October 22, 2010

Superintendent of Public Instruction Submits Bill Request for 2011 Legislature

Nevada’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Keith W. Rheault, acting on behalf of the State Department of Education, recently submitted a bill draft request for Nevada’s 2011 Legislative Session. The legislation primarily deals with adjustments to the public charter school law, but it also affects homeschoolers in two ways.

First, it removes the prohibition against homeschooled students participating in a program of distance education offered by the public school system. Practically, this means that a homeschooled student would be able to enroll in online or other electronically administered courses provided by the state public school system.

Second, the bill includes language requiring a parent or charter school to withdraw a notice of intent to homeschool if the child is enrolled in another education option in Nevada. Proposed language requires either the parent to notify the district superintendent of the withdrawal of a child from homeschooling or a charter school in which a formerly homeschooled child is enrolled to notify the board of trustees of the district of the change.

HSLDA and Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) have reviewed the proposed legislation and agree that without legal protections for homeschoolers, the bill will negatively impact private homeschooling. NHN is working with the State Superintendent’s office and leadership of the virtual charter school community to allow homeschoolers to participate in distance education classes in ways that ensure practical and legal distinctions between homeschooling and virtual public school education.

HSLDA encourages its Nevada members to stay informed about legislation that could impact their freedom to homeschool. More information about legislative activity in your state is available on HSLDA’s website.