Maryland Catholic Homeschoolers
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proposed changes Maryland homeschool info

Proposed Legislation - February 2017 - THIS DID NOT PASS

MD HB980 Home School Students Right to Participate In Public School Activities

 

Links to the HB 980 –

 

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=hb0980&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2017RS

 

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/bills/hb/hb0980F.pdf

 

From HSLDA –

 

https://www.hslda.org/cms/?q=bill/house-bill-980-gives-home-school-students-right-participate-public-school-sports-activities


The COMAR amendments have been approved - the State did not 'release' the actual changes to homeschoolers, nor did the counties notify their homeschool families. The MSDE homeschooling page was quietly updated.

There are only minor changes, mostly in the outdated wording. There are no surprises and nothing that will affect negatively on your homeschooling.

Most homeschooling families will find the changes beneficial, especially those that use tutorials or have others help them with their teaching. However, note that the parent is still the primary educator responsible for the teaching of their child/student and is responsible for their child/student homeschool reviews.

Here is the direct link to the newly updated MSDE homeschool page
 http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DSFSS/SSSP/HomeInstruct/index.aspx


Note - many of the 'proposed changes' links below no longer work, as the Education Department has been working on and updating their websites; but we have left the links here so as not to change any of the prior provided info about those 'proposed changes' announced in 2016.

11-13-2015 Important Announcement

The proposed home school regulation has been published for public comment.  You may want to share these links among the home school community. 
 
The first link takes you to the webpage, while the second takes you directly to the current issue of the Maryland Register. 
 
 
 
The State Board of Education’s regulations begin on page 1460 of the PDF.  The solicitation for public comment reads as follows:
 
Comments may be sent to Dr. Richard D. Scott, School Counseling Specialist, Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Student, Family and School Support, 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201,
or call 410-767-0288 (TTY 410-333-6442), or email to richard.scott@maryland.gov, or fax to 410-333-8148.

Comments will be accepted through December 14, 2015.  A public hearing has not been scheduled. 
Final action on the proposal will be considered by the Maryland State Board of Education during a public meeting to be held on January 26, 2016, 9:00 a.m., at 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.

Thanks,
Richard Scott
Section Chief
Student, Family and School Support
Maryland State Department of Education
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2595
Richard.Scott@maryland.gov 
 410-767-0288 office 
 410-333-8148 fax


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCMENT - proposed changes to the Maryland home school COMAR regulations - here's the announcement from HSLDA (Maryland Catholic Homeschoolers is a state-wide approved member group of HSLDA) ---

follow-up announcement dated 10/02/2015 (first announcement is below)

Flawed Regulations Proposed
http://www.hslda.org/elert/archive/elertarchive.aspx?7646

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Two important freedoms are in jeopardy because of proposed homeschool regulations made public earlier this week.

Maryland law currently does not require a homeschool student in an umbrella program to obtain their umbrella’s approval before enrolling in a college class. A proposed regulation would take this freedom away.

Maryland law currently does not require a student operating under county supervision to give his college report card to the county reviewer. A proposed regulation would take this freedom away. Submitting a report card should be an option, not a mandate.

HSLDA and several other statewide homeschool organizations are united in asking the Department of Education to change the proposed regulations to repair these two flaws. We are not requesting that families take action right now. We are waiting to hear if the Department will agree to support the changes we are requesting.

Other proposed changes in the regulations are somewhat helpful or inconsequential.

Background

The Maryland statute that governs homeschooling, section 7-301, is crystal clear that parents have complete freedom in deciding where, how, and from whom a homeschooled child receives instruction. The homeschool regulations that implement section 7-301 are perhaps not quite as clear. However, since the statute is a higher authority than the regulations, there has never been any legitimate question that homeschool parents can utilize whatever resources they want to deliver instruction.

Despite the fact that regulation COMAR 13A.10.01.01.F forbids local school system from requiring families to submit to any rules other than those in the state regulations, some school systems told families that parents must personally teach a certain percentage of their child’s classes. Other school systems said homeschooled children could not take college classes. In an ideal world, every time a school system tried to impose one of these trumped-up rules, the parents would graciously and firmly refuse to submit to injustice.

But sometimes families complied out of fear when the school system threatened to “flunk” them for not complying with the spurious rules. Their quiet submission to this injustice encouraged the school systems to keep on targeting the vulnerable. And so the the cycle of abuse continued in those localities.

Setting aside for the moment the issue of the two very significant flaws outlined above, most of the proposed regulations are designed to bring a halt to these abuses.

For example, they make it clear that homeschool students can enroll part time or full time in accredited or unaccredited college classes. Another deletes the long-obsolete (and universally ignored) requirement that only correspondence classes can be used for students in umbrella programs. The regulation saying a parent may “teach his child at home” is being replaced by a regulation that says a parent may “provide a home instruction program”, affirming section 7-301 and making it clear that the location of the instruction and the identity of the instructor is a parental freedom. If a superintendent wants to tell a family that their program is deficient, he or she must do so in writing under a proposed regulation.

These rules should never have been necessary. But they are arguably necessary, and so we welcome them. As welcome as they are, they are not worth the price of surrendering liberty. For this reason, HSLDA and the other organizations involved will continue to work to repair the flaws.

Sincerely Yours,

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

----------------------------

announcement dated 09/21/2015

Proposed New Homeschool Regulations: Curtain Comes Off Tomorrow (this meeting is (was) on 09/22/15)
http://www.hslda.org/elert/archive/elertarchive.aspx?7634

(the link to the Maryland Dept of Education's proposed changed are on the pdf link below)

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 (meeting date is 09/22/15) 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.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
Senior Counsel,
Home School Legal Defense Association




Click here to read an assessment
from Wendy Bush of the state-wide The Excelsior Academy umbrella of the proposed Home Instruction COMAR changes and read the full text of the proposed language. Wendy Bush was one of the several invited by the state to offer opinions/thoughts about the state's proposed changes. 10-03-2015

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