Received this from a reader who felt compelled to share this information, concerning home-schooling, after contacting the appropriate State Representatives.

There are over a quarter of our States that have no regulations regarding educating our children at home. And properly so!

However, a situation present in several States, similar to what is going on in Colorado (where the reader resides), needs addressing. The reader wanted to inform other home-schooling families across the U.S., in the hope that they, too, take action.

The following is from the reader’s letter:

Those who choose to home school their children in Colorado are caught in a contrary situation.

According to http://www.cde.state.co.us/choice/homeschool_faq :

  • Home schooling is deregulated in the state of Colorado. Therefore, the parent or guardian is taking on ALL of the responsibility for the student’s education including but not limited to the acquisition of books, supplies, tests, and maintaining permanent records.
  • There is no public funding available for home school programs.
  • Home schooling falls under NON-PUBLIC education and is not accredited by the Colorado Department of Education or a local school district.
  • Home school students are not required to take Colorado’s standardized tests, however the parent may request of their local school district that their child participate. Colorado specific assessments do not fulfill the requirement for home school students to take a nationally standardized test.

And then, in the next breath (see specifically the testing requirements below):

  • A parent who intends to establish a nonpublic, home-based, education program does not need to provide written notification of the program to a school district within the state until the child is 6 years old. (22-33-104.5(3)(e), C.R.S.)
  • The parent or guardian must provide written notification explaining the intent to home school his or her child. Notification can be given to any Colorado public school district office.
  • This written notification must be given 14 days before the parent or guardian establishes the home school program. (22-33-104.5(3)(e), C.R.S.)
    The notification must list the child’s name, age, place of residence, and attendance hours.

* Please Note: Written notification must be re-submitted to the school district each year the home school program is maintained after the initial year.

  • If the written notification is not submitted to the school district the student resides in, it is advisable to notify the residing school district as well to avoid truancy action.

RE-READ that last sentence a few times….IS there a Difference between ‘the school district the student resides in’ and ‘the residing school district’?

Taken from the above listed site:

  • What requirements or qualifications must I have to home school my child?

You must be the child’s parent, legal guardian or an adult relative designated by the parent. (22-33-104.5(3)(a), C.R.S.) No other qualifications or licenses are required.

NOTE: If your child is enrolled in a home school co-op program and those running the program will conduct an evaluation for educational progress, those teaching your child must be qualified. A qualified person means an individual who is selected by the parent of a child who is participating in a nonpublic, home-based educational program to evaluate such child’s progress and who is a teacher licensed pursuant to article 60.5 of this title, a teacher who is employed by an independent or parochial school, a licensed psychologist, or a person with a graduate degree in education. (22-33-104.5(2)(c), C.R.S.)

  • What are the requirements for attendance?

Your program shall include no less than 172 days of instruction, averaging four instructional contact hours per day. (22-33-104.5(3)(c), C.R.S.)

  • What subjects do I have to teach?

Your program shall include, but is not limited to communication skills of reading, writing and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States. (22-33-104.5(3)(d), C.R.S.)

  • What kind of records do I have to keep?

Your records must include but are not limited to, attendance data, test and evaluation results, and immunization records. Such records may be requested by the school district that receives notification that the student is attending a home school program (22-33-104.5(3)(g), C.R.S.)

  • What kind of test is my child required to take? Who pays for it? Where do I get the test?

The student being home schooled must either take a nationally standardized achievement test when he/she reaches grades three, five, seven, nine, and eleven to evaluate academic progress, or a qualified person must evaluate the student’s academic progress at the parent’s expense. Contact an organization at Home School Resources, or check with the local school district to see if the student can be tested the same day public school students are tested. The district may charge you for any costs incurred.

It is the parent’s obligation to report the test or evaluation results to either the school district that receives the written notification for the home school student, or report the test or evaluation results to an independent or parochial school.

  • If the parent submitted the test or evaluation results to an independent or parochial school, the name of the school must be provided to the school district that receives written notification. (22-33-104.5(3)(f), C.R.S.)

