by Corie Moore
We headed to the Capitol for CHAP HELP Day equipped with legislature folders and educational packets for another Home Education Lobby Program.
It was a perfect day. The spring air was invigorating. We entered the rotunda, immediately reminded that this is that hallowed place where everyone comes to petition their state government up close and personal. It was a beautiful sight of families arriving with home baked cookies, breads and pies, children in tow, and pushing more precious little ones in strollers against the backdrop of professionally dressed men and women in suits and high heels.
It was a busy day. The Capitol was buzzing with people and activities from pharmaceutical companies, to new campaign legislation, to trade schools, and all sorts of other causes. There were various displays and events one after another at the two rotundas, but not one of them was asking to not be a burden to the government. Not one was offering independence from state protection and provision.
It was a dynamic day. An unintended consequence of being on location at the right time is the opportunity to meet new friends who are current home school advocates, as well as aspiring legislators who are not only future supporters but also homeschooling parents themselves. Their stories began with many different educational choices, but ultimately led up to a resolute decision that they are the best people to teach their own.
It was a hope filled day. We met the first homeschool graduate in the legislature, Rep. Jesse Topper, only two months in office after a special election. He grew up active in the community, 4-H, sports, church and is an Eagle Scout, and is refreshingly familiar with taking the brunt of homeschool jokes like, "You must be the valedictorian!" which he relates with humble pride.
It was a charged day. It was charged with blessings! We had a sense that Providence has graciously put all of our ducks in a row this legislative season - which is worth expounding on in the near future - but having Dee Black from HSLDA speak reminded us of ongoing series of attempts in the past to modify the statutes that burden home educators in our State. To be honest, many of us were not aware! Dewitt Black has a long history as
senior counsel at HSLDA. This speaks of his dedication and service offered us through
the Home School Legal Defense Association. Personally, I don't think my
family's small yearly membership even covers their legal consultation and fees. Pennsylvania
It was also a motivating day, to hear the passion and commitment Rep. Mark Gillen is investing in House Bill 1013. In contrast, the easiest thing for most legislators to do is maintain the status quo, unless there is overwhelming evidence that they can take this bill to the finish line. After all, this is just one of the thousands of bills and resolutions before the General Assembly with the largest full time membership in the nation.
To end this God-inspired day, we can be certain that this is the time to come together, work hard, share the good news to everybody we know -- that we have a great shot at gaining freedom to educate in a less restrictive environment, to be liberated from discrimination despite compliance to a regimented set of academic standards, and a better chance for our children to continue learning at home even in the event that our local superintendent brings a claim against our education program.
May God find us faithful to fight to regain domains that He, in His wisdom and love, allotted to us, as parents.
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Reference to specific legislators does not mean campaign endorsement. CHAP is a 501c3 organization.