Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Political and Legal Support for Homeschoolers in Massachusetts
MHLA and Legislation
The Massachusetts Home Learning Association lists its current and past lobbying issues and actions. Some years as many as 10,000 bills are filed before the Massachusetts State Legislature; typically only about 300 become law. Most simply die in committee. When evaluating news of threatening legislation, MHLA urges you to check facts and question everything. Once a volatile e-mail begins to move through a network, various assumptions and speculations appear in subsequent posts. These both get passed on as facts and put in quotation marks as direct quotes. That's how rumors (and panics) start. Even though a posting may come from a well-intentioned homeschooler, you can’t automatically assume that its contents are accurate.
National Charter School Watch List
This list is created to be a means of informing, documenting and evaluating available information concerning the impact of virtual/charter schools on the homeschooling community. This information consists of and is not limited to news items, articles from various sources, legislative information (bills, law changes), documented efforts and experiences and other information that may give weight to whether home-based charter schools or virtual schools are having an impact in any negative way on homeschooling.
Massachusetts Home Education: Information for Superintendents
Lists court rulings on home education in Massachusetts, a summary of guidelines for home education in Massachusetts, FAQ for Superintendents, relevant documents, and more.
Court Rulings on Home Education in Massachusetts: Overview
A summary of the effects the Charles Decision and the Brunelle case have on homeschooling families in Massachusetts. Lists thirteen perspectives on the Charles and Brunelle decisions.
Alliance for the Separation of School & State
An advisory group concerned with educating people about the need to eliminate government involvement in education and the rights of parents to educate their own children. On this site, you will find a public proclamation for the separation of school and state, which you can sign.
Current News
Current News is a section of the AHEM website that offers information on current legislative issues.
Legal Issues Affecting the Homeschool Community
Together We Stand Free
Details the importance of support alternative educational choices, including private schools and vouchers, along with homeschooling.
Massachusetts Department of Education Draft Advisory on Home Education
On June 9, 2003, a representative from Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts joined representatives from other homeschooling organizations to discuss the current DOE Draft Advisory on homeschooling. The advisory is the document the DOE submits to individuals seeking information about homeschooling in Massachusetts. The document's intent, according to the DOE, is to provide a neutral analysis of homeschooling law, and to answer the most commonly asked questions about homeschooling. Many homeschooling groups, including AHEM, have taken issue with various sections of the draft.
Stand for Freedom
Some veteran home educators seem to take a firm stand on principles that others don't even recognize as issues. Is it that they are just stubborn, rebellious, or cantankerous? Probably not.
The New Face of Homeschooling
As their ranks increase, homeschoolers are tapping public schools for curriculum, part-time classes, extracurricular services, and online learning.
Keeping Homeschooling Private
Homeschoolers have been vigilant in protecting their rights, rising to the occasion when they discover threats to clamp down on their activities. Discusses some of the criticisms by opponents of homeschooling, along with the examples of some legal fights in Connecticut and Montana.
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes.
Battling for the Heart and Soul of Home-Schoolers
A look at the battle for the homeschooling movement and the demographics of homeschooling families that challenges the notion that all homeschoolers are conservative fundamentalists. This article is a critical look at the HSLDA.
Social Security's New Home School Flow Chart
For some years, the Social Security Administration has permitted home schoolers to receive benefits in some cases. The agency used a fuzzy test involving several different factors. New documents from the Social Security Administration indicate that the agency has a much better defined policy in place now.
Tips for Writing Your Education Plan
Practical ideas and tips for composing your education plan, with some examples of key phrases and paragraphs you may wish to use.
The Legal Side of Homeschooling: An Overview of the Legal Risks and their Solutions
Families homeschooling for the first time inevitably have questions about legal challenges or threats that they might face from local or state education authorities. Those who do seek an answer to these questions are often faced with a confusing array of laws, policies, and regulations that not only vary from state to state, but also between school districts, and school officials within the same state or district.
Homeschooling Litigation: Preparing the Way
The greatest obstacle pioneering homeschoolers faced two decades ago was daunting: in most states home education wasn't legal. This article details five of the most significant cases that have become landmark decisions in the move towards homeschooling freedoms: the DeJonge case in Michigan, the Jeffery case in Pennsylvania, the Diegel case in Ohio, the Triple E case in South Carolina, and the Calabretta case in California.
The Role of School Policies and Forms
Home education policies are not laws nor contracts between schools and homeschoolers. Rather, they are tools for the administrative convenience of school officials. School districts are not required to have policies, but are free to deal with homeschoolers on a case-by-case basis.
How to Suppress Homeschooling
The education establishment has realized that the socialization issue will be seen for the red herring that it is, and has searched for other means to suppress homeschooling. Two new strategies have emerged, and these pose real threats to homeschooling. The first strategy is to argue that homeschooling needs some form of accreditation. A number of reasons have been offered: it eases the transition back to the public school for those homeschoolers who go back, it is the basis for awarding a recognized diploma, and it makes it easier to provide homeschoolers access to public school programs and facilities such as science classes, libraries, sports, etc. But accreditation is simply another word for conforming, and the desire to not conform is the fundamental reason for choosing to homeschool. Homeschoolers as a group will not be seduced nor will they be tricked by the false promises of accreditation. The second strategy for suppressing homeschooling is one that is much more likely to be successful, and it is to drastically limit homeschoolers’ access to public higher education. In this, the education establishment has discovered its only effective weapon against homeschooling.
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