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Article of Interest - Home Schooling

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Best and Worst States for Homeschoolers
Homeschoolers Look for Autonomy from Regulators.
from the Internet Education Exchange

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Considering homeschooling? You might want to relocate to Alaska, Michigan, Idaho, Texas or Oklahoma. These states, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) have legal environments relatively friendly to  homeschooling. Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, North Dakota and Pennsylvania, on the other hand, impose some of the most restrictive laws on homeschooling families, according to the HSLDA.


An important criterion for a state’s homeschool friendliness, according to Ian Slatter , HSLDA Director of Media Relations, is the degree to which the state regulates homeschool families. As Mr. Slatter explains it, “[We see] homeschooling as the ultimate school choice.”  To protect that choice, the HSLDA believes that homeschooling families must have as much autonomy as possible.


Homeschool performance doesn’t change between students in the easy states and those in the difficult ones. There’s a lot of regulation and work placed on parents in the difficult states with no benefit. -Ian Slatter, Director of Media Relations, Home School Legal Defense Association


Least Restrictive States
New Jersey


Most Restrictive States
New York
North Dakota
Rhode Island
West Virginia


Of the top-rated homeschooling states, Alaska, requires no contact between the homeschooling family and the government. Other similarly rated states require minimal contact. Some, for instance, merely require parents who seek to homeschool to notify the superintendent or the Department of Education. In these states, very little regulatory burden is placed on homeschool families; by and large, they are free to educate their children as they see fit.


[For e-mail updates about homeschooling and other education options, please click here to sign up for iEdx newsletters and alerts.]


In low-ranked states, significant government regulation burdens homeschooling families. These states require homeschooling families to submit portfolios of student work regularly, take standardized tests or be otherwise evaluated by the public school system – a system that often views homeschooling as competition. Furthermore, some states, including Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have no statewide system of regulation. Instead, homeschoolers are at the mercy of regulations imposed by their local school districts. In these states, conditions for homeschooling are inconsistent, with families treated very well in one district but overburdened by regulations in the neighboring district.


For the Home School Legal Defense Association’s information of state regulation of homeschooling, click here. 

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