SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 9
January 12, 1996
||William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
||Results of Survey on the Participation in Certain Public
School Activities of Home Schooled Students
During its 1995 session, the General Assembly of Virginia considered legislation (HB 1874) which would have specifically permitted local school boards in Virginia to adopt policies allowing students who are being home schooled to participate in interscholastic activities. The bill did not pass but generated considerable interest about home schooled students' participation in both curricular and extracurricular activities in public schools. Due to this interest, the Department of Education conducted a survey of the Commonwealth's school divisions and state departments of education in the other 49 states. All local school divisions and 36 states responded to the survey. Thank you for providing information on your division; the purpose of this memorandum is to share the results with you. Responses of Virginia's School Divisions A total of 126 divisions (93%) report they do not allow home schooled students to participate in curricular classes; 117 of the 126 divisions (93%) report no provisions for participation and indicate no interest in allowing this option. The remaining divisions report allowing students to participate in vocational education courses, driver education, special education and the statewide assessment program. Federal legislation dictates that in school divisions receiving specific federal funds such as special and vocational education, certain students must have access to the funded programs. Fees are charged for driver education as they are for enrolled students. In the ten divisions allowing this access, only 16 students are participating. Most divisions indicate that, if given a choice, they would restrict participation by home schooled students if class participation reached maximum enrollment. A total of 129 divisions (95%) indicate that home schooled students are not allowed to participate in extracurricular or cocurricular activities. Of these 129 divisions, 116 (90%) indicate there were few contacts by home schooling parents requesting this access. The four (4) divisions allowing participation report 14 students participating. Responses of Other States Thirty-six states (74%) responded to the survey. Sixteen states (44%) report that home schooled students participate in public school curricular classes. Of these states, 14 (88%) provide financial reimbursement to public schools that accommodate home schooled students, measured as a percent of an FTE; South Dakota and Alaska do not. Fifteen states (42%) indicate that home schooled students participate in extracurricular or cocurricular activities. Eleven states (31%) report that home schooled students participate in public school interscholastic activities. The figure below lists the states in these three categories. States Permitting Home Schooled Students to Participate in Public School Activities Permitting Participation in Curricular Activities and Course Offerings Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming Permitting Participation in Extracurricular/Cocurricular Activities Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington Permitting Participation in Interscholastic Activities Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Washington In addition, there is one more state in each category which cannot be identified from their survey response. Source: Department of Education analysis of survey responses. I am certain that this topic will continue to be discussed at the state and local levels and hope that these survey results will be of interest. I look forward to continuing dialogue on this subject, particularly with regard to academic participation. Again, thank you for your assistance with the survey. WCBJr/lch