Ariz redefines homeschool|A brief history leading up to SB 1152

On Apri 6,2011, SB 1152 was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  Although no new law was created, important distinctions were made in the definition of homeschooling.  First, the word “homeschool” is used instead of previous variations in usage:  home school, home-school or instruction at home.  Secondly, the definition now specifies that homeschooling consists of non-publicforms of education (not funded by the local public schools or other government agencies).

Why SB 1152 is necessary

When the Arizona education law was adjusted in 1983 to more proactively provide home education as a viable option, most families taught their own children at home around the kitchen table, or in the homeschooling room.  Group gatherings were for field trips, park days, science fairs, Book-It Pizza parties, and similar larger scale activities.  Some parents, when past their level of expertise, wanted their students to take a math or science class at the local school, but usually got much resistance to the idea from the schools.

Over the years, school districts have realized that they can be making money off the homeschoolers by allowing them to take individual classes.  The state law allows for schools to receive student funding (ADM–Average Daily Membership) for those taking part-time classes in 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 time increments.  For high schoolers, 1/4 ADM is paid for one enrolled class, and for elementary students, 1/4 ADM is 6 hours in a week.  Now, in many schools, homeschooled students are welcomed to take just one course in a school year.

Rise of the Charter Schools

Beginnng in 1994, state law allowed charter schools to form in Arizona.  These are still public schools, but run by a private board instead of the school district.

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