Public schools are readying for classes and Ohio school administrators have some confusion with the recently passed law allowing private schools and homeschoolers to participate in extra-curricular activities.
Bob Sandrick, of the Sun News, reports Strongsville schools get ready to allow home-schooled and private school students into extracurricular programs
The district has no choice. The state of Ohio, as part of its recently approved budget, now requires all public schools to invite private-school and home-schooled students into their extracurricular programs.
However, [Superintendent] Krupinski said questions about the new statewide policy need to be answered.
“Certainly as an educator I look forward to providing opportunities for both learning and engagement in extracurricular activities,” Krupinski said.
“We will honor this (new requirement) but we must work some things out — and quickly. Football practice starts next week.”
“It’s an opportunity for kids to have a social connection to other students,” Krupinski said. “That’s important. We in Strongsville teach the whole child, not just the academic side.”
Krupinski said one potential problem is that the schools will receive no extra state funds to pay for an influx of home-schooled or private-school children.
Strongsville did not allow private schoolers and homeschoolers to participate before this new law went into effect. Governor Kasich signed a budget bill setting the new rules. An amendment was inserted at the last minute.
More confusion is reported by Northeast Ohio Media Group‘s Bruce Geiselman:
Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls school districts study affect of budget bill on athletics
Bob Delquadri, a coordinator in the [Lakewood] student services department, said through school spokeswoman Christine Gordillo that the district is waiting to study information coming from the Ohio High School Athletic Association on how it is all to work.
Olmsted Falls schools Superintendent Jim Lloyd was more outspoken on the topic, saying the new rule would make things more complicated.
“But just because it makes thing more complicated doesn’t necessarily mean it is a bad thing,” Lloyd said. “I’m still formulating my opinion on whether or not it is good or bad. I can tell you that it presents some challenges, particularly as it relates to sports and eligibility. That’s the one that’s really going to be the big deal. Home school grading is different.”
The Ohio High School Athletic Association Commissioner Daniel Ross put out some guidance late last month. But in a meeting with regional member schools last week, the News Messenger‘s Vince Guerrieri reports:
OHSAA commissioner says murky road ahead
“We’ve had people calling us saying, ‘What did you do?’” Ross said after the meeting. “It’s not us, it’s state law.”
Ross said he’s afraid the law, passed with the state budget and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, was “foisted” on the OHSAA, and is the first step toward state oversight of high school athletics.
“The road we’re going down could be murkier,” Ross said. “We’re going to be working for the next couple years to find out where this will go.”
Commissioner Ross – Welcome to our homeschooling world. We always have to watch out for the first (or progressive) steps of state (and federal) oversight over our children and our privacy. Throughout these Ohio articles about this new law, many public school administrators point out there isn’t much interest in these public school activities.
But the Springfield News Sun reports there is some homeschooling excitement in Ohio. From Mark McGregor:
Clark homeschool leader pleased with new rules
For Heather Phipps’ home-schooled family, she and her husband can now afford their 14-year-old son’s post-secondary enrollment option this fall.
The new law also directed that the state’s Post-Secondary Enrollment Program be opened up to home schooled children. The program pays for dual enrollment college courses at participating Ohio institutions of higher learning. The funding previously available to public schools students is now also available to homeschoolers.
“I would love to have my child do post-secondary college, but we couldn’t afford it and, now that they qualify for the same funding that the public school kids do, it will allow my child to do post-secondary next year,” Phipps said.
Phipps is a co-founder of the A.B.L.E. (Achieving Bible Led Education) Homeschooling co-op based in New Carlisle. She also homeschools her 10-year-old son and 5-year-old nephew, who lives with the family.
She said they personally don’t want their children in the public school environment, but added there are public school parents who hesitate to go the homeschooling route because they’re afraid their kids will miss out on opportunities.
The Courier’s reporter – Jamie Baker – posted more of the OHSAA Commissioner’s concerns:
“There is a vision in the Legislature that doesn’t come anywhere close to what our vision of high school sports is all about,” Ohio High School Athletic Association Commissioner Daniel Ross told a group of northwestern Ohio school administrators last week.
“The question, the longer and the more time we spend dealing with the Legislature, is: Where are high school sports going to be in five to 10 years? I just don’t know,” Ross said.
Ross and others – as reported by The Courier below – have concerns about homeschooling accountability. These ‘big boys’ also have generous access to Ohio legislators and hopes of changing this new plan:
Van Buren and Upper Sandusky are among the districts that have taken an all-or-nothing approach to home-schoolers. Until now, students had to be enrolled or they couldn’t participate.
“It’s a two-edge coin if I was a home-school parent. I would certainly want that opportunity for my child to get some of those experiences, extracurricular and co-curriculars, that schools offer,” said Van Buren Superintendent Tim Myers, a 35-year educator with 11 home-schooled students in his district.
“But on the other hand, if you don’t want to be part of the public education in the classroom, why would you want to participate in the other activities? It’s like having your cake and eating it, too,” Myers said.
Ohio homeschoolers should be ready for any little legislative thing coming their way. Time will tell.