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Letter: Added rules for homeschooling not needed

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On Friday, the League of Women Voters’ column “Loopholes put Indiana students at risk” discussed homeschooling. Not surprisingly, they are strongly hinting at needing more state regulation for homeschooling.

As I told a state legislator several years ago, “People who take their kids out of school proclaiming that they are homeschooling, but actually aren’t, are liars.” If they have dropped their kid out of school for whatever reason, and are not following state guidelines for homeschoolers, then they are not homeschooling. Again, they are liars.

State guidelines, which include 180 days of instruction, keeping attendance, providing an equivalent education, and that homeschoolers are exempt from state curriculum and program requirements that public schools must follow can be found online at www.doe.in.gov/school-improvement/home-school/homeschool-help-sheet. This provides for plenty of freedom to teach what parents want for their children, including religious instruction, selection of their own reading lists, content and work requirements. Parents choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons, which they are not required to report to anyone. Homeschoolers do not receive any government stipends, tax relief or help with books. However, special education students are allowed help. From the IN.govwebsite,”Under 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(10), children with disabilities enrolled in homeschools have the same genuine opportunities for participation in IDEA funded programs (through the public schools) as children with disabilities enrolled in an accredited, nonpublic school.”

To quote this article, “If you are a parent of school age students, be especially vigilant.” True, be sure your children are fed, dressed, rested and have their homework done. Attend school events, communicate with your children’s teachers and discipline your kids. If you don’t want to homeschool, don’t, but keep your hands off our freedoms. I worked hard to homeschool our three children, who are all now successful adults. Let others have the same freedoms.

Dianne Combs

Crawfordsville

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