Alaska DEED Rationale: Resemblance = Regulations

Lynn at Homeschool2.0 has a post up about a recent question and answer period the DEED (Alaska’s state education department) held concerning the proposed regulations that would affect in-district programs.  The bottom line of the reasoning for the proposed regulations is the resemblance to the statewide programs and as a way to establish “equity”.  That seems like shoddy reasoning to me.  

And there are people who wonder why homeschool advocates want to make a distinction between public schooling at home and homeschooling? Yes, there are those in government who don’t want to complicate their minds with details.  They reason like this, “Call them the same thing, regulate them the same way; and now it’s fair.”

Would it really be a stretch of imagination to think Alaska’s DEED could apply the same reasoning to its independent homeschoolers and those who call themselves “public homeschoolers”?

About Annette

Annette - A former homeschool mom in a state with no public school at home programs (yet).
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4 Responses to Alaska DEED Rationale: Resemblance = Regulations

  1. Lynn says:

    Yes, it would be a stretch of imagination to think Alaska’s DEED could apply similar reasoning to unaffiliated homeschoolers. Unlike many states, such as California, Alaska’s legislature has addressed homeschooling and exempted anyone taught at home by a parent or guardian from school attendance law and regulation. Thus, DEED has no authority to regulate where there is no statute.

  2. Annette says:

    Thanks, Lynn. You are a charter school founder, with children enrolled in that charter school. They are not exempt from school attendance law nor public school regulations, correct? I get the impression from you (past discussions included) that Alaska’s homeschool statute (one that you are not employing) is forever secure. Am I understanding you correctly that there is no need for vigilance on the part of homeschool parents in Alaska because their right to homeschool is secure?
    Thanks again for your time.

  3. Lynn says:

    As a charter school we have many exemptions from public school regulations granted to us in statute. That is the main point of our disagreement with DEED. The proposed regs infringe on local control and charter school statute. Yet, we don’t consider the folks at DEED to be our adversaries or enemies. All of us are trying to work through what are new delivery systems of education and maintain integrity and responsible use of public money. We do not think these regs will pass as written and even if they do we are confident that, eventually, the legislature will agree with us. It could be a long process but that’s ok. ‘Tis the nature of representative government.

    No, I am not saying we shouldn’t pay attention. What I am saying is that it would be unfathomable to think that DEED would regulate unaffiliated homeschoolers using the same reasoning they use with us. Unaffiliated homeschoolers do not have the resemblance to statewide correspondence schools that DEED says they see in in-district programs.

    Alaska’s homeschool statute is not forever secure. No statute is. However, in a state with a small population like ours where politics is a favorite pastime it is not in danger. The state has a very friendly attitude toward homeschoolers. In Alaska, home education is a mainstream choice.

  4. Annette says:

    When I mentioned the possibility of the DEED or legislators seeing a resemblance between those not in public school at home programs and those who are; I wasn’t referring to the current confusion with statewide correspondence schools and in-district schools. I was talking about the DEED and legislators viewing the two groups of students through the eyes of parents like yourself. Your blog does read, “Homeschool2.0″. You have stated yourself about how little difference there is between the two groups. I think for the most part, we tend to count on those in government to know the laws and keep them straight. That didn’t happen this time. I sympathize with your situation that charter schools, also known as in-districts schools, were thrown in the proposed regulations.

    Your terminology is interesting to me. I understood that the term “affiliated homeschoolers” came into being some time ago in Alaska. In past national online discussions, the topic has come up as to what homeschool parents could call themselves in light of the fact that there were some public school at home parents who call themselves “homeschoolers”. The adjective independent was thrown out there. There are times when I will employ that adjective in front of homeschooling so as there won’t be any confusion about who I’m writing about. You use the term “unaffiliated” to describe the parents I would call independent. Interesting that there seems to have been a general acceptance for the term “affiliated homeschoolers” and that it has evolved into an antonym for independent homeschoolers by attaching a negative prefix. This will be something that I will point out to parents in my state if we are ever having a discussion where parents are seeking clarity in terminology. I think this is something independent homeschool parents should consider if the balance in home-based education (in a given state) ever tips towards those in public school at home programs like your state.

    It seems to me, that in Alaska public school at home programs are the mainstream and independent homeschooling is in the minority. So if both are ever viewed by your state government as much the same type of education (as you seem to view it) and there is a goal of fairness in mind….This would seem to me to be the current situation with the statewide correspondence schools and the in-district schools.

    In your earlier response, you wrote: “Alaska’s legislature has addressed homeschooling and exempted anyone taught at home by a parent or guardian from school attendance law and regulation.”

    I just want a clarification in your laws here. This statute currently does not apply to your family because your children are enrolled in a home-based charter school, correct? Alaska’s homeschool statute is just something you are able to fall back on if your family decides to? Let me give you a parallel situation. IF a public school teacher, not homeschooling her children, came onto a local homeschool list in my state and talked about what a wonderful homeschool law our state had, AND in the same breath talked about how homeschooled students could benefit from becoming full-time public school at home students; thus making void by choice the wonderful homeschool statute; it would seem a little fishy to me. You haven’t made reference to Alaska having a wonderful homeschool statute in these comments I know, but on your blog.