It is an honor to be here with some of our state’s most gifted students and most committed teachers: the members of the Texas Home School Coalition.
My parents didn’t home school me, but the size of our rural community made it seem that they were practically in the classroom with me, given the way that news of my behavior at school often got home before I did.
I’m proud that our state has more home school families than any other and I was proud to officially proclaim April 5th through 11th Home School Week here in Texas.
As a product of public schools myself, and a parent who helped guide two children through them, I believe in the value of a public education.
I am committed to improving public education for the majority of Texas children, because it is their main ticket to a future of opportunity. However, I also understand that public education may not be the best choice for every family.
In some cases the best option is the local public school or maybe a charter school. In other cases, a private or religious setting might be more appropriate.
For more and more students every day, the best educational option is a classroom in the home.
Every child is entitled to a public education, but public education is not entitled to every child.
Whatever decision is made on the location and style of a child’s education, I believe the responsibility and freedom of that choice resides with a child’s parent.
For those who choose to teach their children at home, I believe government regulation should stop at the front door.
That is why I encourage our legislators to take a close look at the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act sponsored by Representative King. The family unit is the essential building block of our society and we should do our best to protect it here in Texas.
I am proud of the steps we have taken in Texas to protect the freedoms of home school families, and encourage this essential segment of our state’s overall approach to education.
We have worked with the Texas Education Agency to clarify the rights of home schoolers, including the process for awarding transfer credits.
In 2003, we passed a law that requires state colleges and universities to use the same admission standards for all students, regardless of the type of school they graduated from.
I hope that this session is remembered for our success in clarifying even more protections for home school families.
Parental involvement is essential to every child’s success, and it’s hard to imagine a more involved parent than one who makes the sacrifices required to teach their child at home.
This investment in your children’s education will not only improve their future... but the future of this entire state.
Thank you all for your commitment. May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.