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Michigan lawmakers debating registry for homeschooled students

Michigan homeschool advocate cites concerns over privacy if registration is required
Michigan homeschool advocate cites concerns over privacy if registration is required 02:01

(CBS DETROIT) - It hasn't reached Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's desk for her signature, but lawmakers are interested in ensuring all students in Michigan are accounted for. 

It's a move one homeschool advocate says amounts to government overreach. 

"We believe that it's the responsibility of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children, as is actually protected in our Michigan state statute. And we believe that this is really a very targeted overreach on the part of the state to simply create needless red tape," said Israel Wayne, vice president of the Michigan Christian Homeschool Network.

Earlier this year, Michael Rice, the superintendent of Michigan public schools, wrote a letter to the legislature calling for all students to be counted in at least one category: public, private, parochial or homeschool. 

"Having a record of all children enrolled in these four categories would allow a clearer understanding of the children not currently enrolled in any learning environment. There is a history in Michigan and across the nation that some children do not receive any education, which is unacceptable," Rice said in a statement. 

Wayne said he is concerned about the privacy implications of counting homeschooled children in Michigan.

"We're concerned because there's a lot of people who have access to that information, including corporations, independent contractors," he said. 

Rice acknowledged Wayne's argument. 

"Our interest in counting all children is not about a "home school registry. Rather, it is our belief that every child should have an "educational home," a place where we know the child is receiving education," he said. 

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