While ultimately HB 3127, the Tim Tebow bill, did not pass during the 2019 legislative session, statements made during the debate have created significant confusion among West Virginia homeschoolers—after all, if a lawmaker made a statement on the floor of the Legislature, it must be true, right?
In an effort to clear up confusion in the homeschool community, here are some clarifications:
- West Virginia homeschool requirements are set by the state, not the county. Therefore, every county has the same homeschool requirements. Parents need to know the requirements so they may defend themselves against overzealous administrators who regularly provide forms or other documents that request more than is legally required. See WV Code §18-8-1(c) for more details.
- By law, every homeschool student must be assessed every year, and the results retained for three years. Homeschooling parents have used these end-of-year assessments to guard against charges of educational neglect, to place their students in courses, and to assist them with college entrance. See WV Code §18-8-1(c)(2)(C) for more details.
- Parents have the choice of four assessment methods. Due to issues that homeschoolers have had with methods 2 and 4, WVHEA recommends standardized testing or a portfolio review. See WV Code §18-8-1(c)(2)(C) for more details.
- standardized testing,
- public school testing,
- portfolio review, or
- a mutually agreed-upon alternative assessment.
- Every homeschool student who complies with WV Code §18-8-1(c) meets school attendance requirements, as per WV state law. According to the WVSSAC handbook 127-2-6.3, students participating in WVSSAC-regulated activities are not all required to attend full day class periods, so homeschooled students aren’t requesting any changes in attendance expectations.
- Every homeschooled student is required to obtain un-graded records of satisfactory progress as per WV Code §18-8-1(c), just like students participating in WVSSAC-regulated activities may participate based on un-graded records of satisfactory progress as per WVSSAC handbook 126-26-3.h
Ideas and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or the members of the Governing Board of WVHEA.