Direct Response from Ms. Spearman

Posted by Nikki S.
This response was sent to me when I wrote Ms. Spearman asking her to fully clarify her position on homeschooling, including all options, in SC.
“Thank you for allowing me to share my views on homeschooling in SC. There has been a great deal of misinformation being spread in regards to my stance on homeschooling during my candidacy for State Superintendent of Education. I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.
First, I fully support the right of parents to choose homeschooling for their child’s education. I will always protect the liberty for each parent to enjoy and exercise the freedom to choose the type of schooling best for their children.
I have the greatest respect for parents who sacrifice and devote their time and resources to homeschool. I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of successful homeschooled students, some within my own family.
Much of the misinformation being spread stems from a clip in an online video showing me giving testimony before a legislative committee several years ago. The excerpt unfortunately, only shows a brief piece of my testimony in which I state my concern with parents that are not following the law by joining a homeschool association. My concern is solely for the education of those children whose parents knowingly break the law by depriving their children of the right to receive a basic education. In the video, I was wrong to mention the use of social security numbers as a possible reporting requirement. Thankfully, social security numbers are no longer used with any student – even in the public school system.
My testimony is not politically driven, it comes from a personal experience I had as a principal. After disciplining a young boy, an angry parent removed him from public school and told us that his two children would be homeschooled. Two years later, I received a phone call from a nearby private school principal, who informed me that the father was enrolling the students there and that the children had not received ANY schooling since their withdrawal.
As a leader in education, I feel that is my responsibility to speak up for these children. I do not have all the answers, but I feel that we need to have a discussion on how we can ensure that every child has received their right to a basic education. If I am elected, I will bring together homeschool leaders, parents, and teachers to start this conversation.
I do not want to close the third homeschool option. I do not want to restrict your right to choose a curriculum for your children. I will fight for your rights as parents and I will fight for the rights of the children whose parents do not follow the law. I believe that addressing this issue will add to the credibility and respect of all homeschool families.
My entire career in education has prepared me to serve you as your next State Superintendent of Education. My career spans over eighteen years as a teacher and principal, four terms in the legislature where I was a champion for education, six years at the Department of Education, and ten years working with students, parents, teachers, and school leaders across the state.
I have built my career on being respectful of all stakeholders and listening to them. I know first-hand that each person has unique ideas and that it takes collaboration and trust to move forward.  I am excited about working with as your next State Superintendent of Education and supporting homeschool parents to ensure that every child in SC has every chance, every day.
Please feel free to share this with other homeschool families. I welcome any questions you may have.”
Molly Mitchell Spearman