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Learning outside the lines: Home schooling in Kansas

National group pleased with Kansas home school laws

May 13, 2007

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Learning outside the lines

A national advocacy group that protects the rights of home-schoolers says Kansas is one of the most permissive states in the nation when it comes to home education.

"Kansas is definitely what we'd call a good home school state," says Ian Slatter, director of media relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association. "We're essentially satisfied with what the law is in Kansas."

The HSLDA, based in Purcellville, Va., lobbies for home-education rights.

It also responds to about 20,000 inquiries each year from parents wanting clarifications on laws regarding home education.

One such call came from a parent in Parsons last year, when the HSLDA says a local school official requested a private school registration form be turned in to the district. State law requires only that such a form be turned in to the state.

The HSLDA is a Christian-based organization, though it assists all home-schoolers. The National Home Education Network, based in Hobe Sound, Fla., is a secular organization that provides similar support.

Slatter says along with Alabama, Virginia and Idaho, Kansas has among the highest number of HSLDA members.

In terms of regulation, he says, Alaska is the most permissive state, with no restrictions for home-schoolers. He says New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have the most restrictions.

The HSLDA doesn't try to change laws in states such as Kansas that simply require home-schooling families to notify the state when they start educating at home.

"While we would prefer Alaska, where there's no regulation at all, we don't actively try to strip out these notification laws," Slatter says. "It would be nice if that requirement was dropped, but it's not as bad as reporting or testing requirements."

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