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Oregon

March 30, 2007

House Bill 2979: Restrictive Homeschool Reporting and Testing Requirements

Author:
Representatives Paul Holvey and Betty Komp

Summary:
House Bill 2979 would completely revise Oregon law for parents who teach their children at home. Among other changes, parents would be required to notify their Educational Service District (ESD) every year of their intent to homeschool.

Under House Bill 2979 test results would be required to be submitted whether or not requested by the ESD. The percentile score required on a test would also be raised to a yet unknown percent. Additionally, if a homeschool student failed to reach that percentile he or she would be only given one more chance the next year to meet that score before the student would be ordered to be placed in the local public school for up to 12 months.

Status:

3/5/2007 (House) First reading. Referred to Speaker's desk.
3/9/2007 (House) Referred to Education Committee
3/28/2007 (House) Assigned to Education Innovation Subcommittee

HSLDA's Position:
Opposed.

Action Requested:
No action needed at this time, but we may need your calls soon.

Background:

If House Bill 2979 is passed this bill would require:

  • Annual notification of your decision to homeschool your children instead of the one-time notice required now.
  • Testing within 30 days of notifying the ESD for the first time of your intent to homeschool any child who has already completed the 3rd grade. This will primarily affect homeschool families moving into Oregon although a child who has already completed the 3rd grade before turning 7 would also be affected.
  • All test results for grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 will be required to be submitted to the ESD, even if they don't request the results.
  • All test results for these grades must be above a certain, not currently specified percentile. Currently a student has to score above the 15th percentile. The intent of the bill is to raise that percentile.
  • If the student failed to reach that percentile score he or she would be required to take another test the next year. If the student failed to score at the required percentile the second year the ESD would order him to be enrolled in the public school for up to 12 months. This would be true even if the student showed an improved score but wasn't at the required percentile. Currently a student is fine if he shows improvement.
  • Homeschool students interested in participating in interscholastic activities would be required to score at a yet unknown percentile score. It is clear from the bill that this is to be higher the current percentile of at or above the 23rd percentile.
  • Parents who fail to comply with these provisions will be cited for a class C violation after only one warning.

For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our memorandum “Mandatory Kindergarten Is Unnecessary.”

 Other Resources

Bill Text  ( requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History