This past February 4th and 5th was the biennial Family Protection Ministries’ Family Action Capitol Event (F.A.C.E.) at the state capitol in Sacramento.
The goal of this special event is to provide a very nice packet of positive information about private home education to our state legislators and their staff, and to allow them the opportunity to visit with real homeschool families.
Family Protection Ministries (FPM) organizes this opportunity at the beginning of each new two-year legislative session. We visited all of California’s legislative offices. The California Legislature is composed of 80 Assembly and 40 Senate offices. Although space was unfortunately limited, we were blessed with an outstanding team of volunteer private homeschool families who partnered with us to make this a success.
Our Legislator Packet contains materials developed by FPM, CHEA, HSLDA, and the National Home Education Research Institute. The packets included information explaining private home education, as well as research showing that home-educated children do very well compared to students from the public schools. The information also included our list of reasons why there should not be any legislation regulating private home education. In California, we have worked hard to maintain our status as private schools.
The F.A.C.E. event serves several purposes:
(1) It informs this year’s newly elected legislators and their staff and reminds the veteran legislators of the benefits of homeschooling;
(2) It establishes and strengthens our working relationship on a professional level; and
(3) It leaves legislative offices with a way to contact us in case any questions arise later regarding legislation and whenever their constituents need information on homeschooling.
This event is especially vital for the many new legislators and their aides who have not yet become familiar with private home education. In fact, a significant number of the legislators and their aides had no idea how private homeschooling works, either practically or legally, or that there are homeschoolers in their districts. This FPM event is strategically important in helping prevent legislation from being introduced that would be hurtful to private home education.
We had a couple of special highlights this year: The first day was spent hearing from inspirational legislators and legislative staff as they shared their insights and experiences. We were honored to hear from homeschool graduate and Legislative Aide Josh Hoover, veteran Legislative Director David Yow, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Assemblyman Brian Jones, and State Senator Joel Anderson. The second day of the event consisted of activities such as visiting legislators and their staff, delivering information packets, and going on a private Capitol tour. F.A.C.E. was not only essential to informing our representatives about private home education, but it was also a fun and educational experience for everyone.
Our thanks go to all who participated in F.A.C.E. 2013-2014 and to each of you who support our work that makes this critical endeavor possible.