NOTICE OF FINAL RULEMAKING
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), pursuant to the authority set forth in section 3(b)(11) of the State Education Office Establishment Act of 2000, effective October 21, 2000 (DC Law 13-176; DC Official Code § 38-2602(b)(11)) (2007 Supp) (SEOE Act), and Article II, Sections 1 and 4 of An Act to provide for compulsory school attendance, and for the taking of a school census in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes, approved February 4, 1925 (43 Stat. 806; DC Official Code §§ 38-202 and 38-205) (2001), hereby gives notice of the adoption of regulations adding a new Chapter 52 of Title 5 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR), entitled “District of Columbia Homeschooling.” The purpose of the new chapter is to establish procedural rules for homeschooling for District of Columbia residents from age 5 until a child reaches the age of 18 years.
The notice of proposed Homeschooling regulations was published in the DC Register, 55 DCR 7125 (June 27, 2008). The proposed Homeschooling regulations were first issued for public comment in the DC Register at 55 DCR 5281(May 2, 2008), with public comment ending on June 2, 2008. The proposed rules were the subject of testimony presented at a State Board of Education (SBOE) public hearing held on, March 5, 2008; and were discussed at two public working sessions in June 2008, focusing on comments and possible revisions. Over 2800 emails and written comments and 400 phone calls were received from across the United States as well as from District of Columbia residents. Following a review of all the comments and other input received from the public, the State Board of Education approved the proposed rules as final, at a public meeting held on July 16, 2008.
The final regulations are the same as the proposed rules published in June, including the administrative procedures available to parents and legal guardians to resolve differences with regard to homeschooling compliance. In the event of a dispute, the final regulations include an administrative appeal process giving parents and legal guardians an opportunity to appeal in writing to OSSE.
The District of Columbia has a statutory responsibility to assure that children between the ages of five and seventeen, residing in the District of Columbia, receive an education. The final regulations seek to balance this mandate with a choice for parents and legal guardians to provide a thorough and regular education in a homeschooling program. The final regulations provide a framework to differentiate bona fide homeschooling programs from instances where a child may not be receiving a regular and thorough education.
Pursuant to section 6(a) of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedures Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; DC Official Code § 2-505(a))(2001), OSSE has determined that in view of the public comments received, the public meetings of the SBOE on these rules, and the need to ensure that a regulatory framework for the benefit and well being of the District’s children is in place for the 2008 – 2009 school year, the rule making will become effective upon publication in the DC Register. This final regulations and related information are also available on the OSSE's website.
For the entire notice of final rulemaking, see attachment.
Related Content: DC Homeschooling Program