HSLDA Ohio State Homeschooling Update

OHIO STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION GIVES FINAL APPROVAL TO HOME EDUCATION RULE REVISIONS – January 13, 2009

This week the Ohio State Board of Education finished a seven month process to review and revise Ohio’s home education regulations. It is the first time since the regulations went into effect August 1, 1989 that any revisions have been made. All administrative rules in the Ohio Department of Education undergo a “five year review cycle.” All previous reviews of the home education rules did not yield any recommendations from the ODE for revisions. This time the revisions (posted below) were minor technical changes. The process, however, undergirds the fundamental importance of being attentive to board policy and especially being involved in the election of members of our State Board of Education. This month more than one half of the Board was comprised of brand new members, some elected and some appointed by Governor Strickland. We will post the bios of each member and identify the elected districts which will be on the ballot in 2010 in a separate post.

OAC 3301-34-01 (A)

Final revision (in red) – “Licensed or certified Teacher” means a person who holds a valid Ohio teaching license or certificate, excluding the certificate issued under section 3301.071 of the Revised Code.

Rationale for amendment – State law regarding professional credentialing of teachers has shifted from a system of certification to a system of licensure. This revision is not a shift in policy for home educating parents. It will only affect teachers who serve home educating families in the application of the assessment rule. It is a technical change that brings this rule in compliance with recent changes in state law.

OAC 3301-34-04 (B)(1)

Final revision -

The academic assessment report shall include one of the following:

(1) Results of a nationally normed, standardized achievement test.

(a) Such test shall be administered by:

(i) A licensed or certified teacher; or …

(2) A written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of the child’s work has been reviewed and that the child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities

(a) The written narrative shall be prepared by:

(i) A licensed or certified teacher; or…

Rationale for amendment – The assessment requirements previously referenced rule # 3301-12-02, which was deleted because that rule as it pertained to assessments affecting home educators no longer exists. The statements previously referencing “certified teachers” needed to be amended to include a reference to “licensed teachers”

Note: A full copy of the revised Ohio Administrative Code governing home education, 3301-34-01 through -06, will be posted shortly at www.cheohome.org. Please download these revised rules and retain them in your home education files.

These two revisions were technical in nature and offer no change in policy regarding home education in Ohio. The significance of this should not be understated. The Ohio Department of Education received 8,733 comments from the public, of which the majority asked that no changes be made to the rules governing home educated students. CHEO deeply appreciates the involvement of thousands of citizens in this process and also the professionalism of ODE staff, especially Kim Murnieks, Chief Program Officer in the ODE’s Center for School Options and Finance. We are especially grateful to the State Board of Education for honoring the requests of Ohio citizens and preserving the fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children.