NOTE: If your child is enrolled in a home school co-op program, it is still the parent’s obligation to report test/evaluation results to the school district.
For locations of testing, contact one of the organizations listed on the Home School Resources page.

  • Is my home schooled child required to take a state assessment test?

No. Home schooled students are required to take a nationally standardized test. However, if a parent or legal guardian requests it, a district shall permit a home schooled student to take the state assessment and provide the results of the assessment to the parent or legal guardian. The test is given only to home schooled students whose parents request that the child participate in the testing. (22-7-409 (III)(1.3)(b), C.R.S.)

  • Is there a state diploma or can my child earn one from the district?

There is no state diploma. District diplomas are presented only to students who have attended a public high school in the district. Some companies selling home schooling curricula offer a diploma at the completion of their program. A parent or guardian can purchase a diploma at an office supply store or make a diploma on a computer to present at the completion of the program. Home school programs are not accredited by the state of Colorado or local school districts.

  • Does my home schooled child have to take the GED?

No. The adult in charge of the program may graduate the student by simply issuing a diploma. However, taking the GED is an option
.
*As if homeschooling is not above nor on par with public education???

  • Is there any funding available for home schooling?

At the time of this update, there is no funding available.

 

The State asserts we parents are totally responsible for the education of our children when we decide to home school them, however there are a multitude of ‘MUSTS’ and “required”. WHY??

Since home schooling IS DE-REGULATED, WHY IS IT regulated?? Having MANY ‘requirements, regulations and laws, it is, in fact, regulated.

How is it we are required to maintain records, test the students bi-yearly, teach particular subjects, and have a set amount of hours imposed upon us even though we are non-public education?

How is it that we are subject to oversight by a public entity – actually more than one (the State, CDE and the local district office)? Why are we told which subjects we have to teach?

Why are we required to record attendance, and have to meet certain amount of hours? How is it that the homeschooled child can be charged with truancy?

Why are we having to have our students tested every other year by entities that are NOT responsible for the education of our children? Why are we required to report anything to public entities???

The State, district and governmental bodies have NO responsibility regarding our students education, as they state that the parents are TOTALLY responsible, YET they then dictate all these rules, regulations and laws affecting our choice to educate our children ourselves!!

The laws need to change. Since we are NON-PUBLIC, we need NOT be expected to fall under PUBLIC domain.

One of the main reasons parents choose to educate their own children is because the public system has failed miserably to actually educate our children. They graduate functionally illiterate children year after year. (As an employer, I consistently run into graduates who cannot properly fill out job applications, and cannot do simple math nor spell). The complaints are overwhelming: the children cannot do simple mathematics without a calculator; they know little to nothing about history; they cannot read effectively nor write; and know very little of the rules of grammar or penmanship. What they do get taught is a very slanted diatribe, consisting of acceptance of homosexuality, multiculturalism, and a steady degradation of family and faith values, which, according to the Congressional record of 1963, is a communistic agenda.

Publicly educated students are not fully instructed in the rules of spelling, composition or form, and know very little of critical analysis, nor many other needed skills. In essence, they are NOT getting an academic education- they are getting an indoctrination – to think and behave along a set mode governed by those who would undermine everything we value.

So WHY is it that the PUBLIC entities think they have any right to impose ANY rules, regulations or laws upon those who are assuring our children DO, in fact, get a solid and proper education?

The Public system is constantly throwing in our face about how they are the experts, and they get offended when we question their ability to educate. Yet, they seem to think that we should answer to them. WE pay for that system; WE have every right to question them- it’s not the other way around!!

We have asked no financing, nor anything else. We simply want our children to have a sound education- something the ‘system’ cannot manage to do, even though it is heavily funded on several fronts, and has an overload of alleged ‘experts’.

