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April 21, 2008

House Bill 1249: Homeschool Access to Extracurricular Activities

Sponsors:
Delegates Smigiel, Dwyer, Frank, Kramer, McComas, McConkey, and Sossi

Summary:
This bill would include “home-schooled” students when counting students in specified funding formulas. Also, it would include language stating that schools “may” allow homeschooled students to participate in academic and extracurricular activities.

HSLDA opposes this legislation because it creates a new definition for “home-schooling” not currently found in Maryland law. This bill defines a “home-schooled” student as one who, among other things “participates in a home instruction program under written agreement with the county superintendent.” Homeschoolers in Maryland are not currently required to operate under an “agreement” with their superintendent. Additionally, the term “home instruction program” is also a new addition that, when defined, could be used to create more restrictions for homeschoolers.

Incidentally, by only stating that schools “may” allow homeschooled students to participate in academic and extracurricular activities, this bill offers almost nothing new to homeschoolers. There is no law currently prohibiting public schools from allowing homeschoolers to participate in these activities. Furthermore, public schools would still be free to refuse these services to homeschoolers, as they generally do.

Status:

2/8/2008 (House) First Reading Ways and Means; Hearing 3/19 at 1 p.m.
3/24/2008 (House) As of this date, the committee has taken no action on this bill.

This bill failed to leave its committee of origin, and is now dead.

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA will take a neutral position if this bill is amended as the sponsor has promised.

Action Requested:
None at this time.

 Other Resources

Bill Text   (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History