Archive for Tuesday, August 14, 2012

State board discusses home-schooling requirements

August 14, 2012


— Several Kansas State Board of Education members on Tuesday said they are hearing reports of children being kept home to babysit younger siblings while their parents claim they are being home schooled.

Board chairman David Dennis of Wichita said the state needs more information on home schools to ensure that children are being taught.

Dennis said there are examples of great home schools in Kansas, but he had heard from public school principals of instances where a parent will keep a teenager home “for day care for the other kids.” Then after a couple of years, the teen returns to public school, several years behind, Dennis said.

Dennis suggested perhaps the board should propose legislation to increase the state reporting requirements for home schoolers.

But board member Ken Willard of Hutchinson said he has heard no complaints about home schooling. “It would be premature to try to push legislation at this point,” Willard said.

Board member Sally Cauble of Liberal said she would rather “engage in a conversation” with home schoolers before deciding what, if any, action the board should take.

The board agreed to discuss the issue more at its next meeting in September.

Kansas doesn’t specifically authorize home schooling, but it does recognize what are called “non-accredited private schools.” Non-accredited schools are not required to employ teachers who are certified by the state, but their courses must be taught by competent instructors, and classes must be held for about the same number of days as public schools.

The only requirement to have a non-accredited private school is to register the name and address of the school and custodian of school records with the State Board of Education.


mykidsmom 1 year, 8 months ago

I was educated in one of the worst performing states in the US, and went on to get a bachelor's degree in teaching. After teaching two years, I decided the politics and all the other "fun stuff" involved with "teaching" was just not something I could do for 30 years. About 10 years later, I began homeschooling my first child in the state of KS. Since then I have homeschooled both kids as a single mom for 6 years, putting them in public school for one year while I worked as a para. Being back in the school was mind boggling. We promptly returned home for the next school year and I vowed to never do that again. What I personally saw were teachers who passed out worksheets everyday while they played on the computer/ cell phone; teachers who were too tired or worn out to teach over the incessant chatter of the kids; pushovers who let the kids run class; children who were out of control; kids getting bullied on the playground while the monitors chatted away. I could go on. And THIS was a "School of Excellence!" Everyone knows there is good and bad in everything. I suggest the BOE focus on THEIR problem and not someone else's. For those of you worrying about taxes and homeschoolers pulling money out of your "system..." I can tell you, money will NOT fix anything. And the more kids who go home for school, the more education money that is available for YOUR kid, not to mention, there will be smaller class sizes. I know you don't get that, but it's not the homeschoolers' faults that the government doles out the money the way it does. Eventually, there will be MORE per pupil available for YOUR child to get that crappy education at public school.


Ray Parker 1 year, 8 months ago

Keep your leftist, pro-sodomy, pro-abortion, anti-Christian school board and teacher's union out of homeschooling.


Paul R Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

The best and worse schools are home schools. Kansas has such liberal rules there is no way to tell which is which. Most parents do a pretty good job; most kids go back when they get old enough to like boys/girls and sports.


wolflover1969 1 year, 8 months ago

I feel home shooling can be a great thing for the kids. It would allow them more time with their families and people that truly care about them. It would also eliminate the bullying. However like with most good things, there is always a bad... My niece who got pregnant at 14 because her mom kept her at home to clean house and cook and "home schooled" her is now trying to home school her 3 boys and she doesn't even have a high school diploma. Maybe she could teach them up until 7th grade where she dropped out, but what then? As long as the parents have some regulations like high school diploma, monthly/yearly evaluations on campus so that the "child" is actually the one taking the test to prove they are learning and penalties applied so that the children aren't just built in sitters, homemakers would be great ideas. It should be a parents choice yes, but it should also be "for the childs best interest".


Centerville 1 year, 8 months ago

Doesn't Dale Dennis have a big, fat conflict of interest on this issue? He's in charge of the education bureaucracy and a huge devotee of throwing tax money away.
I agree with Cauble and Willard: Dennis been there way, way past his retire date and no one is taking his manuvers seriously (except, as usual, Scott Rothschild).


Gotland 1 year, 8 months ago

How about a tax break for those who are educating their own children or a salary?


Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't believe there is a need for legislation. There is over reaction taking place considering there is no hard evidence.

Home schooled children are tested daily. Everyday the parent knows exactly how the child is moving along. Unlike most other educating situations.

There are many many home school curriculums available. I am not aware of any that do not monitor. Leavenworth for instance assigns students to a "teacher" who goes to homes periodically to monitor the situation with tests etc etc etc. This is a Calvert curriculum.

USD 497 online has an extensive "teaching " program.

" hearing reports of children being kept home to babysit younger siblings while their parents claim they are being home schooled." Need way more than this like hard evidence. Then the local school district and parents resolve the matter accordingly.

Oak Meadow out of Vermont hires educators which are assigned students/families. Oak Meadow has students worldwide. Online and phone contacts keep student and educators in touch. This is an excellent program. My wife was an educator for this school for a few years and had a family in Russia.


LadyJ 1 year, 8 months ago

If you know for a fact a child is not being properly homeschooled, a simple call to child protective services or SRS will take care of the problem. I saw one case where the parent was made to return the children to school when it was determined the children were not being educated or they would remove them from the home.


kawryan 1 year, 8 months ago

  1. No
  2. No
  3. Yes, Yes, No.
  4. The Parents

Enlightenment 1 year, 8 months ago

I would like to know more about home schooling in KS so please inform me if anyone can accurately answer.......

  1. Do the parents (teachers in this case) that home school have to prove they are capable of teaching their children? Are the parents tested prior to allowing them to home school?

  2. Do the children being home schooled have benchmarks they must meet to show progress throughout the year?

  3. Are the students tested and if so by who, the parents or the education system?

  4. Do the parents pay for the educational materials (i.e. text books, examines, etc.)?



Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 8 months ago

"(Dennis) ... had heard from public school principals of instances where a parent will keep a teenager home “for day care for the other kids.” Then after a couple of years, the teen returns to public school, several years behind, Dennis said."

Dennis' time and effort would be better spent dealing with teenagers enrolled in public schools that "after a couple of years, (are) several years behind."


workinghard 1 year, 8 months ago

Heck, the way things are going in Kansas, the homeschool kids are probably getting a better education than the public school kids.


ThePilgrim 1 year, 8 months ago

This is a non-issue. Many homeschool kids have switched to K-12 online learning, which is fully funded and taught by the public schools, but simply online. And the schools don't have any problems with the kids staying home for this curriculum. It would be just as easy to do the K-12 online learning in spare time and still be watching after the younger siblings in the background.

BTW - I am a fan of the K-12 program. I have friends who have pulled their kids out of the public schools to do K-12. The students stay more focused without the bullying, peer pressure, and hormonal circus. And their kids have scored so high on tests that they easily win scholarships to college.


FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 8 months ago

How will government union 'employees' be able to penetrate home school kids minds with complex propaganda if they are not present in government 'training' centers?

Government people in "State Boards" will do what they can to 'disallow' independent thinking.


gccs14r 1 year, 8 months ago

How about having the homeschool kids take an online assessment exam once a year to gauge progress? If the parents don't have/can't afford a computer, have the kid take the assessment at the library or local school. Fail grade-appropriate assessment twice in succession and the kid has be enrolled in an accredited school the following year.


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