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Does Your State Monitor Home Schooling?

Parents have many valid reasons to home school their children.  These include the safety of their children, low-performing public schools and religious reasons.  But the question to be asked and answered, are children who are enrolled in home schools learning anything?  And  do we measure?

New Mexico’s Department of Education mandates that home schooled children receive “a basic academic, educational program, including, but not limited to, reading, language, arts, mathematics, social studies and science.”  But the Department does not have the capacity to monitor whether children in the state who are being home schooled are actually receiving that instruction.

New Mexico is one of 14 states with “low regulation”.  Low regulation is defined as requiring parents notify the state that children are being educated.

Twenty states require parents to send notification, test scores and/or a professional evaluation of a students progress to the state.

Six states with “high regulation” require  home visits by state officials, teacher qualification of parents and a curriculum approved by the state. In Pennsylvania, for example, parents are required to file an affidavit assuring the state that subjects are taught in English, give an outline of proposed education objectives by subject area and provide evidence of immunization.

Ten states including Texas, have no regulation.

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