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IPFS News Link • Education: Private Secular Schools and Home School

The Best And Worst States For Homeschool Freedom

•, by Simon Black

 The state requires that parents teach their children state-mandated subjects for 180 days per year, for at least 900 hours. Tests must be administered, and the district must assess the child at the end of each school year. Immunizations are also required.

You can hire a tutor instead, but it won't be cheap because the state requires homeschool tutors to have teachers' qualifications. Plus, the tutor must be teaching only children from the same immediate family.

But this year with COVID closing down some schools and forcing others to learn remotely, the number of homeschooled children has doubled nationwide. Up to 10% of children are now homeschooled, according to Gallup polling-- and this does not include remote learning.

Some parents in Pennsylvania (and elsewhere) opted to create homeschooling "pods" where they team up with other parents to homeschool a number of kids from different families.

And Pennsylvania responded by issuing strict operating rules for these pods, starting with the requirement to inform the state of your intention to host a homeschooling pod.

Now any parent who hosts children for a learning pod must undergo a background check, and make sure they are allowed to run a "residential daycare" in their area. They also must comply with state and CDC guidelines for social distancing while they homeschool.

The state can cram as many kids into one classroom as it wants, but pods must have one adult for each 12 young children (or 15 older students).

Pod parents have to open their home to DHS if child services come knocking, no warrant required. And they are considered mandatory reporters, meaning they could be prosecuted for failure to report signs of child abuse.