Originally Sent: 9/21/2015
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Proposed New Homeschool Regulations: Curtain Comes Off Tomorrow
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
Since May of this year, along with a few other homeschool leaders, I have been in discussions with the Maryland Department of Education in regard to their proposal to change some Maryland homeschool regulations. Their main motivation for the revised regulations was to make it clear (although it was actually already clear!) that homeschoolers could take college classes as part of their homeschool program. Gary Cox, Dave Smith, and Manfred Smith, and Wendy Bush were also invited to work with the department.
Many of the proposed changes were inconsequential or actually helpful in small ways. However, during our discussions with Department of Education staff, I pointed out a couple of significant problems, asked for changes, and explained why the changes were necessary.
After these initial discussions, I occasionally heard rumors that the amended regulations would outlaw or restrict co-ops, or something of that sort. I can state emphatically that nothing was proposed that would work in that direction. Having said that, there may be some people in the department who might hold such views. But no such change in regulations was proposed. Trying to limit homeschool freedom in such a manner would undoubtedly bring a very strong reaction from the homeschool community.
Tomorrow the department staff is going to ask the board to officially publish the new proposed regulations. They will not give the public access to the document until then. I do not know yet whether what they intend to publish is better or worse—or the same as—what they initially proposed. When we finally get a copy of the actual proposal, we will give you our detailed response and whether we recommend that families take any action.
A quick note on the regulatory process: When a proposed regulation is “published,” that is just the beginning of the formal process. There will be time for public feedback before the board eventually adopts or rejects the proposed changes.
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
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