Hawaii Must Re-Adopt Regulations
Although Hawaii's Department of Education adopted new home schooling regulations [Compulsory Attendance Expectations Regulations §4140.2(D)] early in the summer of 1988, it has recently come to light that the regulations were not passed according to the proper procedures. The state requires such regulations to go through a year-long process to solicit public input before they can be officially adopted. Although no serious challenges had yet been made to the legitimacy of the regulations, Department of Education officials have decided to begin that year-long process now so that the regulations can be properly adopted and no future challenges can be made.
The procedures call for public hearings to be held in each school district in the state, so that the general public has an opportunity to voice support or disapproval for the regulations, or to recommend changes. Home schoolers in Hawaii are gearing up to attend these meetings in order to be sure that they receive the public support they need to insure their adoption. The home schoolers do not anticipate any major changes to occur in the regulations as a result of this hearing process. Minor changes may be made to some of the special education procedures and a few other areas, but nothing substantive appears to be in the works. The basic framework of the notice of intent and the different options for year-end assessments and testing are expected to remain intact.
As part of insuring that the regulatory framework will remain intact, the State Legislature passed a home schooling law this summer which simply calls for home schoolers to file a notice of intent with their local districts, “in accordance with Department rules promulgated to achieve this result.” Haw. Rev. Stat. § 298-9(6). The regulations adopted last summer provide these rules governing the notice of intent and the yearly assessment process. By adopting this brief law, the legislature was able to provide a statutory basis for home schooling, while leaving the details to the regulations which had already been formulated.
Once the year-long hearing process is complete and the regulations are properly adopted, Hawaii will have in place one of the best legal frameworks for home schooling in the nation. These regulations are the best in terms of parental rights that any State Department of Education has passed regarding home schooling. Throughout the Hawaii regulations, parents are given the primary authority to determine their own curriculum, teaching methods, qualifications, and annual evaluation.