We oppose Michigan HB 4063 in its current form, as it does nothing to protect homeschooled children from human trafficking or being exploited for their labor.
As the law currently stands, officials who grant youth work permits do not do so in a vacuum of responsibility and oversight; individual students also interact with multiple professionals who can assess the affect their employment might be having on their academic achievement. When their job is negatively impacting their performance at school, officials can revisit their work permit.
However, if HB 4063 were to pass, there are no similar protections in place for homeschooled children. Homeschooling parents in Michigan are not required to monitor their child’s academic progress or record it in any way. HB 4063 would make it completely legal for a child’s education to be entirely neglected so that they could contribute to the family finances, or work for no pay in their family’s business.
During our years advocating for homeschooled children, CRHE has encountered many stories of abusive adults exploiting homeschooling statutes to subject children to unethical child labor practices. Some may argue that HB 4063 would “reduce” these incidents in Michigan because would “regulate” homeschooled children’s labor. However, this is not the case: HB 4063 would merely provide legal protection to an exploitative, abusive, neglectful practice.
If you were homeschooled in Michigan or are a current Michigan resident, please call your state senator and ask them to vote no on HB 4063.
“Hello Senator [Senator’s name], I’m [Your name] and I [live/was homeschooled] in your district. I want you to vote no on HB 4063, which would make it legal for abusive parents to abandon their children’s education and exploit them for child labor. Since no adult who homeschools their child in Michigan is required to monitor their academic progress or keep any sort of school attendance record, there is nothing in place to protect homeschooled children from being abused under HB 4063. Please vote no. Thank you for your time.”