Always Supported Home Schooling?

Yesterday, I was interviewed by a reporter doing a story on why THSC PAC is supporting Steve Toth, who is opposing State Representative Rob Eissler (HD 15) for re-election in the Republican Primary. I explained that we had supported Mr. Eissler in the past, but as a result of his dishonesty with us in the last legislative session and killing legislation that was very important to the home school community, we decided to support his opponent.

I wrote about Representative Eissler’s duplicitous action with THSC last spring. The reporter asked me why the issue of UIL participation was so important to us. I should have asked her why it was so important to the public school superintendents who opposed it so strongly. However, I explained that it was a matter of fairness. Home schoolers pay taxes to support public education at the state, as well as the local, level and should be allowed to participate if parents wish.

The reporter then asked if I was willing to “irreparably damage my relationship with the Chairman of the Public Education Committee over this.” My response was, “What will he do, kill my legislation? He has already done that.  This guy said to me, ‘I’ve always been there for the home schoolers,’ while he was killing one of the most important pieces of legislation to the home school community.”

Later yesterday, I was contacted by Representative Jim Murphy (HD 133) who was upset that we had endorsed his opponent, a home school grandmother, Ann Witt. His consultant contacted me first regarding comments that I made about Murphy supporting daytime curfews and opposing legislation to limit the production and sale of pornography. When the consultant told me that Representative Murphy did not hold those positions, I sent him documentation of Representative Murphy’s response to our questionnaire.

Representative Murphy left me a terse message, stating he would like to speak with me and explaining he may have “hit the wrong button(s)” in our survey, but that he “had always supported us and that was surely worth something!” When I talked to him, he confirmed completing the questionnaire, as we had expressed, but told me that he did not hold those positions. I agreed to accept his assurance. He also told me that he “supported home schoolers 100%.”

I explained to Representative Murphy that THSC had worked last session to pass the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act (TPRRA) and had contacted his office on at least four occasions to explain the critical issue and the need to pass this legislation to protect innocent families. We requested his support in co-sponsoring the legislation. He and his office never responded to us regarding that request.

Representative Eissler and Representative Murphy may continue to tell home schoolers that they support us and they have “always been there for us,” but that is no longer enough. As we often say in Texas, “Talk is cheap!” Words are no longer enough. Candidates who want support from the home school community must show by their action, not just their words, that they support the right of parents to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children. THSC PAC has listed the candidates we believe truly support home schooling, and we urge you to vote for them and work toward their election.

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