HSLDA Plans to File Suit in South Carolina
South Carolina’s new home schooling law has proven to be problematic in several crucial ways as its first year in effect draws to a close. In response, HSLDA is preparing to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of some of the problem areas of the law.
Many home schooling parents in the state are up in arms over extremely restrictive school district interpretations of the testing requirements. School districts have been insisting that parents have no say in the choice of the teacher to give the required standardized achievement tests in their homes, or in the time of its administration or fee arrangements with these teachers. The law requires home schoolers to participate in the state’s standardized testing program, but permits home schoolers to choose to be tested at their place of instruction. Disputes have arisen over whether the district or the parent is to make the arrangements for the testing, and whether the teacher administering the test must be employed by the school district of residence, or simply by some school district in the state. The lawsuit to be filed by HSLDA on behalf of several South Carolina member families will seek to secure for parents the right to choose the teacher giving the test and to make their own fee arrangements with that teacher (or, in the alternative, to establish reasonable rates throughout the state).
In addition, the suit will challenge the recent validation of the EEE test (Educational Equivalency Examination) for use with home schooling parents who have only high school diplomas or GEDs. The law requires parents without college degrees to take this test beginning in the 1989–90 school year, providing the test was validated by the Department of Education. The test has now been validated, but the validation process is extremely suspect and does not, in the opinion of the HSLDA legal staff, pass constitutional muster. Therefore, the suit will also seek to stop enforcement of this testing requirement for parents.
HSLDA will contact all South Carolina member families as soon as details regarding the suit are available. Families who encounter problems with their districts over BSAP testing in April should contact HSLDA for advice.