Originally Sent: 8/4/2014
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Changes to Utah’s Homeschool Law
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,
Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! As you begin planning the year’s lessons and your kids begin opening their new textbooks, we at HSLDA want to update you on legal changes to Utah’s homeschool notification option.
Utah families may homeschool if they file an affidavit with their local school district. This spring the Utah Legislature passed Senate Bill 39 into law, changing Utah’s affidavit provisions. These changes do not affect families who enroll their children in private schools, even if those schools offer an umbrella option for family-directed at-home instruction.
For homeschoolers who file their notification of intent, SB 39 instituted several positive changes. Specifically, the law strikes an excellent balance of retaining the key freedom elements of Utah’s homeschool statute (notice, not approval; parental control over curriculum; available exemptions for part-time work, early graduation, etc.), while also making the process less burdensome and making additional assessment information available at the parent’s request:
In addition, the law also adds a new provision to Utah law to cover the process of placing students who were formerly homeschooled back into the public school setting (a situation which is more common as homeschoolers move into high school). State-level direction from the legislature on this topic is usually more helpful than harmful, as it prevents local districts from implementing their own varying standards which may unfairly discriminate against or penalize homeschooled students.
Here, in particular, the process is particularly fair and balanced, with both the parents and the school administrators having a say in the placement. If the school disagrees with the parent’s placement decision, the disagreement is resolved by having the child evaluated through either the public school’s standard assessment, or a private assessment chosen by the parent. The choice of evaluation method (public or private) is ultimately chosen by the parent, not the school.
Although HSLDA was not involved in the drafting or promotion of this bill in the legislature, we are pleased that the legislature has so warmly embraced these positive changes to the homeschooling law, while also retaining the elements of Utah law that have been a bulwark of homeschool freedom for many years.
Please contact our office by phone at 540-338-5600 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions as you start the new school year!
Standing with you for Freedom,
Peter K. Kamakawiwoole, Jr.
P.S. We greatly value you and your support—t is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>
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