District of Columbia
HOME | LAWS | ORGANIZATIONS | CASES | LEGISLATION | HEADLINES | COMMON CORE
District of Columbia

June 30, 2008

Proposed Home Education Regulations—May 27, 2008

Written Comments by a D.C. Homeschooler (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Joint Letter by D.C. Homeschool Leaders and HSLDA Attorney Mike Donnelly (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Click here to view the latest proposed regulations from June 27 (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Testimony of Chris Klicka, Presented at July 16 SBOE Meeting

Summary:
While some of the provisions in the second draft were removed, the newest draft regulation still contains significant restrictions on parental freedom. This version requires parents to, among other things:

  1. Notify the OSSE of intent to homeschool on a form developed by the OSSE and submitted at least 15 business days prior to the beginning of home instruction;
  2. Consent in writing to the regulations;
  3. Annually notify by August 15th that homeschooling will continue;
  4. Notify the OSSE in writing 15 business days prior to termination of home instruction program;
  5. Maintain a portfolio that is subject to the OSSE's review upon written request;
  6. Have a high school diploma or its equivalent or, if such qualification is lacking, prove to the OSSE an ability to provide adequate instruction.

The regulation also allows the OSSE to require a child to enroll in public or private school if the OSSE determines in its discretion that the homeschooling program is not providing regular, thorough instruction.

Proposed Home Education Regulations—March 3, 2008

Author:
Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Summary:
The regulations, if adopted, would require parents to:

  • Have at least a high school diploma;
  • Annually notify and re-notify;
  • Instruct daily for the same number of days and hours that the D.C. Public Schools (“DCPS”) must instruct;
  • Maintain a portfolio of students’ work product that parents must allow DCPS to inspect;
  • Allow D.C. public school officials to enter their home up to three times per year to discuss the homeschooling program, observe the instruction, and review the portfolio;
  • Adhere to a vague and subjective standard that is not articulated in the proposed regulation;
  • Submit evidence that their children have received immunizations and appropriate health and medical services and submit “any other relevant information of any other kind prescribed by the OSSE in its discretion” and
  • File an undefined assessment.

The regulations would also:

  • Allow the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (“OSSE”) to initiate a remediation plan based on the student’s portfolio or “any other information” (parents may appeal this decision to the Office of the District of Columbia Deputy Mayor for Education);
  • Allow the OSSE to order children into the public schools if at anytime, based on any information, and “in their discretion,” the OSSE is unsatisfied with the homeschool program; and
  • Authorize the OSSE to make home visits to “ascertain areas of noncompliance.” (Home visits have been found to be unconstitutional in a number of states and this provision does not meet the Fourth Amendment’s requiring probable cause and obtaining a warrant.)

Status:

3/5/2008 Public Hearing (State Board of Education), 5:30 p.m.
5/21/2008 State Board of Education Regular Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
6/4/2008 State Board of Education Working Session, 5:30 p.m.
6/18/2008 State Board of Education Regular Meeting, 5:30 p.m., Homeschool Regulations previously scheduled for a vote, but the SBOE has indicated that the vote is being postponed.

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose.

Action Requested:
None at this time. The official public comment period ended on June 2. The SBOE has indicated that substantial changes have been made to the draft regulations, and that there will be another comment period, but we do not yet have the comment period dates. We will post updates as we receive them.

Please contact HSLDA at (540) 338-5600 or legalDC@hslda.org with any questions.

 Other Resources

Formal Written Comments from HSLDA to the OSSE Regarding the District of Columbia’s Proposed Homeschool Regulations DCMR 5200 (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

E-lert—February 1, 2008—District of Columbia—Weathering the Storm in the Wake of Tragedy

E-lert—March 3, 2008—District of Columbia—New Proposed Rules Threaten Parental Freedom in D.C.

E-lert—March 4, 2008—District of Columbia—Tips on Testifying

E-lert—March 4, 2008—District of Columbia—Contact Board Members and Ask for More Time

E-lert—April 4, 2008—District of Columbia—Committee Appointed to Draft New Proposed Homeschool Regulations

E-lert—April 23, 2008—District of Columbia—Task Force Makes Some Progress with OSSE, but Challenges Remain

E-lert—May 2, 2008—District of Columbia—Newest Proposed Rules STILL Threaten Parental Freedom

E-lert—May 8, 2008—District of Columbia—ACTION NEEDED to Defeat Harmful Homeschool Regulation

E-lert—May 19, 2008—District of Columbia—Action Needed to Defeat Harmful Homeschool Regulation

E-lert—May 28, 2008—District of Columbia—Calls Needed to Stop Unnecessary Regulation of Homeschoolers

E-lert—May 30, 2008—District of Columbia—WRITTEN COMMENTS NEEDED to Defeat Harmful Homeschool Regulation

E-lert—June 2, 2008—District of Columbia—Your Attendance Needed at SBOE Work Session to Show Support for Homeschool Freedom

E-lert—June 4, 2008—District of Columbia—Update on Tonight’s SBOE Working Session

E-lert—June 10, 2008—District of Columbia—Emails Needed to Support Proposed Changes to Homeschool Regulations

E-lert—June 13, 2008—District of Columbia—HSLDA Receives Word That Homeschool Regulations Were Removed from June 18 Meeting Agenda

E-lert—June 30, 2008—District of Columbia—WRITTEN COMMENTS NEEDED to Modify Burdensome Homeschool Regulations

Talking Points and Bill Analysis of Proposed Regulations DCMR 5200

Text of Proposed Rules—March 3, 2008 (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Text of Proposed Rules—May 2, 2008 (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Text of Proposed Rules—June 27, 2008 (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)