This is an update to our May 19th post. We are disappointed to report that Chesapeake is maintaining its position.
As noted, since the homeschool statute went into effect in 1984, Chesapeake is the only district, out of 132 in the Commonwealth, that has begun interpreting and implementing the laws in this way. We encourage parents to comply with the law but be aware of policies that are not included in the law. Parents may wish to seek legal counsel regarding these concerns.
Posted May 19, 2023
Several concerned parents have reported receiving correspondence from Chesapeake indicating that evidence of progress is required for students who are 18 years old. Further, the district indicates that, if evidence of progress is not received, they cannot, “…provide you with a letter of compliance and completion.”
- The compulsory attendance law applies to students who have, “…reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday.”
- The law does not indicate public school districts have statutory authority over the administration of programs or decisions relating to graduation requirements for private schooled, tutored, or homeschooled students. The law does not require them or give them any authority to issue a “letter of compliance and completion.”
- Public school systems and structures, including the concept of grade levels, do not apply to homeschool students. The compulsory attendance law is based on age as of September 30.
- In the rare circumstance where a request for validation of a homeschool diploma is made by a public entity, parents may communicate the law to the extent of their ability. Private school and homeschool diplomas hold equal value and are sufficient for entrance into the military, colleges, and job market.
HEAV first addressed these concerns in 2022 with the supervisor of student enrollment and attendance. We also notified the school board, superintendent, director of student support services, and chief of schools. Our efforts were to no avail.
Chesapeake remains the only district out of 132 in the Commonwealth that has interpreted the law in this manner. We encourage parents to comply with the law and be aware of policies that are not included in the law. Parents may wish to seek legal counsel regarding these concerns.
We are aware this is an ongoing issue. Just today, we received a response from the superintendent regarding our most recent letter saying he is turning this over to another subordinate. We are hopeful that changes will be made as we continue to work on behalf of Chesapeake parents.