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Indiana

January 14, 2008

Dropouts Required to Homeschool

Over the past few months, Home School Legal Defense Association members have learned that their local school district is forcing public school dropouts to register as homeschool students. We have verified reports that school districts in the Muncie and Huntington areas are doing this, as well as several others we have been unable to confirm.

Often a family whose child is planning on dropping out of public school is not prepared to teach their child at home. Most have little or no knowledge as to what they should do after they register with the Indiana Department of Education. None of these families know that registration of homeschool programs is entirely voluntary.

Most of the time, a local school district will adopt this type of policy to try and lower their dropout rate. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools with high dropout rates and low graduation rates receive lower performance scores. However, shifting students who are dropping out to a homeschool program without adequate information and support may have a negative impact on that child's education and the broader homeschool community.

Local support groups can have a major impact in these situations, with their involvement in the community. By having a visible presence in the community, your local support group has an opportunity to help parents who have been told they must homeschool their children.

The support group can provide information to these families on how to learn what is legally required for homeschooling by pointing them to HSLDA’s state webpage on Indiana. A support group can also help parents who decide to take on the commitment of educating their child at home. Two additional resources from HSLDA are the Homeschooling Thru High School page and HSLDA’s site on getting started: You Can Homeschool.