County — A family homeschooling a
kindergartener sought help from the county board of education in finding a
portfolio evaluator. The county homeschool coordinator told the parent that
she must use an evaluator who taught in the county. Unaware that the law
allows any state-licensed teacher to evaluate portfolios, the parent began her
search with teachers at the local schools. But despite her efforts and long
acquaintance with many of the teachers, she was unable to find an evaluator.
Finally one teacher admitted that the county homeschool coordinator had
“advised” teachers not to serve as evaluators. Eventually, a retired
teacher agreed to conduct the evaluation.
At the suggestion of a longtime homeschool parent in the county, the parent talked with the county superintendent about her experience. The superintendent apologized for his office’s poor treatment of the homeschool family and promised to rectify the situation. The superintendent also encouraged the parent to “feel free to call or come in” with any other problems.
Nicholas County – HSLDA’s
Court Report (March/April 2003) reported that one of their Nicholas
County members received a form from the county “asking for the homeschool
instructor's Social Security number and proof that the instructor had four years
more formal education than his eldest student.” Scott Woodruff, HSLDA attorney
for WV, informed the county’s Homeschool Coordinator, Hugh Johnson, that the
four-year rule has been waived until June 2003. (These events took place prior
to the passage of the law eliminating the four-year rule.) “Mr. Johnson
promptly wrote Nicholas County homeschool families, explaining that the
four-year requirement is not applicable this year and expressing his hope that
the county's mistake did not cause homeschool families any inconvenience.”
The report went on to explain
that the “Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits any government agency from requesting
a Social Security number unless the citizen is told whether the disclosure is
mandatory or voluntary. If it is mandatory, the agency must state the statute or
other authority that allows them to make it mandatory. Social Security numbers
can be abused if they fall into the wrong hands and it is usually wise to
disclose this information only when it is clearly required under law.” The
report expressed the hope that Nicholas County would no longer ask for home-schoolers’
Social Security numbers.