Governor fixes executive order that banned ‘in-person’ homeschooling

By WND Staff

 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Michigan (Video screenshot)

The Democratic governor of Michigan, whose coronavirus orders have included banning residents from going house to house, has fixed an order she issued that effectively banned homeschooling.

Her original order said that all “in-person” instruction of children was forbidden.

That drew the concern of the Great Lakes Justice Center, which called the restriction unconstitutional.

Now Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has clarified that “the order’s suspension of in-person instruction” does not “prohibit homeschooling.”

She also said the order does not ban virtual, cyber or otherwise, instruction.

GLJC said the governor “is still ignoring the fact that she has no authority over public school operations which [are] the prerogative of the state Board of Education.”

The governor’s April 2 order stated that “in-person instruction for pupils in kindergarten through grade 12 … is suspended for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.”

It applies to all “non-public” schools in the state.

One homeschooler explained to WND that some homeschooling in the state had remained legal, because there are two different statutes that can apply, and only one was targeted by the governor’s order.

After the governor’s first order, she “clearly has the authority to close school buildings,” the legal team acknowledged.

However, “Michigan law defines home schools as nonpublic schools,” meaning homeschooling was banned.

Great Lakes Justice spokesman David Kallman had said the governor had “no authority to direct nonpublic schools (i.e., private schools and home schools) to operate their educational programs and processes in any particular way.”

“Further, parents have a fundamental constitutional right to raise and educate their children,” the organization said.

“Gov. Whitmer’s EO usurps the authority of the State Board of Education over public schools,” the organization said. “The governor overstepped her authority by ordering public schools to operate in a certain manner, to mandate educational credit, etc.

“The governor holds no legal authority to enact the expansive educational orders mandated in EO 2020-35. Declaring an emergency to deal with a public health crisis does not bestow control over the public-school system to the governor. When officials improperly exercise power beyond that provided in law it violates principles of good governance and the Rule of Law,” the organization said.

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