2017 has brought with it increased interest in political activism and in participation in the political process. This presents an opportunity for those interested in homeschool reform. While it may seem like there are so many issues at hand that no one could possibly take interest in yours, it is your legislators’ job to consider concerns from all of their constituents—and about every aspect of life in the district they represent. Because homeschooling is as diverse and geographically widespread as the United States itself, homeschool reform should matter to every lawmaker in every state.
Change is a long process that can seem intimidating from the outside, but depends on individuals like you who reach out to their legislators and stay engaged. If you are feeling inspired to get involved and advocate for homeschool students and families in your state, now is always the time. Your story belongs to you; by sharing it, you are empowering policymakers to make more thorough and thoughtful decisions. We have been working on new resources to help you as you navigate the issues, have meaningful interaction with your legislator’s office, and make your voice heard.
Start with our newly expanded page on how to contact your legislators. Since knowing the issues is key to having successful conversations with your legislator’s office, we’ve compiled background issues and some ideas on getting up-to-date on any home education bills in your state. From there, you can find out who represents you in your state legislature and the many ways to contact their offices. We have included tips for each method of contact; you may want to use multiple methods to follow up with your representatives. Our updated Share the Word page contains a detailed background on CRHE issues of interest, recommended reading on each, and some sample talking points you can use as guide for your conversations.
Once you’ve decided how to contact your legislator and what you want to say, you can use our new Legislative Handout to provide a broader context for your story. It contains concise points about the importance of homeschool oversight, and references our research and other home education data. The handout can be printed to a one-page (front and back) document and mailed to your legislator or handed to them at a meeting. You will notice that it includes space for personalization with your story and contact information–this is very important. If you are sending your legislator an email and want to attach this handout, that’s great, but make sure you include your own reasons for supporting homeschool reform and a way for them to respond to you in the body of your email.
As a constituent, your experience is ultimately what matters to your legislator.
If you meet legislators who seem supportive but might need further information, or if you otherwise need support, please reach out to us. We would love to hear about the variety of experiences CRHE supporters (whether they be students, alumni, parents, family or friends) have when talking about these issues so we can improve these resources to maximize impact.
The best way to create change is for many passionate people like you get involved early, stay engaged, and reach out to lawmakers often.