1st WV Compulsory Attendance Law
Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance Added
Several exemptions were added to the compulsory attendance law, one of which allowed home education if families could obtain county approval. Significant county oversight was required.
All of the ten existing exemptions were labeled “A” through “J.” The homeschooling exemption was Exemption B.
County approval to homeschool under Exemption B was difficult to obtain and requirements were not only cumbersome, but varied from county to county. In 1983 Exemption K was added for Christian, parochial, and private schools and included a reference to “other nonpublic schools.” Homeschool families began registering as private schools under Exemption K.
Ruling Against Exemption K
County and State Boards of Education were questioning the use of Exemption K by homeschoolers. A ruling was made by the Attorney General that families must use Exemption B to homeschool.
*New Exemption B Allows Home Education*
In the 1986 legislative session, new wording was put in Exemption B that allowed families the right to home educate without county approval and without county oversight!
Christian Home Educators of WV was begun by a group of home educators who wanted to honor God as the foundation of home education. Adopted verse: Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. (Psalm 127:1)
CHEWV Services Expand
CHEWV grows from a small group to a statewide presence as it adds its inaugural state conference featuring well-known homeschool pioneer Gregg Harris, a statewide testing service to help families meet the testing requirement, and a bi-monthly mailed newsletter, The Homeschool Banner.
CHEWV’s 1st Homeschool Graduate
The first student to graduate at a state homeschool commencement comes down the aisle on the campus of WV Wesleyan College.
Portfolio Review Assessment Option Added
Prior, homeschoolers had to score in the top 60% of national scores to continue to homeschool. When the portfolio review option was added, special needs children and other students could be homeschooled if they progressed according to their abilities.
WV’s first home education website was introduced. With one page, operated via DOS, by one homeschool student, CHEWV was ushered into a new way of communicating (with the few who had internet access at the time).
Four-Year Rule Removed Temporarily
Prior, a homeschooling parent had to have at least four more years of education than their most advanced homeschool student. This requirement was temporarily removed in the 2000 session.
Four-Year Rule Removed
The Four Year Rule was removed permanently in exchange for raising the “acceptable progress” bar to the 50th percentile for standardized testing.
CHEWV’s Legislative Liaison
CHEWV began to provide some financial support to our part-time lobbyist – who had volunteered on CHEWV’s behalf since 1999.
New Updated Website
In order to expand our information and service, we transitioned to our first paid website. It quickly became our virtual office!
CHEWV joined the social media fray with Facebook! Since, we have added Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
Through our lobbyist, CHEWV intervened with the governor’s educational bill to ensure that parents can withdraw their child from preschool for “good cause,” thus preventing parents from having to register to homeschool their three and four-year-olds.
CHEWV transitioned from a mailed to an emailed newsletter and added a free subscriber option in order to communicate with anyone who wants to stay abreast of homeschooling news!
Homeschool families and friendly legislators worked together to pass three key homeschool bills, albeit two of them were vetoed after the session. Still, the Diploma Fairness Bill was signed, ensuring that a homeschool diploma is not treated differently from a private or public school diploma. This was the start of full recognition for home education and the end of discrimination based on educational method alone.
A New Look!
In honor of our 25th Anniversary, CHEWV worked with Crowes Nest Creative (homeschoolers themselves) to create and introduce a new website, updated logo, and a contemporary brand. We are poised for another 25 years!
Modernization of Homeschool Law
Through the efforts of WV homeschoolers and supportive legislators, the Homeschool Modernization Bill was signed by the Governor on March 3rd. This bill brought the WV law in alignment with most other states. We now enjoy the freedom of less reporting and meeting standards which are comparable to national averages instead of the previous above-average standard.