HSLDA Media Release
March 5, 2001

Home schoolers win in West Virginia House

Face another battle in Senate

For immediate release
March 5, 2001
Contact: Rich Jefferson
(540) 338-8663 or media@hslda.org

CHARLESTON, WV-The West Virginia House today moved to end statutorily enforced elitism by voting 89 to 11 to change a law requiring home school parents to have four more years of education than their home-schooled children.

"We heard it said on the House floor that parents should have the right to direct the education of their children, and that they should have the right to do that at home," said John Carey, the legislative director for the Christian Home Educators of West Virginia.

"It was one of the most important days for West Virginia home school freedom," said Carey, whose organization helped mobilize home school families from across the state to witness today's floor debate. "It was dramatic to see home schoolers pack all three House galleries."

The current law means that only those who have attended some college can teach high school students, and they can only teach grades four years below the final level of college they successfully completed.

Home schoolers call this law elitist because it presumes a parent can only teach a child effectively at home "if the parent has a fancy degree hanging on the wall." No other state has such a law.

"You don't need a college degree to teach your own kids in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania--all the states that border us," said a West Virginia home schooler. "They don't need an elitist law in those states, and neither does West Virginia."

House Bill 2595 now heads to the West Virginia Senate Education Committee.

"I encourage home schoolers to contact the appropriate senator to tell them how important this bill is to you. Tell them to vote for and support HB 2595," Carey said.

According to Scott Woodruff, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, West Virginia home schoolers need to communicate as effectively with the state Senate as they did today with the House.

"Until the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law by the governor, nothing has changed," Woodruff cautioned. "West Virginia still has an unfair and elitist statute on the books. But we were encouraged to see the House vote today for freedom and against elitism. It is our hope the Senate will listen to the voices of West Virginia home schoolers on this bill."

 Other Resources

More information on West Virginia's House Bill 2595