J. Michael Smith, President Michael P. Farris, Chairman
 
 
January 8, 2003

Federal Prohibition of State's Authority to Mandate Assessments on Homeschool Students

A law enacted by Congress specifically exempts homeschool students from mandatory state assessments.

On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed H.R. 1 into law and it became Public Law No: 107-110. Home schoolers were successful in persuading Congress to include the following provision:

"Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect a home school, whether or not a home school is treated as a home school or a private school under State law, nor shall any student schooled at home be required to participate in any assessment referenced in this Act." [Part E, Subpart , Section 9506(b)].

Under this new federal statute, states are required to specify, to the U.S. Department of Education, the assessment they will use to comply with this law. Preliminary indications show that each state will use their current state assessments for this purpose thus making their state assessment one of the "assessments referenced in this Act."

In light of the intent of Congress and the language above, states legislatures or state departments cannot take measures to impose mandatory state assessment testing on homeschoolers.

Any attempt to require a homeschooler to be tested by an assessment designated in P.L. 107-110 will violate federal law and jeopardize their state's federal funding.