NOTE FROM HEAV: Please pray for D.C. homeschoolers as they face these increased regulations, and continue to pray that the hearts of the State Board of Education might be softened. News like this is an important reminder that we still need to be diligent to guard our homeschooling freedoms lest they be taken from us.
If you haven’t already done so, please consider joining both HSLDA and HEAV. HSLDA works to monitor and guard homeschooling freedom across the nation, and HEAV works year round within Virginia to initiate and promote beneficial legislation and to defeat legislation that would negatively affect homeschoolers.
Note: HEAV members also save $20 on their HSLDA memberships.
- The following notice is from the HSLDA E-lert Service -
For the first time in over 15 years, a United States jurisdiction has enacted laws that significantly increase restrictions on homeschooling freedom!
This past Wednesday, the D.C. State Board of Education (SBOE) approved the State Superintendent of Educations June 27 draft of the home education regulations. After some discussion, the SBOE voted 5 to 1 in favor of the superintendents regulations.
Only Board Member William Lockridge voted no. When giving his reasons, he exposed the unbridled discretion the Superintendent would now have over homeschoolers. Lockridge likened the new power of the Superintendent over parents as a type of socialism.
These regulations were objected to by manythe Board recorded receiving over 2,800 emails, 400 phone calls, and written comments in opposition.
This was the third public session held to discuss these regulations. In the first session, over 120 homeschoolers attended and over 30 testified including lengthy presentations by Chris Klicka, Mike Donnelly, and Scott Woodruff of HSLDA. That resulted in the removal of the worst requirement: home visits by D.C. school officials.
However, in spite of testimony presented by Ethan Reedy, President of D.C. Home Educators Association, and Chris Klicka of HSLDA, the Board passed the new restrictive regulations. It was clear the Board already had its mind made up. (Klickas written testimony can be reviewed online here).
HSLDA had even delivered a letter signed by 10 congressmen on the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform encouraging them to work with HSLDA to ensure that the proposed changes in the citys rules will not have an adverse impact on homeschooling families in the District. All to no avail.
Among other things, the new regulations require annual notification of a parents intent to homeschool on a future form developed by OSSE (Office of the State Superintendent of Education), maintenance of a portfolio of schoolwork, and up to two annual portfolio reviews by the OSSE to determine whether a homeschool program, in OSSEs opinion, is providing regular, thorough instruction in the required subjects. No guidelines are provided by the Board giving the OSSE arbitrary discretion to implement these provisions.
To read the new regulations, click here.
HSLDA is working on an analysis to guide our D.C. members in their response to this development. Please stay tuned for further information as OSSEs deadline for notification (August 15) approaches.