Since December 2023, Michigan state officials — including Attorney General Dana Nessel, the state House and Senate Education Committee chairs, the State Board of Education, and State Superintendent Michael Rice — have criticized homeschooling and called for stricter government regulation and oversight over homeschooled students and their parents.
The motivation for these attacks was the arrest in December of two couples in Clinton County for "allegedly abusing and financially profiting from foster and adopted children."
However, instead of focusing on the crime itself — or on the high levels of abuse in government schools — these officials are broadly attacking homeschooling and parents seeking alternatives to government schools. For example, Attorney General Nessel alleged that homeschooling had contributed to the couples' actions.
In a tweet on December 6, she wrote:
The homeschooling environment allowed abuse in [one of the homes] to go unnoticed; implementing monitoring mechanisms is crucial to ensure that all children, including those homeschooled, receive necessary protections.
The day prior, state Representative Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), chair of the House Education Committee, decried Michigan's homeschooling laws and claimed that "abusive parents are taking advantage of [the absence of a homeschool registry] to avoid being found out."
In January 2024, Superintendent Rice sent a letter to state legislators asking them to enact legislation on various education-related issues. Among these was a proposal to require parents to register their homeschooled children with the government, something parents currently are not required to do.
"Having a record of all children enrolled in these four buckets [public/charter schools, private schools, parochial schools, and homeschools] would provide an understanding of the children not currently enrolled in any learning environment," Rice wrote. "The issue of 'missing children' is a national problem with potential negative consequences for too many children."