Will National force homeschooling beneficiaries to go to work?



Will National force homeschooling beneficiaries to go to work?

In an earlier post I wrote about National’s plan to force beneficiaries to find work once their children reach school age, and I showed how this ill-conceived idea will backfire.

I was concerned that beneficiaries who wished to homeschool might not be allowed to do so, so I emailed Paula Bennett, the new Minister of Social Development (Minister of Social Welfare in old-speak). Today I have received a letter from her which says in part:


This is a tricky situation for a classical liberalist. On one hand I am opposed to taxpayer-funded welfare, and on the other hand I am opposed to state education that indoctrinates children and undermines families.

On balance I believe that beneficiaries should be allowed to homeschool for the following reasons¹:

1) it’s better for the taxpayers: paying a benefit is cheaper than sending a child to school plus paying a partial benefit to a parent who is working part time².

2) a child that is homeschooled is more likely to benefit society than one who is schooled by the state, because a child who is taught well at home has better academic results, more maturity and is better when it comes to logic and independent thought. They do not turn into adults who continually grasp the mammaries of the nanny state³.

3) as I said in the post linked to above, the state uses schools to undermine families, and undermining families harms children as well as the rest of society.

4) the fundamental issue here is whether or not children of beneficiaries will be forced into state schools, and I believe that parents should be free to raise their children as they see fit and free of the liberal left propaganda that is fed to children in schools


As Bennett’s letter says, she is still considering whether or not to force the children of beneficiaries into state schools. I strongly urge you to make a stand for freedom and email her or write to her, stating that you wish to see an exemption to the work rule for beneficiaries who desire to homeschool4. It helps to give reasons for your belief, a paragraph will suffice.

Click here for Paula Bennett’s email form.

A stamp is not required for snail mail:

Hon Paula Bennett
Parliament Office
Private Bag 18888
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

What are your thoughts regarding beneficiaries who wish to homeschool?

When you’ve written to Paula Bennett please post a copy of the letter in a comment or send a copy to me via the contact page.


1) there is no perfect solution in our present society, so I am focusing on the lesser of the evils.

2) this statement is based upon a back-of-the-envelope calculation.

3) this statement is based upon my personal observations of children who are homeschooled.

4) The state is arrogant enough to police parents who homeschool via the Education Review Office, so beneficiaries won’t find that homeschooling is an easy way to avoid work.