We understand there is confusion in our community related to the different statements being made about how to interpret House Bill 197’s language regarding assessments.

These are challenging times, and even if it is true that the coronavirus pandemic is easing and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is looking at lifting some restrictions in May, I wanted you to know that we are trying to bring about some clarity.

Although the proposal to eliminate homeschooling assessments did not originate with either Home School Legal Defense Association or CHEO, both organizations believe it is in the best interests of the homeschooling community to see that the intent of that proposal is honored.

What will HB 197 do?

We have been told by Ohio legislators and ODE staff that the intent of section L in HB 197 was to eliminate the requirement for homeschool families to have to submit any assessment as part of the notification process for the 2020–21 school year.

HSLDA and CHEO have been in communication with the ODE and are hopeful that updated guidance will be issued to further clarify what the ODE expects of public-school superintendents.

I have also learned that Sarah Fowler, Ohio State School Board member, homeschool graduate and candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives, has proposed a resolution be considered by the state School Board at its May meeting to affirm that homeschool families are not required to submit assessments as part of the notification process for the 2020–21 school year. The resolution has not been placed on the official agenda for the school board as of yet, but when it is, HSLDA will likely be requesting action from you in support of the resolution.

HSLDA and CHEO will continue to advocate for the interests of the homeschool community, and we are grateful for your support!