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The Maryland State Board of Education voted on December 4 to delay any decision on the proposed new homeschool regulation until their February meeting and instructed the state department of education to create a committee composed of homeschoolers to discuss the issues. This is a terrific breakthrough!
More than 85 homeschoolers packed the boardroom yesterday during the time for public comment. There was standing room only. Representatives from many homeschool organizations testified courteously but forcefully against the proposed regulation. Those who testified included Julie Wesolek (Christian Home Educators Network), Gary Cox (Walkersville Christian Family Schools), Jon Shilts (Maryland Association of Christian Home Educators), Billy Greer (Maryland Home Educators Association), Bob Beller (Traditions of Roman Catholic Homes), and Scott Somerville (HSLDA).
The vote is an answer to many prayers. It is also a tribute to the hard work of many Maryland homeschooling families who organized and attended meetings, wrote letters, and made phone calls.
Although the board agreed to our request to sit down and discuss the issues, it also made statements indicating that it still intended to pursue some form of annual notification. We hope this is not an indication that the board has made up its mind before the committee has done its work.
Pray that the state department of education will truly have an open mind and listen to the committee and that all issues will be resolved in a way that protects the liberties of homeschooling families in Maryland.
Our thanks to Gary Cox for passing along information he obtained while attending the board meeting.
Proposed Change to Homeschooling Regulations
Maryland Homeschool Rules Proposal Triggers Protest
(The Baltimore Sun, 12/04/02)