Our Annual Letter
Happy Thanksgiving from Nathan and Betsy Pierce and the staff of Family Protection Ministries! We pray that your Christmas and New Year are filled with the hope and grace of Jesus Christ as the joy of the Lord strengthens you for the new year ahead.
We give thanks and praise to God for your partnership in prayer, volunteer hours, and financial support of FPM. God has miraculously again preserved 100% of our private home education freedoms this year!
However, despite our victories, governmental authorities have persistently diminished parental rights. Many more families chose private homeschooling this year, drawing much attention to it. We ask for your help financially so we can continue to defend our freedoms in California next year!
Family Protection Ministries (FPM) protects private homeschool freedoms by monitoring all legislative proposals, interacting with the California Legislature and other governmental agencies, and intervening on your behalf. With the legal help of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) attorneys, we have worked, and will continue to work diligently, on the following and all future bills, executive orders, and other issues.
One of the bills we worked on this year was SB 70. This bill contained language regarding a requirement for students in California to attend kindergarten prior to attending first grade. SB 70 was a direct threat to the education and development of children and would have diminished parental rights. The bill also would have forced the addition of one more year to a child’s education. Fortunately, FPM’s Nathan Pierce had been working with the author’s staff and the sponsor of the wording of the bill in the previous year, 2020, which gave us a foot in the door on discussions about SB 70 early on.
Nathan (in consultation with HSLDA President, Mike Smith) intervened behind the scenes. During several meetings, Nathan worked with the bill author’s staff and the bill’s sponsor on amendment language that would exclude private schools from the requirement. Nathan also testified in two committees against SB 70. FPM sent Action Alerts asking people to call the author and committee members’ offices to voice their opposition.
The author’s office told us they received many calls from homeschoolers who were concerned about the bill. Finally, the amendment language was approved by the bill’s author and sponsor. Thank you to everyone who called legislators on this bill! We will continue to monitor SB 70 as it advances in the legislative process to ensure that our freedoms are protected from this dangerous bill. We have made many requests over the years to amend mandatory kindergarten bills to exclude private schools. This year, for the first time, we successfully got the language in. We are praying this is a turning point in how these kinds of bills will be addressed in the future.
During budget deliberations this summer, a longitudinal student database system was added into AB 132 as part of the budget that was sent to the Governor. The longitudinal database plan does not include private school students (consistent with the work we did on SB 2 and other bills back in 2019), so this will not impact private school students including private homeschool students. AB 132 was signed into law by Governor Newsom in July 2021. We are grateful that the work we did in 2018 and 2019 on the student database bill (SB 2) yielded a victory for homeschoolers even during closed door meetings that we had no access to this year. God was certainly with us.
Our legislative work remained intense this year. We also had to expand our time spent on regulations and guidance. In consultation with HSLDA, we answered many questions from parents and homeschool leaders and directed them to the right resource as they faced many new challenges. The result has been an increase in our overall workload.
We must be prepared and stand firm in our defense and not allow any governmental overreach into private home education. We can only do this with your help.
Our Important Upcoming Financial Need:
Family Protection Ministries is your early warning and response system for attacks on our homeschool freedoms. We are like firemen. We need to be trained, equipped, and in place before the fire hits, not afterwards, if we want to prevent a disaster. Would you help us financially so we can continue to invest in the current and future freedoms of our children and grandchildren?
The continued COVID-19 restrictions made it so that some annual homeschool conferences and large and small speaking events where Nathan was scheduled to speak were cancelled. We traditionally meet new homeschoolers at these events, some of whom become regular donors. Without those conferences and speaking events, we have seen a severe drop in new donors.
We realize many household incomes have been affected by COVID-19 mandates and restrictions and even loss of jobs, resulting in a need to stop giving to FPM. Please know we are praying for you.
With a drop in supporters and increasing economic inflation, we have a pressing need now, especially for increased monthly donations and generous one-time gifts. Would you partner with us so we can continue leading the fight for our God-given liberties in 2022?
We so appreciate the faithful, regular support that some of you have continued to send FPM despite the economic impact that we are seeing because of closures and mandates. We are deeply grateful for you! Would you please consider giving an extra amount at this time?
You can donate to FPM online at http://www.fpmca.org/donate or mail your contribution using the enclosed envelope. Thank you for considering the needs of this ministry. Please tell others about our work and why they should support FPM as well, and please continue to pray for us.
We are totally dependent upon God’s provision through individuals, families, and groups supportive of private home education for our financial support. Your end-of-the-year giving has always been critical to sustaining this ministry.
Celebrating 35 Years
You are truly an invaluable part of our support team. We appreciate you so much and thank you for your prayers, encouraging notes, and financial gifts. As we celebrate FPM’s 35 years, it is humbling to look back on all the victories God has worked through FPM to preserve private homeschooling in California. We praise God for his grace, provision, endurance, and mighty power in blessing and preserving our work the past three decades.
God has been and certainly continues to be with us as we seek His will and accomplish what He has set out for us to do. Please partner with us so that we can continue to do the Lord’s work.
We are praying for you and that you may put on the whole armor of God in the coming year as we continually face the enemy’s flaming darts. No matter how much darkness surrounds us, we know God’s plans will always prevail!
In His Service,
Nathan B. Pierce
P.S. from Director Nathan Pierce
Our Founder Roy Hanson worked tirelessly to lead FPM for over 30 years, advocating successfully for homeschooling and YOU, the parents! As we mark FPM’s 35th year, we would be remiss to neglect mentioning our founder and the work he did for homeschool freedom in California and across the nation. In the three decades that FPM operated under Roy’s leadership, there were many victories that families and homeschoolers still benefit from today.
Roy, who founded FPM in 1986, led this ministry in research, homeschool advocacy, and communicating the concerns and dangers that he saw to homeschool families during his time at FPM. Roy frequently saw things long before anyone else did. Many of you know this and remember the times you were alerted to things by Roy’s insights. I am grateful for all he has done, the training I received from Roy, and the skills I learned from him during the many years working together.
As we celebrate our 35th year and look back at the many victories God has given us, I also wanted to share with you excerpts from a letter written by our Founder Roy Hanson several years ago.
“Passing the Baton”
By Roy Hanson
I am thankful for all of you who have supported Family Protection Ministries over the many years through your vital prayers and financial support. We have seen so many instances of God’s grace, provision, and power over the years as we have endeavored to preserve private homeschooling in the state of California.
I have served as executive director for 32 years, since the time HSLDA and CHEA asked me to serve full time and establish this ministry to assure that California state laws protected the God-given and constitutional rights of parents to direct the education and care of their children…
I want to thank you personally for supporting FPM, which I believe God has preserved and worked through from the beginning. His work does not stop with my retirement, and so I ask that you continue to pray for FPM and Nathan… I also ask that you would support the ministry as a whole by regularly giving financially so that we can continue to preserve private homeschooling for future generations…
I trust that God will continue to use FPM for His purposes.
FPM’s work has continued on since Roy’s retirement. It continues today, and with God’s blessing it will continue for many generations to come.