Across the States
Aurora’s Options and HSLDA Membership
Many Colorado homeschoolers and Home School Legal Defense Association members are intrigued by Aurora Public School’s Options program, which provides supplementary half-time enrollment to homeschooled students. Options is marketed as a “homeschool enrichment” program, and is essentially a publicly funded co-op with classes taught by certified teachers. The classes are typically held at local churches and students attend one day per week. While the classes may require use of specific textbooks, parents may select a different curriculum to use at home. Due to the public funding, religious materials are not used in the classroom. Parents are still expected to provide the primary instruction for the Options classes, despite the instruction received while “on campus.” The certified teachers are required to give a grade for each class and some programs may provide transcripts for the classes taken, but Options does not issue state-sponsored diplomas.
HSLDA members have asked our attorneys whether or not enrollment in the Options program hinders eligibility for HSLDA membership. Generally, the answer is no. Parents must be aware of the compulsory attendance requirements to ensure complete compliance with the law. Enrolling in the Options program alone does not satisfy compulsory attendance requirements in Colorado. To comply with the law, parents must either enroll their children in a public school program full-time or enroll them in an independent school, notify under the homeschool law, or have them instructed privately by a Colorado certified teacher. For further information, please contact HSLDA’s legal department.
— by Michael P. Donnelly