There have been several recent revisions in the Ohio Revised Code that directly affect home educating families. Explanations of those revisions are listed here.
Revisions to the Ohio Revised Code, which affect families who have notified to home educate pursuant to the Ohio Administrative Code 3301-34:
Participation in Public School Extracurricular Activities
Ohio Revised Code 3313.5312
Home educated students shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in any extracurricular activity offered at the district school to which the student would otherwise be assigned during the school year.
While this more often may be interpreted to mean participation in school sports, it more broadly applies to any extracurricular activity.
In order to participate, the student shall be of the appropriate age and grade level, as determined by the district superintendent and shall fulfill the same nonacademic and financial requirements as any other participant.
If the student was home educated in the preceding grading period, the student will meet the academic requirements established in the home education regulations for the continuation of home education. [This does not require a change in the current homeschool regulations.]
If the student was not home educated in the preceding grading period, the student will meet the academic eligibility requirements established by the school district.
School districts are prohibited from imposing additional rules on a homeschool student that do not apply to other students participating in the same extracurricular activity.
The Ohio Department of Education is preparing a memorandum that will be sent to local school districts. Technically the requirement does not take effect until 90 days after the budget was signed by Governor Kasich (September 29), but the Ohio High School Athletic Association [OHSAA] has issued formal guidance for their member districts to encourage implementation of the mandate immediately. http://ohsaa.org/eligibility/4-3-1Guidance-July2013.pdf
The OHSAA Guidance states in part:
“…given that the start of the 2013-2014 school year is upon us, the Commissioner’s Office of the OHSAA is treating this matter as though the bill became effective upon the signing of the same by the Governor.” [p. 1]
“This law differs significantly from Exception 6 to Bylaw 4-3-1 [OHSAA bylaws for member districts] in that it removes the option available under Exception 6 of requiring a student to enroll at your school and/or to take at least one course at your school.” [p. 2]
In other words, districts can no longer require that a homeschool student be partially enrolled in order to participate in the extracurricular activity.
Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program
Ohio Revised Code 3365.022
Beginning July 1, 2013 home educated students (9th through 12th grade) may participate in the State’s PSEO program.
For all other students, who have previously been able to participate in PSEO, the application deadline for the 2013-14 academic year was last April 1st. HB 59 included a provision to permit the Ohio Department of Education to extend the deadline to accept applications from home educated students. However, there is an unanticipated problem with funding. The funds for all participating students (from the previous deadline) have been expended and HB59 did not provide additional funds for the upcoming academic year.
Therefore, for all practical purposes, the availability of the PSEO program to home educated students will commence with next year’s application process. In a recent meeting with a representative from the Ohio Department of Education, we have been informed that the administrative process for PSEO applications is being revised. The ODE is developing an online application. We will keep you informed, as information becomes available.
Home School Notification
Ohio Revised Code 3321.04(A)
This is the statute that is the reference point for home education regulations (OAC 3301-34) that provides the ability for families to secure an exemption to the State’s compulsory attendance laws. It previously specified that the “…superintendent of the city or exempted village school district or the educational service center in which the child resides may excuse the child from attendance…”
HB 59 revised this small section to delete the reference to superintendents of educational service centers, which, in the past, has met the county notification requirement in the home school regulations. Absent the role of the ESC, families will need to notify their “local” superintendent.
NOT EFFECTIVE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
The change in the notification process has NO affect on families living in city school districts or exempted village school districts. It will ONLY affect families living in “local school districts” IF the student is pulled out of the public or private school to be home educated AFTER September 29, 2013
For families living in “local school districts” who have either notified or are currently in the process of notifying the district of their intent to home educate for 2013-14, please turn in your forms to the Educational Service Center Superintendent.