For states that require homeschoolers to take end-of-the-year standardized tests, many are left wondering if this is still required since public school students are exempt from testing?
HSLDA recommends that homeschoolers continue to follow the law as it relates to assessing their child.
In response to the extraordinary public health threat posed by COVID-19, President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency. As a result, many states have closed some or all schools. Therefore, a state unable to assess its students may seek a waiver from federal testing requirements. “U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year.”
As you know, homeschools are not in the same legal category as public schools, and this leaves many of us wondering if we need to comply with our regular testing requirements.
Not all states require annual testing for homeschools. Here’s the map.
As in all things legal, I turn to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association for my family- we’ve been members for over 20 years. If you’re a member of HSLDA, you’ll want to follow their guidance, and contact them with your questions. For non-members, I recommend either testing as usual, joining HSLDA, or consulting a private attorney for assistance.
HSLDA reminds us that it is the states, not the federal government, that has the constitutional authority over K12 education. As such, President Trump’s waiver isn’t for us (parents) rather it is for the schools. The schools only get federal funding if they comply with testing- so their exemption means they can skip testing and still get funding.
HSLDA recommended that homeschoolers continue to follow the law as it relates to assessing their child in their first statement, but since making that initial statement, they have continued updating members on the states that have made specific determinations. Per HSLDA, these states have officially modified annual testing for 2019-2020 due to Covid-19.
Governor Brian Kemp has signed an executive order giving homeschooling families until the end of the 2020-2021 school year to comply with testing that normally would have been required this year.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has clarified that her order to “suspend” kindergarten through 12th-grade “in-person” instruction does not interfere with homeschooling.
The New York Board of Regents has voted to temporarily change the annual assessment requirements for homeschool students. Parents may now select the alternative written narrative evaluation for their students, regardless of grade level.
The state Department of Education has released guidance that conflicts with the information we previously passed on to families about annual homeschool reporting requirements. The department’s latest statement appears to indicate that homeschool families will still be expected to submit certain types of assessments for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Governor Kristi Noem waived homeschool testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year by signing Senate Bill 189.