Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you’ve heard that homeschoolers are supporting Mike Huckabee which helped lead to his win in the Iowa Caucus. Personally, I know of one homeschooler supporting Mike Huckabee, that’s Mike Farris.
Mike Farris is a homeschooling dad and founder of Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Mike Farris and HSLDA have done and continue to do great things for homeschoolers internationally. Just because Mike Farris supports Mike Huckabee and has been able to make that known throughout America, does not mean that most or even many homeschoolers agree with him.
In July 2007, HSLDA’s radio program, Home School Heartbeat, interviewed Mike Huckabee. Huckabee was asked about his position on homeschooling. Here’s what he said,
Well, the government should have no decision role in what a family wishes to do with their children. That’s a family decision. Mothers and fathers make that decision, not the government. And if the family decides that homeschooling is the best environment, then the state should do everything they can to help support that family to carry out that decision.
What does his record say? In the May/June 1997 issue of The Home School Court Report, a magazine published by HSLDA, an article was published touting that a new law signed by Governor Huckabee had turned Arkansas from one of the worst states into one of the best. That does sound impressive, but let’s not stop there.
In the July/August 1997 issue (the very next issue, mind you) of The Home School Court Report, we find an article referring to Mike Huckabee and his signing a bill lowering the compulsory school age in Arkansas.
On April 9, 1997, Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas signed into law House Bill 1056 which will require children who are five years old by September 1 to attend school. The old law required that the child be five years old by October 1. Additionally, under prior law, a child who had not reached six years of age by October 1 did not have to attend kindergarten if the parent signed a kindergarten waiver form. The new law permits the waiver only if the child will not be five years old by September 1.
In the May/June 1999 issue of The Home School Court Report, an article was published regarding a bill passed in Arkansas.
The enactment of House Bill 1724 on April 5, 1999, gives Arkansas the unique distinction of becoming the first state in the nation to add restrictions to its existing home school law.
I guess we now know Huckabee’s definition of “support.” HSLDA is quite aware of Huckabee’s record and tries to explain away his signing of the bill by saying that it was the better of three evils. I’m curious as to who it was that held the gun to Mike Huckabee’s head and made him sign HB 1724 into law.
In April 2003, Mike Huckabee signed yet another bill amending Arkansas’ homeschool law.
Huckabee might have appeared at first to be a homeschool supporter, but as his governorship continued, he became less and less a homeschool supporter. No wonder he’s gained the endorsement of the NEA.
Fred Thompson has done a great job summing up Huckabee’s beliefs:
Huckabee has also managed to make it on Judicial Watch’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2007 list.