March 3, 2004

Senate Bill 367: Homeschoolers Exempt From Submitting Drop Out Report

Senator Luke Kenley


As introduced, SB 367 made it more difficult for a student to withdraw from public school to be homeschooled, and required all private schools, including homeschools, to file an annual report of dropouts. The Senate Education Committee removed the language that would have made it harder for a family to start homeschooling their son, but did not remove the requirement of the annual report of dropouts, however they inadvertently created a much larger problem in that they exempted "homeschools" and required "private schools."

Homeschools have been recognized as private schools in Indiana since 1904. The amendment, in effect, says that a homeschool is not a private school, thus removing the legal foundation for homeschooling. Furthermore, the phrase "homeschool" is not defined in law. It would be necessary to define that phrase, and the power to define is the power to control.

In committee, on March 2, 2004, SB 367 was incorporated in another bill (1234, the Kindergarten study bill), but THE PROBLEMATIC LANGUAGE WAS REMOVED under the leadership of Sen. Kenley. This means that all of our original concerns about the bill have been resolved. The bill does not restrict the freedom of families who want to withdraw their children to homeschool; homeschools-and other non-accredited, nonpulic schools-will not be required to submit a drop out report; and homeschools are treated consistently with their well-established status as private schools.


01/12/2004Referred to Senate Committee on Education and Career Development
01/28/2004Heard in committee and amended. As amended, the committee voted to pass.
02/05/2004Passed the Senate, referred to House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code.
02/16/2004Reassigned to the Committee on Education
02/19/2004Committee report: amend do pass, adopted
03/02/2004Added in Committee into another bill (1234, the Kindergarten study bill)

HSLDA's Position:

Action Requested:
No action requested at this time.

 Other Resources

Jan-28-2004 - Indiana--Senate may restrict homeschool freedom for teenagers - calls needed

Bill Text

Bill History