Homeschooling – or Not?

A story picked up by the the Associated Press yesterday highlights a situation in which homeschooling is referenced, if not being actually done:

EBENSBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Education is investigating whether children in a conservative Amish sect are being educated since their western Pennsylvania school was padlocked in a dispute over the legal use of outhouses. David Beyer, an attorney who represents the Swartzentruber Amish, says the children aren’t being taught at home.

The Tribune Democrat of Johnstown, Pennsylvania first reported the story: Education Dept. exploring status of Amish students, by Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat:

NICKTOWN — Efforts are being made by the state Department of Education to determine the status of the school-age children belonging to families of the Swartzentruber Amish sect of Cambria County, a spokeswoman said Monday.

The children, believed to be a dozen or fewer, have apparently not been in school since March, when the Barr Township school was padlocked because of inadequate outhouses. Indications are they also are not receiving homeschooling.

“We’re currently looking into the situation,” said Leah Harris of the education department. “It’s a unique situation for sure.”

The basis for the claim that they kids “are not being homeschooled” is apparently farther down in the article, here:

Northern Cambria District Superintendent Tom Estep said he was aware of the closing of the school and believed the children were being homeschooled.

“They were going to educate their children and that was good enough for me,” Estep said.

“We have no way of knowing where these Amish children are. There is no record given to us.”

The article noted that reporting is not mandatory, and Estep concluded, “This is such an unusual circumstance. I don’t know if anyone knows where this is going to go.”

Read the entire article at this link.

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