Michigan homeschool families are gearing up for a fight in Lansing, where Democrats are fantasizing about the possibility of requiring them to register with the state.

So far, it’s been all talk and no bills, although the idea alone is prompting thousands to organize against the move.

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Rep. Jaime Greene, R-Richmond, a homeschool mom, teamed with prominent Michigan attorney Dave Kallman to address the issue at a “Homeschool Freedom Summit” during an Inspirational Networking Conference for Homeschoolers in Lansing last week that drew more than 1,000.

“I do believe that homeschoolers are seeing that their way of life is being threatened,” Greene told Bridge Michigan.

The issue is the latest development amid a homeschooling boom that started during the pandemic, as homeschool student counts exploded by 51% between 2018 and 2023, translating into about 1.2 million more homeschooled students across the country, according to The Washington Post.

The news site helped to spark the current conversation with a report in December detailing the torture and murder of a homeschooled 11-year-old from Michigan, which provided the impetus for action.

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“This is about someone who is abusive, who is using that lack of regulation to hide what they’re doing,” Michigan House Education Committee Chairman Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth, told the Post, adding that the legislature is “likely to see a bill” that would “at a bare minimum” require parents to register their children.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who prosecuted the parents of the abused 11-year-old, supported the idea at a December press conference.

“While there’s nothing wrong with choosing to home-school a child, there has to be some sort of monitoring,” Nessel said.

Lansing Democrats are heavily supported by the state’s teachers unions, which work tirelessly to limit educational options for families to traditional public schools that employ their members.

Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, has also suggested regulating homeschoolers, with “the purpose being to figure out if there are kids in Michigan, and how many, who aren’t being educated at all.”

The momentum gained steam when the Democratic-controlled State Board of Education weighed in, with board president Pamela Pugh insisting the effort to control homeschool parents “is just about providing safety for children across the state of Michigan and making sure that all children are accounted for.”

State Superintendent Michael Rice followed up with a letter to lawmakers in January that requested a homeschool registry he said is necessary to ensure “student safety,” though he did not cite any data to back up the concern.

“The importance of enrolling children in the four main groups of students is to help ascertain the children in Michigan who are not receiving an education in any manner,” Martin Ackley, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education, told Michigan Capitol Confidential. “It is the safety of children whose situation is not known that is most concerning.”

“There were 659 violent crimes and 1,396 expulsions in Michigan’s public schools in 2022-23, with incidents involving bombs, firearms and physical violence resulting in injury,” according to the news site. “Fewer than three out of 10 students scored at or above proficient in Michigan’s public schools on the 2022 National Assessment of Education Progress. Students in 40 states scored better.”

How exactly forcing parents to register their children with the state would ensure their safety is unclear. Ackley did not reply to a Michigan Capitol Confidential request for data that illustrates greater dangers for children not registered.

Issues with school safety and bullying, along with concerns about “wokeness and culture” in public schools with a decidedly “anti-Christian” worldview are among reasons parents at the Lansing homeschool conference opted to educate their children at home.

“We do not believe that mandatory notification will in any way reduce child abuse,” Israel Wayne, vice president of the Michigan Christian Homeschool Network, told the Post. “Families who are committed to abusing their children will either not register, or they will register and continue to abuse their children. So what’s happening is you’re creating a legislative burden for thousands of families who have done nothing wrong, but now there’s a presumption of guilt.”

While the network has vowed to “resist, to the fullest measure, any efforts to restrict homeschool freedoms” in Michigan, others are organizing online to ensure their voices are heard.

A MI Homeschoolers for Freedom Facebook page to “collaborate on ways to advocate for homeschool freedoms and build bridges with legislators” has amassed more than 2,300 members since the page was launched 16 weeks ago.

So far, Polehanki and Koleszar told Bridge, there has been no legislation introduced and “they have not seen movement on the idea of a homeschool registry.”

Greene and others sacrificing for a better education for their children intend to keep it that way.

“There’s so many other things we need to take care of,” the Republican lawmaker told the news site.