Statement Opposing West Virginia’s HB 2793 and SB 444

For Immediate Release: Removing Accountability is Detrimental to Homeschooled Children

Canton, Ma., 2/26/15—With House Bill 2793 and Senate Bill 444, West Virginia stands poised to remove legal provisions which have protected homeschooled children in the state from educational neglect for the past three decades. “The changes these bills propose are detrimental to the interests of West Virginia’s 9,000 homeschooled students,” stated Rachel Coleman, Executive Director of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education.

Under HB 2793 and SB 444, homeschooling parents would no longer be required to submit their children’s annual academic assessments (either standardized tests or portfolio reviews) to the county superintendent. Superintendents would thus have no way to determine whether students are making academic progress, or to ensure that assessments are actually taking place. “Homeschooling parents need to be held accountable for educating their children,” Coleman stated. “Without accountability, homeschooled children can fall through the cracks.”

HB 2793 and SB 444 would also remove the requirement that homeschooling parents have a high school diploma or equivalent. A recent study of homeschool alumni found that respondents whose parents had graduated from high school reported far higher levels of preparedness than those whose parents had not. “Parents’ level of education is extremely important to homeschooled children’s academic success,” Coleman said. “These bills would allow parents to homeschool their children for grades they never completed themselves.”

HB 2793 and SB 444 also remove annual notification of homeschooling and allow homeschooling parents to administer their children’s standardized tests themselves, which can open the door for cheating. “Having standards is a sign of respect for the importance of the task homeschool parents are taking on,” added Coleman. “When these standards are removed, the negative impact on homeschooled students can be profound.”

The Coalition for Responsible Education is a national organization dedicated to raising awareness of the need for homeschooling reform, providing public policy guidance, and advocating for responsible home education practices. http://www.responsiblehomeschooling.org

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