Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Mayor Is Knee Deep In It

A friend of mine wrote a wonderful homeschooling book recently. I was hoping to finish reading the last part of the book so that I could post a review about it. I think it's a wonderful resource and as soon as I finish reading it, I'll tell you all about it and how you can purchase it. If you homeschool, you'll want a copy of it. I felt I should write and tell you of the challenges this friend has faced this week because she homeschools her children.

My friend and I share the same name. She has five children and has written several books about local places. She started writing this homeschool book some time ago but recently it was published and she started doing things around town to promote the book. One way she does that is by holding book signings at various locations in our area. She's done them at the local homeschool bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and the public libraries in surrounding cities. She had a book signing and informational meeting planned this week at a local library near her home. Some time during the week, she received a call from the librarian telling her that the program had been cancelled. When she inquired as to why, she was told that the city mayor suggested the library to cancel it. She was outraged and proceeded to call Home School Legal Defense to ask about the legality of such an act by the mayor. She also contacted a local newspaper to get the word out. Once the local paper did an interview, other news stations in the surrounding area started to call her for an interview.

Basically, the mayor told the public librarian that they shouldn't sponsor programs that did not support the public school system. The librarian says that the mayor suggested the library cancel the program and that's what the library did. Now the mayor says he never meant for the library to cancel. He just suggested they think about their sponsorship of programs like this. He went on to say that the local county school looses $7000 a year for each child who is homeschooled. We are all baffled at that statement since the school system was never given money for our children in the first place. That money is never on the table because our kids have never entered the school system. So, how do you lose something you were never given? Go figure. And what do they do with $7000 a year? If I were to purchase a full curriculum homeschool package for BOTH of my children, it would only cost around $1100 for the year. Since we never purchase full curriculums, we spend around $500 for both children each year. You see my point? Where does all that money go? Further more, it's a public library, for use by everyone. It's paid for by taxpayers, like you and me, no matter the school status of our children.

To sum it all up, the mayor is trying to back his way out of this one by saying he didn't imply this or didn't mean that. He would not speak on camera with local news crews and his comments came via the local city attorney. Funny if you ask me. The program was rescheduled and is on for today. Alot of us in the homeschooling community are hoping to show up in support of our friend. We want to show the library that we appreciate their sponsoring programs of all sorts that many can benefit from. Not just as homeschoolers but as citizens. So, off we go in a few hours to show our support. It should be an interesting meeting and I can't wait to see the community turnout. I'll leave you with a link to one of the interviews my friend did with our local media.

post signature


Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Since the library is most likely funded by state and national funds, it cannot discriminate as to who and what it benefits. In this case, it should do things to benefit both public and private shooling. (Or do nothing for either.) The mayor sounds a little short-sighted. Probably the school is saying they lost $7000 for every homeschooler because that's how much government funding (via grants, etc.) they average for each student. But, they also have no expenses so they aren't losing as much as they think!

LoveMyStarr said...

I just think that was stupid on the mayor's part. Now, she's got a lot more promotion!