We parents who have chosen to educate our own children do NOT need a ‘babysitter’– especially ones from the PUBLIC sector who have repeatedly failed to do what we pay them to do. We, who have chosen to educate our children by alternative means, also need to be exempt from paying for public education, which would enable us to channel that money into our NON-PUBLIC educational needs. Why are we required to pay for something we are not using? By being required to pay for public education, we are forced to pay for two educational ‘systems’: Public and non-public.

We do not need to be ‘held accountable’ to anyone- we are assuring our children get the best education within our power. With the advent of the internet, and myriad of resources, the education our children are receiving at home far surpasses anything the ‘system’ could ever give our children. We do not need any public entity to mandate nor oversee what we are doing, order us to follow rules they impose upon us, nor force us to keep records of any sort. We do not fall within their domain; home schooling is not accredited by the public educational system, nor is it funded by public monies. So WHY do we ‘have to’ answer to ANY public entity?

Clearly, we need these laws, rules, regulations, requirements, and restrictions thrown out. NO public entity takes ANY responsibility for homeschooling- that is made clear by the State’s own declaration that homeschooling is NON-PUBLIC and is the full responsibility of the parent or legal guardian or other relative. Therefore, it is none of the State nor school district’s business.

Nothing about homeschooling is within the ‘public’ realm. It is NON-PUBLIC, not publicly funded, and therefore, all requirements set by these PUBLIC entities do NOT apply.

It is clearly the full responsibility of the family to make any and all decisions in regards to homeschooling. According to the State’ own documentation: the parent or guardian is taking on ALL of the responsibility for the student’s education including but not limited to the acquisition of books, supplies, tests, etc.

It is NOT up to the State or the district to impose anything upon the family. These PUBLIC entities are ‘not responsible’ for attendance, curriculum, testing, health, religious preference, funding, accreditation, diplomas, record keeping, assessments, reporting, nor notification of anything, as they have removed themselves from ALL said responsibilities. So WHY are we to answer to them??

Since they have removed themselves from ALL responsibilities, then they need to adhere by that and remove themselves. There is no obligation for anyone to oversee what the homeschooling family is doing, when, for how many hours, whether or not they have been immunized, what subjects are being taught, whether or not any tests are being administered and what said results might or might not be, nor whether any records are being kept- EVERYTHING about homeschooling falls within the family’s jurisdiction and is removed from the public jurisdiction completely, as it is NON-PUBLIC. Therefore, we parents need not be ‘held accountable’ to any public entity.

It would be prudent, therefore, for Colorado to join the other many states that have dropped these PUBLIC entities from dictating what homeschooling families are forced to do- these other states equal over a quarter of all states combined at this time, with many others soon to follow suit. With so many states recognizing that they do not have jurisdiction over the non-public sector, they have relieved the burden on families. They have recognized that home schooled students are generally more educated than their peers, and that families that have chosen to educate their young are, in fact, very responsible and able.

Colorado needs to stop being contrary to common sense, and recognize that the public sector has NO responsibility (by its own admission), obligation, nor right to ‘oversee’ anything it deems to be non-public. Our legislators and public educators need to recognize that homeschooling is far more successful and effective than the education given in the public sector – and that it would be even more so without the hindrance of public oversight and interference.

Please contact your appropriate representatives and request/demand that they draft and introduce appropriate legislation to remove the State and districts from imposing upon homeschooling families.

There need be no ‘requirement’ to report, file, test, record-keep, nor anything else. It is the family’s right to decide how and when to educate their children, and we are doing a superior job of it. The State and district’s need to step back and realize that the home schooled child is receiving a better education, and since no one but the family is paying for that education, all decisions need to be solely that of the family. We do not need any public entity levying unnecessary burdens, and we certainly do not need anyone supervising, nor demanding us to follow anything that is clearly not in the public realm of responsibility. They have removed themselves from said responsibility.

Note: To find out your State laws regarding home-schooling, the Home Schooling Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a color-coded map on their website Here:

https://www.hslda.org/LAWS/default.asp

 

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