Categorized | News, Opinion


I was not sure I’d write about the retirement of Rep. George Miller (D-CA) but this fawning praise in the Nation did me in:  I had to speak out!

First, let’s give credit where due:  Cong. Miller was a true believer; he was true to his principles.  That’s a good thing – even if you are wrong again and again. (Although Miller is right about the Trans-Pacific Partnership)

For decades, as a senior member of California’s influential House delegation, Miller has led the fight for living wages, strong unions, public education, national healthcare, environmental protection, civil liberties and civil rights.

But this paragraph in the Nation article is enough to give Miller his place in infamy!

A quarter century ago he helped a newly elected congresswoman from a neighboring district, Nancy Pelosi, learn the intricacies of the Capitol, and he remained her steadiest ally as she rose to become the Speaker of the House.

That’s a bit like teaching Lincoln constitutional law or how to prosecute the war!

But let’s not leave the tribute to Rep. Miller without his attempt to bring homeschooling under federal control!  Here’s the article from HSLDA – read it and be encouraged at the power of an aroused electorate!  Here’s some highlights:

The Teacher Certificate Amendment
Just before sending H.R. 6 back to the House floor, the Education and Labor Committee approved Congressman George Miller’s amendment (Section 2124(e)). His amendment stated: ASSURANCE.—Each State applying for funds under this title shall provide the Secretary with the assurance that after July 1, 1998, it will require each local educational agency within the State to certify that each full time teacher in schools under the jurisdiction of the agency is certified to teach in the subject area to which he or she is assigned.
This amendment alone would have raised serious concerns for home schoolers. But coupled with the new definition of schools, it was deadly. The word “nonprofit” had been added to the definition of schools in H.R. 6, changing the definition for the first time since ESEA was enacted in 1965.

So Dick Armey tried to get an amendment to exempt homeschooling from this federal mandate.  But Miller said nothing doing!  So Armey, Mike Farris and the HSLDA went to action to stir the public to prayer and action:

On Thursday, February 17, more than 60 local home schoolers volunteered to participate in an emergency Congressional Action Program lobby day. Congressional switchboards became so overloaded due to the amount of calls they were receiving that they literally shut down. Besieged by over 20,000 telephone calls to his office alone, Congressman Miller’s staff finally put an answering machine on with a message indicating that he had no intent to regulate home schoolers.
By 9:00 a.m. the following morning, the Capitol Hill switchboards were again jammed as tens of thousands of calls flooded congressional offices. Across America, home schoolers called radio stations, faxed letters, and distributed literature on the “Home School/Private School Freedom Amendment” written by Mike Farris and sponsored by Congressman Dick Armey. When the receptionists for certain congressmen began giving false information about H.R. 6 to callers, the National Center sent another fax broadcast to help home schoolers respond to confusing and misleading statements about the bill.

That’s not all:

Little did Congress know that the battle had just begun. On Monday, February 21 (President’s Day ), Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio show featured Michael Farris and former Congressman Bob McEwen discussing the implications of H.R. 6. HSLDA’s membership began receiving their Urgent Alert letters in the mail. Several Christian school organizations actively jumped on the H.R. 6 bandwagon, sending out their own mailings and fax alerts. Rush Limbaugh discussed H.R 6 on his radio show. Capitol Hill switchboards again closed down as record-breaking numbers of telephone calls poured into Congress.
On Tuesday, February 22, the second wave of telephone calls hit Congress in full force. For the rest of the day, no one on Capitol Hill would get anything done. Several congressmen could not even reach their own staff by telephone. Around the country, thousands of Christians were praying for deliverance from the oppressive regulations that would deprive them of the right to train their children at home.

Finally, Miller had to concede defeat!  (Thank the Lord!)

Home schoolers around the country watched C-Span with bated breath as congressmen from both parties lined up four and five deep to publicly state their support for the cause of home educators. After an hour-and-a-half of debate, the House voted on the Armey amendment, and home schoolers won a stunning 374-53 victory! HSLDA sent out fax number five announcing the victory to the home school community. Thanks be to God!

So, I am sure the apologists for Rep. Miller will say, he did not intend to fight homeschooling.  But why was all this needed then?  Miller arrogantly thought he could slip it by in a time when the House was still controlled by the Dems.  He also did not anticipate the reaction from an aroused public.  Homeschooling is an issue that we must protect.  The psychobabble about America, the world and science taught in most of the public schools today is unacceptable.





About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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