Next Stop-Governor’s Desk

by | Feb 25, 2016 | News

HB 4175 will be on the Governor’s desk Thursday. We should know by next Wednesday if he is going to approve HB 4175 the Home School Modernization Bill.

Three signatures have to be collected from both the House and the Senate prior to being sent to the Governor and then he will have 5 days to make his decision.

If the bill is approved it will become effective 90 days from when it passed the legislature, not from when it is signed by the Governor. Bill passage was on February 23, which would make the bill effective on May 23, 2016.

If you would like to express your support for HB 4175 contact the Governor:
 Contact Page here!

A simple is all that is needed:  “Please support HB 4175, the Home School Bill.”

In the event of a governor veto, there is plenty of time to override before the session ends on March 12. A simple majority is needed in both Houses for an override of a governors’s veto in West Virginia.

Overview

The new law would improve what is among the most burdensome homeschooling regimes in the country by easing unnecessary bureaucratic requirements on families and school districts.

For example, in West Virginia academic assessments must be submitted annually to the local public school superintendent, but only nine other states require that all homeschool families submit assessments to the authorities. The proposed law would require a family to submit assessments less frequently—only in grades 3, 5, 8 and 11. (All four assessments are still acceptable under the new law.)

Under the proposed law, the annual notice of intent instead would only be submitted upon starting or stopping homeschooling, or if a family moved. The new law would also eliminate what HSLDA has called an unconstitutional 14-day waiting period that parents removing a child from the public schools had to abide by before starting home education. This waiting period has been a burdensome requirement, especially for parents with children having difficulty in the institutional school environment.

The new law would lower the minimum score required to demonstrate adequate progress on standardized tests from the 50th percentile—an unreasonably restrictive score—to around the 23rd percentile. Other states that have minimum test scores set the threshold for acceptable progress in the 13th–30th percentile range.

Due process protections in the new bill would make it harder for school districts to put up roadblocks for parents interested in homeschooling or in harassing those who already are. The proposed law would clarify that homeschoolers are not subject to truancy prosecutions and would also require a superintendent to have probable cause before seeking an order to deny home education.

Making the law simpler will allow families to homeschool with fewer bureaucratic requirements. HSLDA and CHEWV believe that parents are best equipped and empowered to make decisions about how their children will be educated, and this new law takes some big steps in that direction.

Reading the bill will answer most of your questions.  Read the final version of HB 4175  HERE.

HSLDA will be supplying a legal analysis in the coming weeks after the bill becomes law.

 

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