Assembly re-codifies home ed law
With the signing of House Bill 1045 by Governor John Hoeven on May 8, 2001, North Dakota's home education law was re-codified. In addition to receiving new section numbers and having some of the lengthy paragraphs broken into smaller parts, some favorable changes were made in the law to reduce testing and clarify provisions which have given rise to disputes between parents and public school officials.
Instead of testing being required in grades 3, 4, 6, 8, and 11 under prior law, the new law requires testing in grades 4, 6, 8, and 10 to coincide with testing in the public school. The new law also eliminates any reference to the third grade as the time for completion of monitoring, simply leaving the monitoring time at two years unless the child scores below the 50th percentile on a required standardized achievement test. Additionally, the new law clarifies that the minimum score on the test refers to the basic composite score which would not include science and social studies.
The North Dakota Home School Association (NDHSA) is to be commended for monitoring the legislative process resulting in these changes. Earlier draft
proposals for the new law were changed at the insistence of NDHSA, because in some instances they worsened rather than improved the old law.
The new law goes into effect August 1, 2001, in time for the 2001-2002 school year.
-Dewitt T. Black