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This article by FPM’s founder Roy Hanson is the first in a series of reprints that we will share with you in order to highlight how some state lawmakers are determined to implement more government control over your children’s education. The points in the following article that Roy articulated so well in 2004 are still valuable for us to consider today. King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”  The exact nature of the arguments for establishing mandatory kindergarten may have changed some, but the Legislature’s desire to make decisions regarding your children has not!  There is truly nothing new under the sun.  We must be vigilant in our efforts to protect our homeschool freedoms.  AB 56 that Roy wrote about in 2004 was defeated, but now the issue has come to the forefront again today with SB 70.  Please read our action alert regarding SB 70 and do what you can to help stop this invasive legislation.


By Roy M. Hanson, Jr.

Jan/Feb 2004

Most public policy makers and legislators see the role of the parent as just one member of a team that is responsible for preparing all children to be good citizens. For the most part, they see the government’s job as assigning responsibilities to the various team members, providing the resources, certifying the various team members, and holding everyone accountable to perform, and not neglect their responsibilities.

The parents’ assignment on the team is to coordinate their child’s daily life from birth to about 18 years. Parents are to see that the child’s basic needs are met and that the child is properly enrolled in school, gets proper medical care, and learns how to support the society in which they live.

Another member of the team is the public school system. In any society, the purpose of the official education system is to instill the values of that society in each successive group of children.

“Give me the children until they are seven and anyone may have them afterward.” -Francis Xavier

The National Education Association (NEA), as stated in their Resolution on Early Childhood Education, “recognizes the importance of parental involvement in a child’s development.” However, this resolution promotes federal legislation to fully fund “early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight.”  What is “parental involvement” in the NEA’s eyes? Parents are consigned to being aware “of the expectations that will be placed on the child [in the public-school programs] as well as familiarization with new policies and procedures that the child will experience in the new environment.”

Parents are expected to turn their children over to the government’s expert team members and unquestioningly support and assist in anything they want to do. Our Legislature is very close to requiring all 5-year-olds to enroll in school (AB 56) [and now again in 2021 with SB 70]. At this time, 6 to 18-year-olds must enroll in a public school, a private school, or be taught by a tutor. Children under 4 years and 9 months cannot enroll in kindergarten, but can enroll in a preschool.

Preschools are highly regulated and must be licensed by the Department of Social Services. Proponents of universal preschool and government control over all children see mandatory kindergarten as the necessary next step in order to incrementally establish seamless cradle-to-grave control over what people think and how people behave.

Proponents of mandatory kindergarten argue that children must meet the Content Standards for California Public Schools — Kindergarten in order to be prepared for the first grade. The proponents’ next step would be to claim that younger children must be prepared to enter kindergarten. The Legislature and the past Governor [Gray Davis] have already authorized a pilot program to prepare 3 and 4-year-olds for kindergarten (AB 25 – 1999). The Cato Institute noted in their 1999 Policy Analysis, Universal Preschool is No Golden Ticket, “Given historic and current trends, it seems likely that the mandatory participation of three- and four-year-old children in preschool could be required by many states in the early part of the next [this] century.”

In addition to persuading legislators that children require academic preparation by the public school system prior to entering elementary school, “experts” of the same mindset are working to convince legislators that the government must take control of the minds of children well before the age of five in order to stop youth violence in later years. They view the family as an “incubator [where] children are most frequently manipulated, coerced, degraded, inoculated with destructive beliefs, and exposed to violence.” (Testimony before a joint committee of the California Legislature — Safe from the Start: Reducing Children’s Exposure to Violence — March 7, 2001)

Private homeschoolers may well ask, “How can this affect me if I keep my children at home and enroll them in my own small private school?” If the mandatory age for compulsory education is ever lowered to 3 or 4 years of age, parents who plan to keep their own children at home during the ages of 3 to 4 would have to establish a preschool, licensed by the Department of Social Services, and enroll their young children in their preschool until they were old enough to enroll in their private school kindergarten. This would place parents who run their own preschools under control of government authorities in the privacy of their home. This disastrous situation also would require that the parents would meet all of the extensive licensing requirements imposed on preschools. Otherwise, parents would be forced to send their 3- and 4-year-old children out of the home to a government-licensed preschool. This is a strategy for institutionalizing all 3- and 4-year-olds in a glorified “day care” program.

They have figured out that the term preschool “sells” better than the term day care. It is imperative that every parent keep well informed, understand their Biblical and Constitutional responsibilities, and take every appropriate action to protect their right and responsibility to protect and raise their own children without governmental interference. For detailed suggested action, please read our [SB 70] Legislative Alert.

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