Should I Register

A Historic Case why Registration Matters to Illinois Homeschoolers: Richard Martwick's Legacy on Illinois Homeschooling

Richard Martwick served as Cook County Regional Superintendent of Education from 1970 until 1994 when his office was removed making Martwick the very last Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools. Today, Chicago has somewhat different school laws because Chicago alone has no Regional Office of Education (ROE) and has the Chicago Board of Education instead.

Martwick, during his tenure, convinced many of Chicago's homeschool families to register so he could provide them with extra services. He did provide extra services at first, convincing others to register as well. He then sent out truant officers to intimidate, harass, and take to court every one of those families that registered. Many were forced into full time public school enrollment.

This has happened in other ROEs as well and this is why Illinois Homeschool Association has long urged families to not register as we view it as being overly compliant.

Interested in more information on this? Here is some of the background story:

Note: The following is written from the Christian perspective. No offense to non-Christians is intended by our inclusion of it here. We simply think it is an important piece of good, clear writing.

IL Homeschoolers--Eight Reasons Not to Register

(Copyright by Harvey Bluedorn, New Boston, IL; Permission given)

1. Because there is no requirement to register in Illinois. Period. Administrators attempt to impose their will upon individuals through intimidation, harassment and coercion. They invent requirements which have no foundation in law. When our freedoms are infringed upon by government bureaucrats, they become emboldened to take the matter another step.

2. Because voluntary registration sets an administrative precedent. Judges are inclined to enforce administrative rules (however improper) when administrators can demonstrate large-scale (not majority) compliance. Administrators use such compliance as their main argument for the legislature to make their invention law. Legislators will give administrators what they want if the administrators can demonstrate large scale compliance already. If there was large scale resistance, it would take stronger arguments to get them to impose universal compliance by statute. It is far easier to refuse them in the initial stage than it is to fight them in the final stage.

3. Because what you do affects everyone else. You may not be convinced that registration is unadvisable or wrong. But many other homeschoolers are so convinced. Your registration is a large share of the argument used by bureaucrats with legislators to pass a universal compulsory registration law.

4. Because registration may be used for dual enrollment without your knowledge. We know this happens in other states. The school district receives appropriations of thousands of dollars for your child while all educational efforts and expenses are your own, along with the burden of administrative compliance.

5. Because the notorious "statement of assurance" which once circulated in Illinois was a legal contract which placed you under the administrative authority of the public school system. Once you signed, your legal status changed from a free (non-government) school to a government school.

6. Because under God the civil government is instituted for purposes of protection, while the family is instituted for purposes of nurturing. These are two distinct jurisdictions of authority. The civil government has no authority under God for education, and is thereby usurping authority of the family in this regard.

7. Because it is easier to defend ground you hold, than to fight to regain ground you've lost. Illinois is the free-most state in the nation--perhaps in the world--with regard to private education. We must maintain this ground. We must remain free of government tentacles of regulation. Registration is the first step of regulation.

8. Because you must take a stand somewhere. Where are you going to draw the line? Registration? Approval (licensing)? Certification? Accounting (tests, portfolios, interviews, monitors)? Full regulation (bureaucratic control, fines, imprisonments, removal of children for non-compliance)? Registration is the act which opens the door to everything else. Have you ever seen a bureaucracy shrink or a governmental budget decrease? If you don't keep the first domino from falling, you can't keep the others from falling, and once they have fallen, you can't put humpty dumpty together again. The place to draw the line is at the first domino. Resist all attempts at registration.

Because you are fighting for your own rights, freedoms and liberties.

Because you are fighting for your children's lives.

Because you are fighting for the cause of God.