Beware, D.C. Homeschoolers

D.C. wants new rules for homeschooling, starting with a Home Schooling Office in D.C., and they already have the location for the office picked out. They want parents to register (of course), and the parents also have to agree to all the guidelines set forth in this regulation.

(This is a PDF file so I could not link to each individual page the sections are on. It is 6 pages total if you want to check it out).

There are many things they want parents to do-maintain portfolios, daily attendance and hours of instruction records. This may not sound too bad until we see that the parents will have to provide any other documentation the OSSE (Office of State Superintendent of Education) asks for. Ostensibly, the OSSE could keep parents running forever by requesting all sorts of forms that are none of their business.

The parents have to allow the OSSE to observe them instructing their student and there will not be more than three reviews a year. Three reviews a year?! That is excessive.

Besides the above there are additional requirements such as:
Parents submitting evidence in a form acceptable to the OSSE that their children have been immunized and are also receiving medical and health services required as well as any other relevant information OSSE asks for.

First off, there is no requirement to have your child vaccinated. D.C. does allow for exemptions. Secondly, I am not aware of any medical and health services that are required for any children. There are things that are recommended, but not required. There is a difference. Lastly, the “any other relevant information of any other kind” is troubling. It allows OSSE to go on a fishing expedition to find out anything about your family. To say nothing of the fact that if the OSSE does not like the way the information is presented, they can make trouble for you on those grounds.

If the OSSE finds that you are in non-compliance with these regulations, they will require one or more home visits. The portfolio review does not have to be done at home, but a noncompliance visit must be done there.

If a parent does not agree to all these requirements, they will not be allowed to homeschool.

Let us pray that this regulation does not come to pass.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 115th Carnival of Homeschooling: Oh, The Things That You’ll Do! | Janice Campbell
  2. kat
    Mar 18, 2008 @ 13:26:57

    We are moving to the DC area in a few months. At first I was very excited about the possibility of living in the District, especially as there are no regulations to homeschooling currently. However, with 5 little ones that need to run around in a yard and this possible horrible regulation I think we will stick to the suburbs!

    Reply

  3. abrianna
    Mar 18, 2008 @ 22:24:16

    Kat,

    That’s one of the reasons I posted this. With all the flap about California, it seems that that what D.C. is planning got overlooked. Their information was put in the D.C. review, and when you click on the link, it shows that it is a government approved release.

    That and the fact that they already have a location picked out for the Home School office gives me the impression they are quite confident the new regulations will pass. This appears to me to be worse than the California situation.

    By the way I tried to comment on your blog, but my computer won’t let me post. The comment box opens but I can’t scroll down far enough to put in the word verification.

    Reply

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