It’s official–assessment requirements are waived for the 2019-2020 homeschool year!
Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane responded to HEAV’s request to waive assessment results for homeschoolers. He initiated the process in April out of a desire to take care of every student.
Dr. Lane sought and received authority through an amendment to the budget bill HB 29 during the April 22 Reconvened Session. Governor Northam introduced the amendment and the legislature approved the measure.
2020 Testing Waived
Dr. Lane has now received approval from the secretary of education to implement the following waiver:
Parents electing to provide home instruction during the 2019-2020 school year shall be relieved of the requirement to provide evidence of student progress to the local school division superintendent (§22.1-254.1).
What Really Happened?
You’re not the only one who may have been confused by the process.
During even-numbered years, the General Assembly receives two budgets. This year, they considered both HB 29 and HB 30.
HB 29 amends the previous 2019 budget for the remainder of this fiscal year—effective until July 1, 2020. HB 30 is the new budget for the next two years that begins July 1, 2020.
Both bills—HB 29 and HB 30—include the amendment submitted by Governor Northam addressing emergency measures for education due to COVID-19. HB 29 was signed and went into effect April 24—the day Dr. Lane issued Superintendent’s Memo #105-20 and the press release.
The secretary of education, however, still needed to vet and approve the waiver proposals.
On April 30, the secretary of education approved implementation of the waivers, including the homeschool testing waiver—so they are now currently in effect for the 2019/2020 school year.
Although Governor Northam is still considering HB 30 and has until May 22 to complete his review, the testing measures have been implemented based on the governor’s signature on HB 29. The VDOE has instructed school divisions to move forward with this waiver.
According to the VDOE, the superintendent of public instruction has been given broad authority, and local division superintendents cannot circumvent his authority. The VDOE will update their website as soon as possible.
The VDOE asks that parents be patient with superintendents as this new information reaches the appropriate homeschool designees and staff members.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Nothing! This year, the law does not require assessments, and it is important to send ONLY what is absolutely necessary. Please don’t provide more information than the law requires.
If you have already tested or want to test for your own records, keep the results on file at home—the law does not require you to send the assessment results to the superintendent this year. A Notice of Intent (NOI) by August 15 is all that is required.