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This bill would hurt homeschool freedom in two ways. First, it would raise the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18, forcing homeschool parents to either pay an umbrella school to supervise them or subject themselves to portfolio reviews by their county for an additional two years. Next, it would change existing law to define homeschooling as compliance with the Department of Education's rules as found in the Code of Maryland regulations, which would essentially give the Department the authority to legally compel homeschoolers to follow any rule it decided to enact.
This bill says that homeschoolers are exempt from compulsory school attendance, but only if they continue homeschooling in compliance with the law, which renders the exemption meaningless. Additionally, while publicly schooled students can be exempted if they earn a state-issued diploma or GED, there is no similar provision for homeschoolers to be exempted if they graduate early.
1/17/2011 - First Reading, Referred to Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
2/9/2011 - Hearing Scheduled in Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
This bill failed to pass before the session adjourned, and is now dead.
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