Nevada Homeschool Law and
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Compulsory Attendance Laws NRS 392.040
Exemption From Compulsory Attendance Laws NRS 392.070
Effective July 1, 2007
Here is quick overview of the many sweeping positive aspects of the bill. This new law took effect July 1, 2007.
New FREEDOM for Homeschoolers:
--Eliminates oversight of homeschooling by the local or state public school system: It establishes a one-time notification of intent to homeschool to be the local school district when the child begins to homeschool. This EXEMPTS the child from the compulsory attendance law. All current homeschoolers will be required to file this year under the new law but won't be required to file ever again unless they move, or the names or address change, or the child wants to take a class or do an activity in the public school system. No longer do parents need to show the child's birth certificate, and there is no need, reason, or requirement for the parent to ever have to go down to the public school District office. New homeschoolers will need to have all of their questions answered by their homeschool support group.
--Eliminates the requirement that homeschoolers provide "equivalent instruction to public schools": The law now clearly gives the parent the right to direct the education of the child and full responsibility to determine what, when, and how the child is being educated. The child must, at a minimum, be educated in English (reading, composition and writing), Math, Science, and Social Studies (history, geography, economics, and government) but as appropriate for the child's age and skill level as determined by the parent and not all courses are required to be taught every year! With the new law, only a court and not the public school system can decide whether or not the homeschooled child is being educated.
--Requires the school district to accept a notice of intent (they are barred from requiring or requesting anything more than what is in the law) and may not "deny" a notice that contains the required information:
1. Name, age, gender of child;
2. Name and address of parent;
3. An educational plan, as appropriate for the age and skill level of the child at the time of filing for the first year of homeschooling. (This plan does not have to meet any set standard, and can be short and simple. Additionally, each parent can easily develop the plan themselves, and you do not need to hire consultants to do it for you. Your homeschool support group can assist by posting sample educational plan templates for the various grade levels);
4. The last Nevada public school attended, if applicable; and
5. A privacy statement if you so wish to sign.
--Upon receipt of the notification of intent to homeschool that contains the above information a district must give the parent a "written acknowledgement... that the parent has provided the notification required by law and that the child is being homeschooled." The acknowledgement shall serve as "Proof of Compliance" with Nevada's compulsory school attendance law. AND the district must keep a copy of the acknowledgment for at least 15 years. If you ever lose or misplace the acknowledgment you (or the child after he turns 18) may request a copy of the acknowledgment or anything else in the child's homeschool file and the district must process that request within 5 days.
--Requires the districts to give adequate notice about testing opportunities for high school students and availability to homeschool students, such as the high school proficiency exam and college entrance exams (needed to qualify for the Millennium Scholarship) as well as information on the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Exam, via the internet.
--Establishes a religious liberty clause for homeschool parents and children.
--Clearly defines the word, "parent".
--Establishes the Nevada court system as the arbitrator of disputes regarding the education of the child. This includes disputes between the parent who is providing the education and the local school district, or a county or state child welfare department, or two parents in a divorce proceeding.
--Includes an anti-discrimination clause by "a school or organization" against a child who is or was homeschooled.
--Clarifies in law how districts may evaluate coursework done by a homeschooled child for entrance into a public high school.
--Requires the Department of Education to adopt regulations for the local Districts to provide special education programs and services to homeschool children if the parents want them. This reflects requirements of current Federal law and regulations.
--Requires the Department of Education to create a Notification of Intent to Homeschool (though the law doesn't say that this is the only form that can be used by the parent) and the districts must make the form available to the parent.
--Requires the Department of Education to create a "Notice of Intent to Participate in Programs and Activities" with the same information as the Notification of Intent to Homeschool, excluding the educational plan. This is for a homeschooled child who wishes to participate in ANY classes, generally defined as "up to 50% of a school day", or activities, programs, sports or interscholastic activities and events at or through a public school or charter school. This intent to participate must filed with the school district for each year the homeschool child participates at the public school. The district may request to view proof of identity of the child for participation in classes and/or activities or special education services. They must view proof of identity when a child wishes to participate in any interscholastic activities and events (such as sports).
--If a parent homeschools their child and has submitted the original Notification of Intent to Homeschool, and later enrolls the child in public or private school for a period of time but then decides to withdraw the child for homeschooling again, the parent must fill out a NEW Notification of Intent to Homeschool including a new educational plan for the succeeding year. This comes at the request of school districts that often times see parents enrolling and unenrolling their child and then enrolling again only to unenroll the child again. Since it would then seem that the continuity of education has been broken, the law now requires that each time a child is withdrawn from public or charter school a new Notification of Intent to Homeschool must be submitted that includes a new educational plan established for the current age and skill of the child.
More work needs to be done as we adjust to these new freedoms! We you need to thank your legislators, individually. Each homeschool support group needs to be ready and available to answer the questions of people who are inquiring about homeschooling; the local districts won't be doing that anymore! We need to continue to work with our local districts, our State Department of Education, and our State Board of Education, as we take our place at the table as an equal educational option with public and private schools. And no doubt there will be future challenges that we'll need to address.
The Committee to Modernize Nevada Homeschool Law want to thank you for your help in getting this homeschool freedom law passed!
The 2007 Committee to Modernize NV Homeschool Law,
Lynn Chapman, NV HEOF, Parent-at-Large
Barbara Dragon, NHN, and Douglas County
Tina Goodman, Parent-at Large
Kime King-Patraw, Southern NV, Parent-at-Large
Carl Lucas, NHN, and Pershing County
Kelley Radow, Eagle Home School Co-op, NNHS
Irene Rushing, Home Educators of Faith (HEOF), Nevada
Maria Sanders, Parent-at-Large
Frank Schnorbus, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN)
Elissa Wahl, NHN, Eagles Homeschool Co-op Group, Las Vegas