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Rhode Island

February 25, 2010

North Kingstown’s “Registration” Mandate Slapped Down

Since we discovered in September that the North Kingstown school committee had dramatically changed the homeschool policy without even consulting the people affected, HSLDA and the Rhode Island Guild of Home Teachers (RIGHT) have been working to restore sanity to the policy.

We insisted that the school committee remove the illogical requirement that homeschoolers “go through the Central Office Complex for registration and follow the guidelines of policy JFAA for the Admission of Resident Students.” The school superintendent felt so strongly that homeschoolers should have to register in exactly the same way as public school students that he refused to budge. Instead, he appealed to the Rhode Island Department of Education.

On February 1, the Commissioner of Education sent a letter to the superintendent stating:

“It is my opinion that personal information related to the home schooled student and his/her parents is not subject to the same data collection protocols that apply to students enrolled in public school. … [T]he parents of homeschooled children are not required to provide you with the same ‘basic information’.”

While we rejoice in this victory for common sense, we must continue to work to complete the job of repairing the North Kingstown homeschool policy.