Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Now Parents, Who Homeschool Their Children, Should Support Senate Ratification of the CRPD: New Senate CRPD Resolution Addressed Their Concern


The Senate will recess on September 23rd, and not return until after the elections, November 4th. In the lame duck session that begins after the elections, there’s not a snowball’s chance that the Senate will schedule a floor vote on the resolution on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). So our best chance is from now until September 23rd.

The group who could help us get to a floor vote and get at least the 67 votes we need to ratify the CRPD are parents who homeschool their children. They have been a visible, effective force in opposition to the CRPD. The principle reason for this is that the text in the first resolution, which failed to pass in the Senate on December 4, 2012, did not clearly express their right to homeschool their children. Well, Senator Barrasso, a supporter of the CRPD, heard them loud and clear. He offered text to the CRPD resolution in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee mark up. It was accepted and became part of the final resolution on July 22, 2014. You can read the words below. The changes made in 2014 are highlighted.

Best Interests of the Child Understanding in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 31, 2012
Best Interests of the Child Understandings in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 28, 2014
(8) The United States of America understands that, for the United States of America, the term or principle of the ‘‘best interests of the child’’ as used in Article 7(2), will be applied and interpreted to be coextensive with its application and interpretation under United States law. Consistent with this understanding, nothing in Article 7 requires a change to existing United States law.
(8) The United States of America understands that, for the United States of America, the term or principle of the ‘‘best interests of the child’’ as used in Article 7(2), will be applied and interpreted to be coextensive with its application and interpretation under United States law. Consistent with this understanding, nothing in Article 7 requires a change to existing United States Federal, State, or local law.


(9) Nothing in the Convention limits the rights of parents to homeschool their children.

There are so many provisions in the CRPD that are in line with what parents, who homeschool, want for their families and children. These parents love the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act’s birthdays, and are likely to embrace the newly reauthorized Rehabilitation Act. These are laws that would be our basis for complying with the CRPD.

I think many do not realize the victory they achieved through Senator Barrasso’s text. Its specificity is unprecedented. If the CRPD were to be ratified by the Senate, these parents could suggest to parents in other countries, which do not allow parents to homeschool, to consider using such language to secure permission to homeschool.

I urge you to share the Barrasso text with parents who homeschool and ask them to join us in securing Senate ratification of the CRPD. There’s not a minute to waste.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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