Bill Shows Possibility for Improvement of Homeschool Laws

While some states are exploring potential home visits for homeschoolers, a new bill in Missouri is seeking to lessen homeschool requirements.

HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff said that House Bill 1139 shows the possibility for improvement in homeschool laws in the Show-Me State in four main ways:

1) It would protect information a school obtains about a homeschool family.

2) It would do away with the notoriously problematic (optional) Declaration of Enrollment.

3) It would end double recordkeeping and give families the option of keeping records of 1,000 hours of instruction or records of the child’s work, evaluations, and activities.

4) It would require prosecutors to have “reasonable suspicion” before seeking homeschooling records, thus ending groundless investigations of families.

“Putting ‘reasonable suspicion’ into the law will give Missouri families protection that they have never had before,” wrote Woodruff. “Nothing on the lawbooks now prevents a prosecutor from investigating every family in his area that decides to homeschool. This has actually happened in some jurisdictions.”

If passed, the bill would go into effect on August 28, 2019, and would provide significant improvement for homeschoolers from the outdated law that is now more than 30 years old.

“In my view, H.B. 1139 will solve the most significant and recurrent problems homeschool families face,” Woodruff said. “The Missouri homeschool statue was enacted in 1986 when the homeschool community was much smaller. We don’t need to continue to drag the shortcomings of the 1986 statue with us as we move forward.”

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