Email of the Day:
How does the NEA’s 2014-15 resolution on homeschooling affect the future of homeschooling?
The current NEA resolution on homeschooling is the same as it’s been since 2006 — a slightly less acerbic version of the original resolution against homeschooling in 1988 (which called for homeschooling to be illegal).
What I think is most interesting is where the WA HBI (homeschool) law reflects and differs from the resolution:
B-83. Home Schooling
The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. [We know this is not true — homeschoolers have disproved this over and over again]. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. [Our law specifies that we don’t have to do this: “The state board of education shall not require these children to meet the student learning goals, master the essential academic learning requirements, to take the assessments, or to obtain a certificate of academic achievement or a certificate of individual achievement “]. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. [This is true in WA; if the state is paying for your child’s education, you are a public school student, and not a homeschooler in our state]. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used. [Both of these have been struck down as unconstitutional in each state that has been silly enough to try and legislate them].
The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools. [WA law specifically provides for homeschoolers and private schoolers to access part time attendance and/or ancillary services as a condition of the school receiving funding].
The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting. (1988, 2006) [This is reflected in our law, almost verbatim].
For this resolution to impact homeschoolers in WA at all, our law would have to change — and, frankly, no one wants to mess with the sleeping giant that is the homeschooling community, if for no other reason than we’re available in the middle of the day in the middle of the week, and we’re willing to march on Olympia. Mostly, they’re just really happy to leave us alone to do our own thing.
–Jen Garrison Stuber, WHO Board Advocacy Chair