From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


7/29/2011 4:12:16 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Proposed Policy Unlawful and Uninformed

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Proposed Policy Unlawful and Uninformed

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

It has come to our attention that the Monongalia Board of Education
feels the need to issue a policy on homeschooling, despite the fact
that in West Virginia Code section 18-8-1(c) the West Virginia
legislature precisely prescribes requirements for exempting
homeschooling families from the compulsory attendance law. After
drafting a revised homeschool policy at their July 26 meeting, the
Board has asked for public comment. Because HSLDA has concerns about
the proposed policy, we encourage you to voice your opinion in the
form of a public comment.

In its draft, the Board invokes the tired and stale objections to
homeschooling of teacher competency and socialization:

"Monongalia County Board of Education encourages the enrollment of all
school(c)\age children [who] are residents in Monongalia County or in
registered parochial or private schools so that they may enjoy the
benefits a of well(c)\planned educational program and the
socialization possible in a group environment;" as if homeschooling
programs are not well-planned or lack in providing opportunities.

The policy continues:

"The Board recognizes its responsibility for assuring that every
resident school(c)\age child is enrolled in an approved school or is
offered an equivalent education elsewhere. All requests to educate a
child in a home(c)\education program are to be submitted to the
Superintendent or his/her designee."

Parents, not the Board, are responsible for the education of their
children. While parents are subject to compulsory attendance laws and
the Board is responsible for implementing necessary policies to carry
out its obligations under the law, these obligations do not
necessarily include receiving or overseeing "requests" from
homeschooling parents; nor do they include ensuring that every child
is "offered an equivalent education elsewhere." Parents in West
Virginia do not need to request permission to homeschool; they can
simply notify the Board that they are homeschooling. They are
automatically exempt from compulsory attendance when they do so in
compliance with the law.

To be fair, the substance of the Board's revised policy in a large
part is an accurate reflection of the homeschool law, with a few
errors. On Page 3, the policy adds the requirement that parents
provide the date of birth of each child. This information is not
required by statute. Additionally, the policy states under No. 2 that
"The instruction shall be in the home of the child or at some other
place approved by the Board and for a time equal to the instructional
term of the County Schools." Both of these requirements apply only to
families who wish to homeschool under the approval option. They do not
apply to families who homeschool under the option. Finally, the
policy states that parents must submit an outline of their plan of
instruction. While the law requires parents to outline a plan of
instruction, it does not say that the outline must be submitted. In
light of the law, the policy is unnecessary.


If you live in this district please comment politely and
professionally on the policy by visiting the following link and using
the Policy Review/Comment Form found on Page 5 of the policy: . I suggest giving the
following message in your own words:

The West Virginia legislature has clearly prescribed requirements for
parents to homeschool in West Virginia. These requirements are not
subject to interpretation or clarification by a local school board.
In the homeschool policy proposed, there are several errors such as
[SELECT FROM THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH]. Furthermore, the policy purpose
statement reflects a fundamental misunderstanding about homeschooling.
The purpose statement of the policy implies that homeschooling is not
"well-planned" and that it fails to provide for "socialization."
Neither is true. In national scientific research, homeschooling has
demonstrated that it provides an excellent education. Homeschooling
also provides children with ample opportunities to interact with
others in a variety of circumstances. Finally, homeschooling parents
are not required to make a request to homeschool. Under W. Va. Code
section 18(c)\8(c)\1(c), homeschoolers "notify" the superintendent of
their decision to homeschool, and they are exempt from the compulsory
attendance law by complying with its other requirements. I request
that you not have a homeschool policy and simply follow the law.

For more information and research for your submission, please visit
some of the following links:

Socialization: HSLDA brochure "The Best Kind of Socialization" .

Academics: HSLDA Homeschooling Research Page

It can be frustrating to continually address the same tired
stereotypes -- especially in the public context of a board of
education policy review process. However, bear in mind that as we
politely and persuasively point out the facts, we may open the minds
of people who simply have not considered the arguments or who may not
be aware of the evidence in favor of homeschooling. Take this as an
opportunity to witness graciously to your elected officials and help
them come to an accurate understanding of what homeschooling really is
and the evidence that shows it works.

Standing with you!


Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
Your West Virginia Staff Attorney

P.S. Take this opportunity to forward this email to a friend that you
know is not a member of HSLDA and encourage them join with us. It is
exactly for these kinds of issues that our resources and expertise can
go to work to defend your freedom. Without you and the support of
other homeschoolers, we could not do what we do to defend your

-> Will your children's inheritance retain its value?

If you pass on a legacy of freedom, your children and their
children's children will thank you. But freedom is never secure;
it must always be guarded. Membership with HSLDA is an investment
in the future that can be passed on to future generations of
families wanting to teach their children at home.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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