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Wise County 5/9/24

Homeschool parents in Wise County have been sent a packet of information regarding the district’s virtual public school option. Although many homeschool parents express concern regarding such communications, there is nothing in the law to prevent public schools from advertising to homeschoolers in this way.

It is helpful to understand that school districts receive full funding for each student who attends their virtual program. We began to see an increase in these efforts following the shut downs in 2020 as many parents chose to continue homeschooling and districts lost funding as a result. School divisions continue to market these programs, specifically to homeschool parents, to persuade them to return to the government education system. Parents are not required to respond to these communications.

What You Should Know:

  • Virtual education offered through the public school system is not home instruction; it is taxpayer-funded, public school at home.
  • Parents must enroll in the public school system to use the virtual public school option. Families who homeschool, comply via the home instruction statute, §22.1-254.1.
  • Virtual public school requires parents and their children to operate under the authority of the public school system. Families must use the curriculum that is provided to them, follow schedule and reporting requirements, stay in lock-step with public school programming, meet SOL standards, and take SOL tests.
  • In contrast, home instruction is parent-controlled, parent-directed education. Parents choose the curriculum and methods that best meet their children’s individual needs. Home instruction accommodates flexible schedules, varying academic competencies, and interest-lead learning. 
  • Resources: HEAV Law Flowchart, 7 Steps to Begin Homeschooling In Virginia, Virtual Public School Comparison

HEAV is always available should you ever have questions or need assistance. Please contact us anytime at 804-278-9200 or via our contact form.

Patricia Beahr
HEAV Assistant Director of Government Affairs

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