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Currently, homeschools operate as private schools in Kansas. However, even though homeschools can register as private schools with the Kansas Department of Education, this does not guarantee them legal status as a private school. Instead, a 1983 court case, In Re Sawyer, outlines a standard that determines if home instruction actually is a legal private school. This vague standard—that instruction must be planned, scheduled, and provide periodic testing—results in homeschool programs being vulnerable to school district officials probing into their instruction to try to determine if they actually are private schools. Because the standard is so nebulous, it is almost impossible for homeschoolers to be assured in advance that their program constitutes a private school and therefore complies with the law.
This bill enacts a very simple change that solves this problem. If a parent registers their homeschool as a private school with the Kansas Department of Education, and if they affirm that they are a school and that the courses in their school are taught by a competent instructor for at least 180 days, then their program will be a private school and children attending that school will be in compliance with compulsory attendance laws. The family will not have to worry about being called to prove that their homeschool program complies with the requirements of In Re Sawyer.
02/10/2012 (House) Introduced
02/13/2012 (House) Referred to House Education Committee
This bill failed to exit committee before the session ended, and is now dead.
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