This past January 2019 was Family Protection Ministries’ (FPM) and Christian Home Educators Association of California’s (CHEA) Capitol Day and Leadership Conference. Capitol Day has been held by FPM in Sacramento at the beginning of each new two-year legislative session for the past three decades. This year, CHEA joined us again in Sacramento to host the homeschool Leadership Conference in conjunction with Capitol Day. An outstanding team of homeschooling families and homeschool leaders were able to join us as they visited each of our state legislators’ Capitol offices in Sacramento, making this year’s Capitol Day a great success.
The goal of Capitol Day is to provide information about private home education to our California state legislators and their staff in a friendly, professional manner. This also allows them the opportunity to visit with real homeschool families.
Capitol Day serves several purposes:
- It informs this year’s newly elected legislators and their staff and reminds the veteran legislators of the benefits of private homeschooling.
- It strengthens our working relationship with them on a professional level.
- It leaves them with a way to contact us if they ever have any questions about home education.
Our Capitol Day volunteers visited each of the 120 legislators’ Capitol offices, providing each office with an information packet about private homeschooling. These packets help explain private home education as well as provide research showing that privately home-educated children do very well compared with students from the public schools.
This event is especially vital for the many new legislators and their new aides who have not yet become familiar with private home education. In fact, a significant number of the legislators and their aides have no idea how private homeschooling works, either practically or legally, or that there are homeschoolers in their districts. These visits go a long way toward helping them see that homeschoolers are good, law-abiding citizens who are living and working in their districts.
We had some incredible opportunities and speakers this year. On Wednesday evening, Pastor Frank Erb came to speak about his special ministry to our state legislators. On Thursday morning at the Capitol, Nathan Pierce trained our homeschool families for their visits to the Capitol offices. Joshua Hoover, the Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, joined us and gave us his background at the Capitol and tips for our Capitol office visits. Assemblyman Kiley joined us next and spoke on how to get involved in government as a student and how our visits greatly impacted our legislators. After hearing from Assemblyman Kiley, we visited legislators’ offices and delivered our Homeschool Information packets. We then had tours of the Capitol. In the afternoon, Senator Brian Jones enlightened us on how representatives from different backgrounds in the legislature accomplish goals and find common ground despite their differences. On Friday morning, our attendees had the opportunity to share their experiences of their visits to legislators’ offices with one another. We concluded with an inspiring message about the history of private homeschooling in California from Mike Smith, President of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Capitol Day was not only essential to informing our representatives about private home education, but it was also a fun and educational experience.
On Friday, CHEA’s Leadership Conference began and Nathan Pierce was joined by other speakers. We want to give special thanks to Rebecca Kocsis of CHEA, Mike Smith of HSLDA, Mary Schofield, Winnie Sato, and Andrew and Jenny Vandever for sharing on their important topics! This was a very encouraging event focused on passing the baton of homeschool leadership and advocacy to the next generation. Thank you, CHEA, for putting on this wonderful event to equip homeschool leaders and parents.
Our thanks also go to all who participated in Capitol Day 2019 and to each of you who support our work. We are continually working hard to preserve our God-given freedoms in the California Legislature. You will not want to miss our next Capitol Day, which will take place early next year, January 30-31, 2020. Click here for more information!