Ohio Homeschool Assessments Update 2020

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This past week there was an Ohio Senate bill (SB 319) that introduced the waiving of academic assessments for homeschooling students. Please take the time to read the article so you are familiar with what is happening.

Many families have chosen to still do a portfolio review and I would be happy to meet with you (Zoom, phone, or another means that you prefer). You can email me at: schoolmarmohio@me.com for more details or see this previous post pertaining to portfolio reviews for this year. https://schoolmarmohio.com/assessments/

June 3, 2020

From CHEO’s Legislative Liaison, Melanie Elsey:

SENATE BILL 319 – IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
INTRODUCED JUNE 2, 2020

SB 319 has been introduced by State Senator Matt Huffman and it addresses a number of state policies affected by COVID-19.

For home educating families it corrects an omission error in HB197 which was enacted 2 months ago to waive state assessment requirements for all students in all education venues (public and private).

HB197 (as passed) included language to waive standardized assessments for homeschool assessment reporting but left in place the requirement for portfolio assessments (written narratives). The State Board of Education recognized this omission and unanimously passed a resolution at their May meeting to direct the State Superintendent to seek a legislative change to waive the requirement for the entire assessment report for home educated students.

CHEO has been advocating for a waiver of the entire assessment report for the past two months in both the House and Senate. This is important because there are families with medically fragile special needs children or older adults living in their households with medical conditions that place them at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 if the state retains a requirement to complete an assessment report that includes a process of meeting with an assessor in person.

While CHEO recognizes that some families will choose to complete this assessment option at no risk to themselves, we have heard from families who are concerned about the risk due to their unique circumstances.

To be clear, CHEO did not ask for the exemption when HB197 was enacted, but we caught the error in the “partial exemption” and recognized the negative impact on families by not waiving the entire assessment report. CHEO has been working since March 27th to correct the error.

The language now proposed in SB319 waives the regulatory requirement to submit an assessment report (which includes all forms of assessments) when submitting a notification of intent to continue to home educate this fall. Families notifying for the first time would not be required to include an assessment report so this pertains to families who are re-notifying for a subsequent year.

FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION:

Please contact your STATE SENATOR and ask for his/her support for SB319.
Please express appreciation for Section 17, paragraph L —Sec.17(L) which fixes the error in previous legislation to waive the state’s assessment requirement for home educated students. Link to SB 319 and the LSC Analysis. Scroll to the portions highlighted in yellow.

Please contact your STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE to give him/her a heads up that SB319 has been introduced and you would appreciate his/her support when it comes over to the House for consideration.

If you are not sure who your legislators are, please either call your county board of elections and ask for the phone number of your state senator and state representative in Columbus OR use this link and fill in your address in the search box. https://www.legislature.ohio.gov

Please share this alert with family and friends. Even if this policy does not affect you please consider calling your legislators to ask for their support.

Thank you so much!

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