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Michigan senator plays coy about homeschool registry bill

Who will sponsor the bill, and what will be in it? Sen. Dayna Polehanki won’t say

A bill to create a homeschool registry in Michigan is coming, Sen. Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, said this week.

But Polehanki won’t say who will sponsor the bill, choosing to play coy. Polehanki also didn’t say what is in the bill, only that she “doesn’t see this going beyond registration.”

As Jennifer Chamber reported in The Detroit News:

Polehanki said a bill calling for homeschool registration is "probably" going to be introduced, and she is "probably" going to give it a hearing, but she didn't want to identify the lawmaker introducing it, saying it is not her place to do so.

"Someone is already introducing it. I can't say who," Polehanki said. "If they knew my head and mind, they would have nothing to worry about. I don't see this going beyond registration."

Polehanki is a former teacher and chairs the Senate Education Committee.

Critics of the plan, including State Board of Education member Tom McMillin, argue a registry will not be the end of it. McMillin’s remarks at a board meeting earlier in February went viral, as he raised the specter of knocks at the door from police and warrantless entry into homes.

Related reading: State board members warn of slippery slope in homeschool registry

Without evidence, State Superintendent Michael Rice has floated a theory that some children in Michigan aren’t receiving an education at all. Polehanki repeated that claim.

From the Detroit News story:

Polehanki recalled asking state Education Department officials years ago, while researching the kindergarten bill, how many children were not attending kindergarten. The officials said they didn’t know because they can’t count homeschoolers or private schoolers who don’t get state aid.

“And that is a problem for me when I can't get a simple question answered about how many kids attend kindergarten in our state,” Polehanki said. “I think Rice is correct in his assumption that there are kids out there not being educated at all.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.