Military Home Schoolers Gain Equal Access
For years, home schooling families in the military have been required to enroll their children in two to four classes if they want to utilize certain services provided by the Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS). Most military home school families were unwilling to take this step, and thus their children were barred from using library services or participating on athletic teams and in other extracurricular classes. Since supplemental programs for military home school families posted overseas are often very limited, HSLDA worked to solve this problem.
In May 1999, HSLDA persuaded Congress to include a directive in the Department of Defense Authorization Act, instructing the Secretary of Defense to develop a clear written policy on the Departments support of home schoolers. It stated in part, The Committee directs the Secretary of Defense to develop clear policy . . . which should specify that home school students should be supported with library services, music, sports, single classes, and other programs without having to actually enroll in the DoDDS.
HSLDA attorney Christopher Klicka met with the Director of DoDDS and several members of the House Armed Services Committee to suggest language for their new policy. On March 27, 2000, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) issued a policy memorandum clearly stating that home schooling is a sponsors [i.e., parents] right. The memorandum does not require home schoolers to register with the base commander. Rather, it states that the DoDEA will provide services such as single classes, special services, and participation in extracurricular interscholastic activities such as music and sports programs. Participation in these classes is not conditioned upon the student enrolling in a minimum number of hours in the DoDDS school.
We are thankful for this positive development on behalf of military home school families. See the DoDEA home schooling policy and our more detailed analysis at http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/H/Home_Schooling_on_