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West Virginia

May 1, 2009

House Bill 2749: Loss of Assessment Option

Sponsors:
Rep. Margaret Anne Staggers

Summary:
In exchange for the dubious “perk” of getting to play on public school sports teams, this bill abolishes the portfolio option and forces families to stop homeschooling if their child scores below the 50th percentile on a standardized test. It is a nightmare that combines the worst features of old and current homeschool law. Conceivably 50% of children would be forbidden from being homeschooled.

Most homeschool families have no intention of ever putting their children in a public school sports program. But every family in West Virginia would lose the portfolio option and be subject to being forced to stop homeschooling with a score below the 50th percentile.

When the “passing” score under the test option was 40th percentile several years ago, the law required families to stop homeschooling if their children submitted a test score below the 40th percentile for three consecutive years. But when the law was revised, the legislature and homeschoolers agreed (in effect) to a trade-off. The passing score was raised to 50th percentile, but the requirement to stop homeschooling because of a low test score was abolished. It was replaced with a much more sensible provision simply requiring that families submit additional evidence that they are providing appropriate instruction. While the “passing” score went up, the consequences for falling short went down significantly.

This bill combines the worst features of the old and the new homeschool law. The “passing” score remains unrealistically high—50th percentile—and the penalty for a low score swells from the inconvenience of submitting more information to the trauma of a forced termination of homeschooling.

Status:

2/17/2009(House) Introduced, sent to House Education

This bill is now dead.

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose!

Action Requested:
If you live in the district of one of the House Education committee members, please call them to oppose this bill. HSLDA will send out an e-lert soon providing a list of committee members and suggestions for contacting them.

 Other Resources

E-lert—March 2, 2009—West Virginia: Call to Stop Sports Trojan Horse

E-lert—March 4, 2009—West Virginia: Sponsor Withdraws Support for Sports Bill

Bill Text

Bill History