Federal Relations

New HSLDA logo

J. Michael Smith, Esq.

Michael P. Farris, Esq.

Federal Relations Department

William A. Estrada, Esq., Director

The HSLDA Federal Relations Department is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of parental rights and homeschool freedom. On the federal level, HSLDA defends parents’ right to homeschool and protects homeschool families from intrusive government legislation. HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department focuses on federal legislation, grassroots lobbying, and research.

Our Philosophy

When our staff meets with legislators and other government officials, we always begin the conversation by stating our two main objectives: First and foremost, we want homeschool families to be left alone by the federal government, and we do not want any federal control over homeschooling. Secondly, families choosing to homeschool should not be discriminated against by the government. Homeschool students should be treated with the same respect and consideration as public and private school students.

We want to make it clear that our presence in Washington, D.C., is not to be understood as an endorsement of the federal government having a role in education. On the contrary, we recognize that we live in an imperfect world in which we must guard against government interference in the upbringing and education of our children by actively defending our right to homeschool. In today’s society in which the federal government increasingly seeks to supplant the family unit, it is crucial that now, more than ever, we make our voices heard and fight for the preservation of our God given rights.

Our Mission

HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department serves as a “watchdog” for federal legislation impacting homeschool and parental rights. We also lobby for homeschool friendly legislation, network with statewide organizations in all 50 states, immediately alert our members and likeminded organizations about pressing federal issues, and communicate with the media via private interviews and national legislative briefings on Capitol Hill. The HSLDA Federal Relations Department also commissions studies on the success and benefits of homeschooling, serves as a clearing house for major homeschool research, and hosts regional and national leadership symposiums for local and statewide homeschool leaders. Other Federal Relations Department functions include the following:
  • Leading international efforts to legalize homeschooling in other countries. HSLDA is presently working with homeschoolers in South Africa, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Taiwan and the Czech Republic.

  • Working with colleges to improve admission policies for homeschoolers and representing homeschool graduates facing discriminatory treatment from college admissions offices.

  • Working with all four branches of the military to assist homeschoolers with enlistment problems.

  • Preparing special reports on various issues of concern to homeschool families.

  • Operating the Congressional Action Program (CAP), which is an organized grassroots lobbying force to defend the right to homeschool. CAP is comprised of homeschool mothers and fathers in each of the 435 congressional districts who can be reached at a moment’s notice to contact their Congressman concerning crucial federal issues. The second aspect of the CAP program is to train and maintain a local lobbying force comprised of homeschool families from the D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Federal Relations staff regularly train and update local CAP coordinators to personally lobby government representatives on behalf of homeschool rights. If you are interested in getting involved in CAP, please contact our office today!