The question on whether families who homeschool in America and home educate here in the UK should received some sort of tax break or benefit has been raised many times. I am sure the same question gets asked in Australia and other countries where home education takes place.
In America Congress has (again) failed to pass a measure to offer tax breaks to families who homeschool. Zoe Romanowsky blogged briefly about it. Interestingly the comments are much the same as the reactions I have heard here.
To summerise the comments; most families are justifiably suspicious of money from the Government (even if in reality it is just being allowed to keep more of the money you’ve earned) because it will come with strings attached. The strinngs will undoubtedly be detrimental to the education and general welbeing of the homeschooled children.
What Gatto has to say about the abysmal educational system in America could just as easily be said of state education here. Isn’t that why so many UK HE families wax lyrical about him?
As a (cautious) Gatto fan myself I have sympathy with those who are saying that all families should receive tax breaks -keep the money they earn- and the Government should get out of education, as it has proved to be appalling at providing it. It might also be argued (with justification) that teachers unions have undermined education and are the power behind the refusal to allow tax breaks to homeschooling families. Over here we certainly saw some poisonous union activity against home education during the Labour shenanigans.
Allowing families to keep the majority of their income would be just, presuming rights and responsibilites were handed back to families for the care and education of children, elderly, sick and disabled relatives and that there was a locally provided and resourced safety net for those who needed it. However, we all know that would never happen. The government is a greedy beast and there are too many poweful vested interests shouting for their piece of our flesh.
The NYT discussion is here. Comments are often the same old prejudices spouted over. It just shows how badly school has educated so many people.