FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Coalition for Responsible Home Education Executive Director Rachel Coleman issued the following statement regarding the passage of House Bill 1013 by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives:
“Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has sold out homeschooled children. By removing superintendents from the evaluation process, they have removed a critical level of accountability, leaving too many homeschooled children at the whim of neglectful parents and derelict evaluators.
“Homeschooled children have the right to an education. Pennsylvania’s current homeschool law — one of the best in the country — protects this right with a two-step process. First, parents put together a portfolio of their child’s progress and have it evaluated by a teacher or other individual. Second, both the portfolio and the evaluator’s written report are submitted to the school district for additional review. This ensures accountability for portfolio evaluators.
“This accountability is critical because portfolio evaluators are selected and paid by homeschool parents, and are frequently relatives or friends of the family. Further, homeschooling parents often shop around for the evaluators with the lowest standards. The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators has reported that inadequate homeschool educational programs are twice as likely to be identified during the superintendent review stage than during the initial evaluation stage.
“This measure is part of the Home School Legal Defense Association’s mission to systemically weaken homeschooling oversight state by state, sacrificing the interests of homeschooled children on the altar of parental convenience. Homeschool alumni from Pennsylvania have told us that Pennsylvania’s homeschool law improved the quality of education they received. House Bill 1013 removes this safeguard of educational quality and leaves children open to educational neglect. We urge Gov. Tom Corbett to support Pennsylvania’s homeschooled children and veto HB 1013.”
The Coalition for Responsible Education is a national organization dedicated to raising awareness of the need for homeschooling reform, providing public policy guidance, and advocating for responsible home education practices. For more information, contact Ryan Stollar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 765-7096.