Somerschool - Homeschool blogger

Homeschool Privacy at the State Level

If you aren't fortunate enough to live in ME, MA, MN, or NE, any homeschool records the government has on file may be considered "public records." Leave a comment if you want me to check the law in your state... and let me know if you'd be interested in enacting a homeschool privacy law.

Some states and their current privacy situation:

* CT: Partial protection: homeschoolers are not legally obligated to register or report, so homeschoolers can protect their privacy if they really want to. Otherwise, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-210 states that “all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to inspect such records,” and homeschool records do not fall under anyexemption to that general rule.

* NH: More protection: homeschoolers can choose to be supervised by a private school, which would not treat homeschool records as "public records." State law exempts "personal school records of pupils" from the provisions of the open records law, RSA 91-A:5 (III), but it is not clear whether homeschoolers are "pupils" for purposes of this law.

* SC: Mostly protected: homeschoolers can choose to be members of an association for homeschools, which would not treat homeschool records as "public records." Under state law, “records such as…scholastic records…are not considered to be made open to the public under the provisions of this act…” SC Code § 30-4-20 (c). This should be sufficient to cover homeschool records, but could be interpreted otherwise by a court.

* TN: Less protection: K-8 homeschoolers can associate with a church-related school, which would not treat homeschool records as "public records." Records of students who notify the public school appear to be subject to Tenn. Code § 10-7-503, which states that “all state, county, and municipal records…shall at all times, during business hours, be open for personal inspection by any citizen of Tennessee," and would not fall under the exemption for "records of students in public educational institutions." Tenn. Code § 10-7-504 (a)(4).

* TX: Complete protection: since there are no registering or reporting requirements for homeschools, there are no records on file to release.

Posted: 9:57 AM, Oct. 7, 2005 Comments (9) | Add Comment | Link
Index to the Great HoNDA Debate

In the interest of better service to the public at large, I'm putting up my defense of the Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act (HoNDA) here. The debate so far has been conducted on Chris O'Donnell's blog. Here's an index into that discussion:

Sect. 1: Title (The Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act)

Sect. 2(1): The legal rights of parents
Sect. 2(2): Political support for parental rights
Sect. 2(3): Socialization and test results
Sect. 2(4): Success at work and college
Sect. 2(5): Positive effect on education as a whole
Sect. 2(6): Outdated federal laws
Sect. 2(7): No federal control of homeschooling

Sense of Congress:
Sect. 3(1): Legalized homeschooling is good for America
Sect. 3(2): Homeschooling should be encouraged

Changes to Federal Law
Sect. 4: Higher Education:
Sect. 5: IDEA: (Special Education)
Sect. 6: Coverdell Accounts
Sect. 7: FERPA: (Educational Privacy)
Sect. 8: Robert C. Byrd Scholarships
Sect. 9: FLSA: (Child Labor Hours)
Sect. 10: Military Recruiting

Posted: 5:12 PM, Oct. 4, 2005 Comments (2) | Add Comment | Link
If You Followed a Link to Here

Please follow it on to Chris O'Donnell's site, where I am debating the merits of the Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act of 2005 (HoNDA 2005).

Posted: 2:09 PM, Sep. 19, 2005 Comments (0) | Add Comment | Link
Shutting Down

This has been a delightful experiment, folks. Thanks for making blogging so much fun! I'm going to be shutting this site down, however.



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