In response to WV Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine’s comments late last week, John Carey (CHEWV’s legislative liaison) quickly arranged a meeting with State Superintendent Paine. Also in attendance were two leading members of the State Board of Education, President David Perry and Vice President Miller Hall. CHEWV Board members James and Wendy Summers, along with Mike Donnelly from HSLDA, questioned Dr. Paine about the accuracy of the data on which his comments to the State Board were based.
Department of Education staff, using data from their attendance tracking system, indicated that there have been over 18,000 new homeschoolers in West Virginia in just the last five years. CHEWV questioned the accuracy of that number and requested that WVDE compare that number to the number of NOI’s that have been submitted by legal homeschoolers, which they agreed to do. CHEWV emphasized the difference between legal homeschoolers and truants. Both Superintendent Paine and Board President Perry voiced their support for legal homeschoolers. Stating that their concern is for children of whom the counties have lost track, they acknowledged that a portion of that problem could be on their end. Not only did Paine and Perry clarify that there was no plan to initiate new board policy or legislative action, but they agreed to communicate with CHEWV should any new board action related to homeschooling be proposed in the future.
While the meeting was very positive and alleviated many immediate concerns raised by the Superintendent’s comments quoted in the media, this remains a critical season where CHEWV expects challenges to our homeschooling freedoms to arise over the next several months.
The State Board of Education may not initiate action to increase regulations of homeschoolers, but other educational groups can – and likely will – work to encourage legislators to increase homeschool regulation. CHEWV will be there throughout the process to monitor legislation, and we will continue to keep you informed of issues relative to homeschooling freedom. Your prayers are vital to the success of CHEWV’s vigilance.
THANK YOU to all those who partner with us to make this work possible – so that we are all free to train up our children in the Christian faith.