What WPA does for homeschoolers
The Wisconsin Parents Association:
- Welcomes all homeschoolers.
- Provides information, encouragement, and support for homeschoolers.
- Brings families together through annual conferences and a network of Regional Coordinators.
- Ensures the right of families to choose an education consistent with their principles and beliefs.
- Informs the legislature, the media, and the general public about homeschooling and maintains a favorable climate of opinion for homeschooling in Wisconsin.
- Monitors legislation and current developments that affect homeschooling families, keeps members informed, and coordinates action when needed.
- Empowers families to make decisions based on their principles and beliefs, needs, and aspirations, and to respond to challenges from government, other large institutions, so-called “experts,” and others.
WPA is a statewide, inclusive, grassroots organization. It 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.
WPA’s Eight Principles
Since 1984, WPA’s work has been based on eight principles.
- Know what Wisconsin’s homeschooling law does and does not require and how it is interpreted and enforced. The WPA handbook explains this clearly and accurately.
- Do only the minimum required by statute or regulation. Doing more will reduce freedoms you and other homeschoolers enjoy.
- Do not ignore violations of your rights, even when they seem too small to matter or it takes time and effort to protest.
- 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 that it may end up working against the minority that 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 approaches to education, curriculum choices, religious and philosophical beliefs, etc. Work to maintain the right of each family to make its own decisions. For more on these principles, see the WPA handbook, page 157.
These eight 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. This work has been made more difficult by the fact that HSLDA has often gotten involved in issues affecting Wisconsin homeschoolers and taken action that undermines what WPA has been doing based on these principles. (For more information, see WPA newsletters and the handbook.)