Vermont
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Vermont

February 24, 2006

Legislative Flurry

Vermont's homeschool law, as applied by the department of education, has become so oppressive that the number of registered homeschoolers in the state has actually gone down. Whether this is because there are fewer homeschoolers is not clear - there is reason to believe, however, that more and more families are simply refusing to jump through the department's hoops.

The most significant bill for homeschoolers this year, drafted by the department of education, is House Bill 862. The Commissioner of Education wants to reduce the paperwork that homeschool families have to submit and department officials have to review. H.B. 862 tightens up the "assessment" component of Vermont law but relieves experienced homeschool families of the obligation to submit a detailed outline of the "minimum course of study" as currently required by law. HSLDA is neutral on this bill because it has significant problems. While it is a genuine improvement for some families, it is a step backwards for others. Overall, though, it probably does more good than harm.

As of late February, H.B. 862 had been unanimously passed by the Education Committee. We are awaiting further developments.