COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 9
January 12, 1996

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM:
 
William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT:
 
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