Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Homeschooling Questions, Part 2

11. Is there financial assistance available to help with the costs of home-schooling?
The State Board of Education is not aware of any financial resources designed to help parents meet home-schooling expenses.
12. May a student attend public school part-time while being home-schooled?
Yes, students may attend their local public school part-time under the following conditions set forth in the School Code (Section 10-20.24):

• there is sufficient space available in the school;

• you have submitted your request (on behalf of the student) to the school principal by May 1 for the following school year; and

• the course or courses you have requested are part of the school’s regular curriculum.

13. May a home-schooled student take driver’s education through his local public school?
Yes. Illinois school law requires that school districts maintaining grades 9 through 12 shall provide the classroom course in driver’s education, and an approved course in practice driving, to eligible students who are attending a non-public school in the district. Home-schooled students may take driver’s education under the following conditions set forth in the School Code (Sections 27-24.2 and 27-24.4):

• The chief administrator of the home school must notify the local public district by April 1 of the name of the home-schooled student who wishes to take the driver’s education course during the next school year.

• The chief administrator of the home school must provide evidence to the public school that the student has received a passing grade in at least eight courses during the previous two semesters.

14. May a home-schooled student participate in interscholastic athletics through his/her district of residence?
Public schools have no obligation to make extracurricular activities, including athletics, open to students attending private schools. In addition, many Illinois public elementary and high schools belong to intramural sports organizations, i.e., the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) or the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Both organizations have specific bylaws that limit the conditions under which home-schooled students may participate in interscholastic athletics. (Illinois Elementary School Association) (Illinois High School Association)

15. My home-schooled student is completing the equivalent of 8th grade. Is he entitled to receive an 8th grade diploma from his local public school and/or take part in the graduation program?

No. Since your student is attending private school full-time he has no legal right to participate in public school graduation ceremonies.
16. My student receives special education services at his public school. Will there be any change in services if he withdraws to enter home-schooling? What changes might be expected?
This is a complex issue and will differ markedly from student to student. Therefore, statements on this website should be taken as guidelines only.

In general, a student with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will not have the right to the same range of services available through his public school if he chooses to withdraw to attend a private school.

A portion of the funding public schools receive for special education services must be earmarked for non-public schools, and public schools must provide timely and meaningful consultation (TMC) to private schools concerning this funding allocation. The public schools are not required to distribute these funds so that each eligible student receives an equal share. Depending on several factors (including the student’s IEP; the categories of disabilities that can be covered by the public school’s funding allocation; and the location of services to be offered), a student with an IEP who chooses to withdraw from public school may not receive services as comprehensive as those available to him while attending a public school full-time.

Parents of students with IEPs should also bear in mind that, due to a change in legislation enacted in 2005, it is now the student’s district of attendance (not his district of residence) that holds financial responsibility for that student.

Special Education Non-Public Proportionate Share Calculation and Home-Schooled Students:

17. May a student in a private school who receives some special education services also attend a public school on a part-time basis? If so, what services will the student receive? The School Code does permit private school students who are eligible to receive special education services to attend a public school on a part-time basis (see Section 14-6.01 of the School Code). Students who are eligible to receive special education may attend public schools in their districts of residence and receive services through an IEP offered by the district. In order to qualify for an IEP, students must attend the public schools for a minimum of one instructional subject.

Students who meet this requirement are eligible to receive IEP services to the extent they are actually in attendance in the public school setting. However, parents should realize that the

extent of services their children may receive may not be the same amount of service they would receive as full-time public school students.

For more information on part-time attendance in the public schools, please review the document at the following web address:

18. I am ready to enroll (or re-enroll) my student in public school after a period of home-schooling or other private schooling. How will his work be evaluated by the public school?
Your public school will determine grade placement for the student based on an evaluation of his work and pursuant to its policies. Given the wide variety of home-schooling curricula available in Illinois, public schools may prefer to focus on appropriate grade placement for the student rather than assigning individual course credits. However, the district may not make a placement decision that is unreasonable or arbitrary. (For example, a public school cannot require a home school program to be "registered" or "recognized" through the State Board of Education since the School Code excludes home schools from this voluntary process.) A method of grade placement (such as the use of competency testing) that treats all students entering from nonpublic schools in Illinois, or from public and nonpublic schools in other states, in the same way would be a reasonable policy for a district to adopt. 19. Can a home-schooled student return for the 12th grade and graduate?

Yes, if the public school determines that the combination of credits awarded for work done at the home school and credits earned in an accredited private or public school meet state graduation requirements and if the student passes any other reasonable requirements after re-enrolling in the public school.
20. How do colleges evaluate the work of a student whose high school diploma was received through a private home school? Many colleges and universities have procedures for admitting home-schooled students and for assessing their background. For example, here is information from the University of Illinois:
Revised July, 2012

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