by Dianne Padget
Every once in awhile, the Lord gives you an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than you imagined, and you get to see Him work in amazing ways. Wednesday, April 25, 2018, representing CHEA of California, I traveled to Sacramento with two PSP (private school satellite program) leaders, Michelle Becerra and Tonya Salinas, to participate in our state government. Both of those PSPs represented are members of CHEA’s Support Network. The goal was to gather homeschoolers, and convince the Assembly Education Committee to vote no on AB2756, a bill that would have started the collection of names and family sizes of private home educators.
The Line Continued to Grow
We took an early morning flight that got us to the State Capitol by about 8:30, enabling us to get second row seats for the hearing. As we waited in line, people joined us, until the line was around the corner and down the hall. We were pretty excited; it seemed as if there were over 300 people ready to take a stand. The kids were sitting on the floor in line, playing cards, reading books, some even doing schoolwork. We chatted, talked to other parents, and met up with other leaders from the state. The line continued to grow, and as the time neared to go into the meeting room, it had gone through all the halls and was back at the beginning! One legislator was heard in the halls stating, “This is what happens when you wake a sleeping giant.”
For or Against?
As the meeting convened, we heard Jose Medina speak about the bill and what he hoped to accomplish. Then we heard two speakers who supported the bill, (one from Riverside County who directly referenced the Turpin Family case) and two opposed, including Family Protection Ministry’s Nathan Pierce. Nathan’s first comment was how appalled we all are about that case and that we continue pray for healing for this family. It was pointed out that one situation does not represent homeschooling.
Then the public comments started. One person from Riverside County came and said she supported the bill. After that the floodgates opened. Parents (calling themselves both homeschool and parent educators), children, law enforcement officers, homeschool graduates (both high school and college), homeschool grandparents, California certified teachers, multiple degreed individuals, and even those who identified themselves as liberal Democrats stood for their beliefs. They all stepped up, respectfully stated their names, who/what they were (homeschool parent or student, school administrator, etc) and that they oppose the bill. This went on for more than three hours! Some of our math whizzes figured out more than 3,000 people made their statement of opposition! The committee members watched carefully, then as the time went on, were smiling, and even taking photos.
A Very Long Day
When the line finally finished, the committee said they were unable to vote since they had no quorum. This had many concerned about what would happen behind closed doors. What did happen was when the committee was asked to bring up the bill for a vote at the end of the session, around 8 p.m., no one entered the motion to do so. At the end of a very long day, the bill was defeated.
Seeing homeschool families from all over the state, from different demographics, ethnicities, ages and political parties, all join together to defeat this bill and stand up for what they believe in, has given me a renewed sense of excitement about our state. God can work even in Babylon, and that we had the opportunity to participate is something I won’t ever forget.
Dianne Padget serves as Administrative Assistant for CHEA of California, and for years has run the annual Used Curriculum Sale at the Annual CHEA Homeschool Convention.
Join us at CHEA’s 35th Annual Homeschool Convention June 28-30, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center.