reliance. You won’t encounter a more neighborly bunch. Their children thrive without government “help.” Their support networks blossom sans the state’s sanction. Meanwhile, taxpayers waste a fortune securing abysmal academic results. In 2012, SAT scores fell to their lowest level since tracking began. As spending soars, assessment scores plummet.
The modern homeschool movement comes largely by Christians aghast over an academic establishment overrun by progressives. Schools long ago became laboratories for instilling statism and distilling politically correct groupthink. Values clarification anyone? With public education increasingly geared toward multicultural agitation against America’s godly heritage, many parents resolved to safeguard the hearts, souls and minds of their young.
[…] J. Gresham Machen, the foremost defender of fundamentalism in the modernist controversy of the past century, also led the battle against compulsory public education. A fierce libertarian, Machen cautioned, “If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.”
We have. See election 2012.
Barack Obama – who spent his past assailing the American system – would not be president without overwhelming support from twenty-somethings imbued with a reverence for the state. No longer the family tree, “government is the only thing we all belong to” claims the ruling party.
Ron Paul senses the urgency, “Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections.” Dr. Paul warns, “We cannot expect a federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.” Proving his point, homeschool parents were instrumental behind several UN treaties stalling in the Senate.
Like the local self-government formed indigenously by settler communities on America’s frontier, homeschoolers spontaneously built a support apparatus from the ground up. The free market at work, parents can readily access almost any curricula, subject matter or activity.
The Department of Education’s Dr. Patricia Lines countered the notion of homeschoolers withdrawing from America’s social fabric, “Like the Antifederalists these homeschoolers are asserting their historic individual rights so that they may form more meaningful bonds with family and community. In doing so, they are not abdicating from the American agreement. To the contrary, they are affirming it.”
They have it exactly right. If anyone is going to save our nation, it will be the few who have been taught to think for themselves, to buck the system, to question the status quo, and to be reliant on themselves instead of the government.
The FDA is notoriously prejudiced against raw dairy products, and if they personally are opposed to consuming them, fine! But what constitutional authority do they have to tell American citizens what they can and cannot eat and drink? Answer: NONE. With the government takeover of health care, however, you can rest assured that tyrannical attempts to control your diet will increase, not decrease.
The FDA, like so many other federal bureaucracies, has become a tyrannical, unelected, unaccountable apparatus for the Nanny State to rule over Americans instead of representing and serving them. Their goal is not to protect citizens from harming one another, but to protect us from our own choices by restricting them and making them for us. But this abuse of government power is not a victimless crime.
This small, family-armed dairy is the latest casualty in a long line of victims of government abuse and over-regulation. Will your business be next?
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Mo. — After a two and a half year legal battle, 15 tons of cheese made and aged near Mountain View was hauled to a dump. To fans of natural foods, it is monumental waste and over-regulation. To Missouri’s Milk Board, it’s merely protecting public health.
“I see the destruction of what my wife and I and family have worked to build,” said Joseph Dixon, owner ofMorningland Dairy.
Dixon and his family aren’t the only ones outraged by the trashing of about 30,000 pounds of cheese produced on the farm in Howell County.
[…] “They really haven’t found anything, no sicknesses, no illnesses in 30 years. But it’s what-if. And in the United States of America, if what-if now wins, we have no country left,” Dixon said.
Both Howell County Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals sided with the milk board’s decision to destroy all the cheese.
“We asked for trial by jury; we were denied because it was a regulation, not a law. It wasn’t passed by congress,” said Dixon.
A couple of years ago, the Dixons still had hope of someday making cheese again and were milking daily, but now, the milking barn is empty because the dairy herd is gone.
“If I tried to start back up, it would cost so much to get it in the cooler, and then, if they find, quote, one thing they can complain about, one thing, I’m shut down again, and every bit of that has to be destroyed,” said Dixon.
The Milk Board shut down Morningland’s manufacturing operation and ordered all cheese at the facility embargoed on August 26, 2010 after receiving a report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture that Morningland cheese seized in a raid of the Rawesome food club in Venice, California in June 2010 had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes andStaphyloccocus aureus. Not a single block of cheese in the warehouse had the same batch number as the cheese seized in the Rawesome raid. A Milk Board inspector initially told Joe Dixon that he would only be shut down for a few days—but that changed when FDA stepped up their involvement in the case a short time later and pressured the Milk Board not to let Morningland resume their operations.
