October 9, 2002

House Votes to Protect Homeschoolers' Privacy

Homeschoolers everywhere can be happy about an October 7 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to extend privacy protections to homeschooling families.

The House passed H.R. 5331, which was introduced by U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy ( R-MN), to amend the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA was designed to protect the privacy of students enrolled in public schools, by guaranteeing their private information would not be disseminated by schools. Some states, however, did not extend these protections to the state-held records of homeschoolers.

Home School Legal Defense Association worked with Rep. Kennedy's office to draft the bill and help it win approval. House Education Committee Chairman John Boehner (R-OH) was also instrumental in getting the bill to the House floor for a vote.

"We are pleased to learn the House has acted to correct this situation for homeschoolers," Smith said. "Mr. Kennedy is to be commended for his work on this matter. We certainly hope the Senate will follow suit, and we will work to that end."

The bill reflects the attitude toward homeschoolers shown in H.R. 1, President Bush's education bill, which became law in January. That bill directly prohibited federal control over homeschoolers, including curriculum for homeschooled children.

For more information about FERPA, click the link below.