Reporting Requirements Modified
With the enactment of Senate Bill 35 on June 25, 1999, Delaware has modified the reporting requirements for home schools. The legislation states that home schools and home school associations must report the same information to the department of education as private schools and private educational associations, corporations, and institutions. Thus, it now appears that individual home schools which are not affiliated with a home school association or organization must report annually to the department of education. These reports must be submitted on or before July 31 of each year and indicate enrollment, age of pupils and attendance. Additionally, home schools and home school associations must submit an annual statement of enrollment as of the last day of school in September. The term home school associations is believed to refer to schools in which home schooled children from different families are enrolled.
The language of the law governing home schools in Delaware continues to be unclear and difficult to interpret. Future legislation is needed to clarify the intent of the general assembly.
Legislation Designates Home Schools As Private Schools
Another bill introduced but not yet acted upon is House Bill 327 which would designate home schools as private schools in Delaware. The vast majority of home educators in Delaware already have their children enrolled in private schools whose students are exclusively home schooled students. Some individual families are conducting their own independent home schools, and their status is uncertain. This bill would officially recognize all home schools as private schools. Even with this legislation placing home schools in the category of private schools, neither the term home school nor private school is defined in the bill, so HSLDA will be working with state home school leaders to consider proposing additional language to this effect. This bill was introduced by Representative Charles Welch (R-29) and will be considered when the general assembly reconvenes in 2000.