On October 1, 2010 the Milk Board sent the Dixons a letter requesting that they destroy the entire inventory of cheese at the facility; when the Dixons refused, the Milk Board filed a petition in the Circuit Court of Howell County to obtain an order for the destruction of the Morningland cheese.
After a two-day trial before Judge David Dunlop, the judge issued a decision on February 23, 2011 ordering the destruction of the cheese. Morningland appealed the decision but on September 27, 2012 the Court of Appeals sided with the Milk Board. A petition to the Missouri Supreme Court to hear the case was rejected onDecember 18, paving the way for the destruction of the cheese to take place.
Neither the Milk Board nor FDA ever tested any of the cheese stored at Morningland. FDA did take 100 environmental swabs at the facility, all of which tested negative for listeria. There was no accusation that any cheese Morningland produced had made anyone sick; there had never been any reported illness from the consumption of Morningland products in the thirty years the farmstead cheese operation had been in business.
The Morningland case was about FDA’s agenda to restrict access to raw dairy products with the eventual goal of banning them. The agency doesn’t hesitate in sacrificing a business like the Dixons’ in order to move its agenda along.
What message does this send to entrepreneurs who are considering starting their own business and creating jobs? Who wants to take the risk of running afoul of busybody bureaucrats with an ax to grind?
Pregnant women in one southwestern Pennsylvania town will soon need to look elsewhere to deliver their babies, after a local hospital announced it will end the practice in March — blaming ObamaCare in part for the decision.
The Windber Medical Center will stop delivering babies after March 31 because its obstetricians are either leaving or refocusing their practices, and because hospital officials believe they can’t afford it based on projected reimbursements under looming federal health care reforms.
So these doctors busted their butts through years of medical school and racked up thousands of dollars in student debt in order to acquire the skills and expertise they have, and the Obama administration wants to underpay them to “save costs” for their utopian health care scheme.
Haven’t we learned ANYTHING from doctor shortages and two-year waiting lists in every country with established socialized medicine?
Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.
Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.
Why should this surprise? The must-issue regulation built into ObamaCare increases costs for the insurers, who cannot draw all of the needed revenues from the high-risk pool, thanks to mandates on rates. That means those costs have to get spread out to everyone in the pool. This is nothing more than Risk Pool 101, a course that Congress flunked repeatedly in the ObamaCare debate.
And why are rates rising higher on individual premiums than employer-based premiums? First off, the economics of aggregation are always going to work out that way; insurers want large groups of customers, and it’s less costly in the long run to find customers that way rather than one at a time. I’d guess that the employer-aggregate pool might generate somewhat lower costs than the general population too (especially after must-issue), but that’s just speculation. What isn’t speculation is that ObamaCare heavily regulates the individual markets in 2014 based on a law that doesn’t have many details in how that is supposed to be accomplished, based on state exchanges that may never exist in more than half of the states. In that kind of environment, can anyone blame the insurers for basing premiums on worst-case scenarios this year?
None of this surprises those who both understand risk pools and the dynamic reaction to regulation. It’s amusing to see everyone else be shocked, shocked that ObamaCare ends up driving costs upward even further.
Tonight’s stunning financial piece de resistance comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was the USSR that was the “Evil Empire”, Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that “a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year.” And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system. Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper – it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world’s most generous entitlement system. Perhaps if Reagan were alive today, he would wish to modify the object of his once legendary remark.
You can do as well working one week a month at minimum wage as you can working $60,000-a-year, full-time, high-stress job.
My chart tells the story. It is pretty much self-explanatory.
Stunning? Just do it yourself.
Almost all welfare programs have Web sites where you can call up “benefits calculators.” Just plug in your income and family size and, presto, your benefits are automatically calculated.
The chart is quite revealing. A one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimu wage) has more disposable income than a amily making $60,000 a year.
And if that wasn’t enough, here is one that will blow your mind:
If the family provider works only one week a month at minimum wage, he or she makes 92 percent as much as a provider grossing $60,000 a year.
Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article “In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year.” In it we merely explained what has become the painful reality in America: for increasingly more it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.”
We realize that this is a painful topic in a country in which the issue of welfare benefits, and cutting (or not) the spending side of the fiscal cliff, have become the two most sensitive social topics. Alas, none of that changes the matrix of incentives for most Americans who find themselves in a comparable situation: either being on the left side of minimum US wage, and relying on benefits, or move to the right side at far greater personal investment of work, and energy, and… have the same disposable income at the end of the day.