From the HSDLA Mailing List: French homeschoolers are faced with a draconian bill which will be voted on by parliament within the next few days. We just received word about this bill today.
Homeschooling is currently allowed in France. However, this bill would essentially outlaw homeschooling. No parent would be allowed to homeschool unless they showed that the health or handicap of their child makes it necessary for him or her to be taught at home.
In addition, if a family could even prove they have a health issue or some other "serious" reason to justify their homeschool, they would then have to submit to a home visit by a government official each year. Also, their curriculum would be either provided by the "National Center of Correspondence Teaching (CNED)" or by an approved private correspondence school.
French homeschoolers believe this bill will essentially outlaw homeschooling as they know it in France. They plead for your help to stop this restrictive bill.
Homeschoolers in America have successfully stopped similar legislation in Ireland, the Czech Republic, and South Africa. In both Ireland and the Czech Republic, the restrictive homeschooling bills had already passed one house of parliament before we even got involved. Once we got involved the bills were stopped.
At this point we need you to communicate with the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. In a few days we will send another email asking you to communicate directly with the parliament members.
Please contact as soon as possible, by phone or email, the French Embassy and give them this message:
"Amendments 127 & 128, which would virtually outlaw homeschooling, are being voted on by the French parliament. If passed, this would cause a travesty. We cannot believe that a free country like France would outlaw such a basic right as parents choosing to homeschool their children. Over two million children are being successfully homeschooled in America. Homeschooling works. We ask that you immediately convey to the French government our concern and request that the bill language prohibiting homeschooling in nearly all circumstances be withdrawn."
Also, explain in a paragraph or two the wonderful success you have had with homeschooling.
Ambassador Jean-David Levitte
Homeschooling has long been allowed in France. Homeschoolers have to have regular testing and sometimes they are visited by an official, but for the most part operate freely. This bill would completely change that legal atmosphere and make it impossible for 95% of homeschoolers to operate.
Please take time to help our brothers and sisters in France, where the homeschool movement is small and they do not have a lot of organizations or numbers. Nonetheless, there are many sincere parents who love their children and want to faithfully teach them at home principles from the Word of God and personally train their children.
If homeschoolers don't try to help, who will? Please take a moment and contact the French Embassy.
Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel