Across the States
Department Targets 08 Schools
Homeschooling in the Buckeye State is regulated by Ohio Administrative Code § 3301-34, which went into effect in 1989. This regulation provides Ohio residents with a notification approach in which the school district does not approve a homeschool plan but is rather informed of it.
Prior to this regulation, some Ohio citizens educated their children at home under the provisions of Ohio Administrative Code § 3301-35-08. These families formed non-chartered, non-tax supported schools by filing a minimal “Report to Parents” form with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).* Even after the passage of the homeschool regulation, many families continued to educate their children under the 08 regulation. This regulation offers the opportunity for parents who qualify under the regulation to have less contact with local school districts and fewer reporting and assessment requirements.
Until recently, the 08 option was not challenged by the ODE. Last year, Home School Legal Defense Association, working with Ohio homeschoolers, reformed an intrusive attempt by the ODE to require additional information from individuals filing Report to Parents forms under Ohio Administrative Code § 3301-35-08. HSLDA negotiated the additional information down to three items that the ODE said were required under the “child find” provisions of federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations.
The Ohio Department of Education appears to be attempting to prevent the use of the 08 school approach by single families or those who operate them with small numbers of students in a single-family home. We think the ODE is taking this action in large part because it disagrees with what it considers the use of the 08 school maneuver by students whom the department believes are more properly categorized as homeschooled to qualify for funding through the Post Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP).
HSLDA has revised its online Ohio legal analysis and has created a memo that discusses this situation in more detail. Both can be found at www.hslda.org/OH.
— by Michael P. Donnelly
* See “A plethora of forms”