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Senate Bill 374 sought to address the problem of parents of public school dropouts claiming to homeschool their child to avoid some of the penalties association with dropouts (i.e. losing your driver's license until age 18). Some public school officials are thought to be encouraging this as well since a student who transfers to homeschooling is not counted against the schools "dropout numbers." A high dropout rate hurts the school corporation's graduation rate and the "adequate yearly progress" required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
Under SB 374, if a certified employee counseled or encouraged a student to transfer to a "nonaccredited nonpublic school located in a private residence" (homeschooling) without the reasonable knowledge that the family intends to conduct appropriate educational activities, they could have been found to be willfully neglecting their duty under Indiana Code 20-28-50-7.
Additionally, any public school student who sought to transfer to homeschooling would have been required to have his or her educational plan or curriculum be reviewed by the school corporation superintendent or their designee. The superintendent would have reviewed that material to ensure that the student is provided with instruction equivalent to that given in a public school. If the education plan or curriculum did not comply the superintendent would have been required to report the student to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (like a high school dropout).
HSLDA was opposed to this bill due to the fact that it required students withdrawing from the public school to have their curriculum reviewed and "approved" as being equivalent. Currently there is no requirement under Indiana law that requires homeschool parents to obtain the approval of the equivalency of their instruction.
01/09/2012 Senate Authored by Senator Kruse
01/09/2012 Senate First reading: referred to Committee on Education and Career Development
03/14/2012 Senate Session closed, bill is dead.
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