What is the Wisconsin Parents Association?
Wisconsin Parents Association is a state-wide, inclusive, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the right and freedom of parents to provide an education to their children according to their own principles and beliefs.
Wisconsin Parents Association is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), organization supported only through memberships and donations.
Board of Directors
President – Jodi Buntin – Jodi strongly believes in homeschooling and preserving the right and freedom for all families in Wisconsin to homeschool according to their own beliefs and convictions. She and her husband have homeschooled their two sons since the beginning, and are grateful for the homeschooling pioneers who paved the way.
Vice-President – Dawn Cisler – Dawn has long understood that our Wisconsin homeschooling freedoms are mainly due to the efforts of WPA, and is happy to assist with these efforts. Dawn and her husband Jayson have had the privilege to raise, nurture, and home-educate their seven children on a small farmette in Northeast WI.
Treasurer – Mary Sue Slifer – Mary Sue and her family decided to homeschool when her son was just two years old. Their seven (plus) “school years” journey has been a blessing, with 2016/17 being the first year homeschooling as a single parent. Mary Sue’s involvement with WPA started on the Conference Committee in 2012 and shortly thereafter with the Board. Mary Sue feels that spending time with the families of WPA has influenced her family in tremendously valuable ways.
Secretary – Jennifer Grasse – Jennifer and her husband, Brett, live in Milwaukee and have four entirely homeschooled children. She and her family have been inspired by WPA conferences for decades and are so grateful for the work WPA has done to preserve the homeschooling freedoms of Wisconsin families.
Question Answering Committee Coordinator – Colleen Manning – Colleen lives in the hilly, southwest corner of Wisconsin with her husband, Ron. They home-educated six children from birth to high school graduation. Colleen has supported local homeschool families since 1999. In 2015, she began volunteering with WPA because she wanted to work together with others to protect homeschooling freedoms in Wisconsin.
Legislative Watch – Rebecca Ahl – Rebecca and her husband homeschool their two children, near the city of Madison. Both kids have been homeschooled in Wisconsin since they were old enough to legally do so, and their family is grateful to exercise the right to live such interesting and joyful lives. The family has been very active with their local homeschool group, and has volunteered together for past WPA conferences. Rebecca is excited to join the board and help keep the Wisconsin homeschooling law strong and effective for all families.
Membership Coordinator – Michelle Holmquist – After their own positive experiences in small-town public school systems, Michelle and her husband were late-comers to the idea of homeschooling when their oldest was struggling in public school. They now passionately embrace Wisconsin’s homeschool law and freedom. Michelle enjoys the discoveries and relationships that homeschooling their 2 children has brought to their lives, and she is committed to supporting WPA’s efforts to ensure those same opportunities for generations to come.
Board meetings are open to all members. The next board meeting will be Monday, April 6th at 10:00 am. This meeting will be held via video conference. If you wish to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Wisconsin Parents Association was founded in 1984 to oppose legislation that would have severely limited homeschoolers’ freedoms by giving the Department of Public Instruction power and authority over homeschools. Homeschoolers working together through WPA got the legislation amended so it became one of the most reasonable homeschooling laws in the country. Since that time, we have successfully countered numerous challenges to that law. This work continues today. Your support is needed. Join WPA.
Click here for a more detailed account of the history of Wisconsin Parents Association.
WPA’s Ten Principles
Since 1984, WPA’s work has been based on ten principles.
- Know what Wisconsin’s homeschooling law says, what it does and does not require, and how it is interpreted and enforced.
- Do only the minimum required by statute or regulation. Doing otherwise will reduce freedoms you and other homeschoolers enjoy.
- Maintain the distinction between homeschooling and other “school at home” options, such as:
- Public school at home programs, including virtual charter schools.
- Public or private schools which employ a part-time-on-campus and part-time-at-home model.
- Do not ignore violations of your rights, even when they seem too small to matter or it takes time and effort to protest.
- Learn to work with your legislators, regardless of their political party.
- Do not seek or accept benefits from the government. Such benefits are likely to be followed by increased regulation, especially since the government is accountable for how tax dollars are spent.
- Do not push for new homeschooling legislation. Small minorities generally have difficulty getting legislation passed. Also, legislation can be changed so much through amendments, as well as produce unintended results, that it may end up working against those who introduced it.
- Stay out of court if at all possible.
- Understand and apply the distinction between compulsory school attendance and compulsory education.
- Work with other homeschoolers on the grassroots level. Set aside differences in areas including approaches to education, curriculum choices, and religious and philosophical beliefs. Work to maintain the right and freedom of each family to make its own decisions.
These ten principles are the reasons homeschoolers in Wisconsin have been able to maintain their freedoms. WPA has had to work hard to maintain them in the face of opposition to homeschooling from the educational establishment, some legislators, and some members of the general public.
Together we can preserve independent, parent-led, privately-funded educational freedom for homeschooling families who take direct responsibility for the education of their children.
Click here to read the Wisconsin homeschooling statutes.