Ann: In an apparent attempt to draw at least some homeschoolers fully under the public school umbrella, possibly in the guise of a charter school, the Oregon Department of Education is now requiring that publicly funded programs for homeschooling enrichment either conform to state standards and testing or lose funding.
State limits funding for home- schoolers
The Oregon Department of Education clamped down this week on programs that receive public school money to educate home-schoolers.
The decision is a blow to groups such as Village Home Education Resource Center, a Washington County program that serves about 250 home-schooled students, currently with tax dollars. That group had already chosen to forgo public funding and raise money privately for the next school year, in the wake of an education service district’s review.
…The new memo says, among other points, that home-schooler programs getting public money “must assist the students in achieving the local and state academic standards” — basically that the home-schoolers have to reach for the same standards as other students in the state.
However, the distinction no longer matters to the Village Home Education Resource Center, a self-described hybrid center in Beaverton that’s been around for two years.
…The change means that the center will no longer have to conform to the same Oregon Department of Education rules and could have greater freedom, Walker said.
Ann: The piece closes with this quote:
“The standards are the standards, and that’s the rub,” said Mickey Odin, Northwest ESD deputy superintendent. “You don’t get to take state funds without meeting the standards.”
Ann: A member of Linkup, another program offering supplemental classes through the Oregon City School District, writes that they too are being closed by the state’s ruling.
I hope the families realize that going private is a viable option, one that might attract an even larger circle of homeschoolers who do not want to involve themselves in state funding.
A third Oregon program, Bethel HomeSource, is apparently trying to mold itself to meet the state standards.
State to require more tests for home-schoolers
The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, By By Anne Williams, April 6, 2005
“The HomeSource board of directors decided to comply before waiting to be told, and gave the first in this year’s series of state tests – the writing test – on March 11.”
Ann: Will taking the state tests be enough to appease the state? Will the horsebackriding program get the boot?