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Issues and Legislation

This page contains all the posts in the Issues and Legislation section listed by date posted or revised. To find posts on a specific topic, click on the categories to your right.

12/19/2014

Homeschoolers and Curfews

Homeschooling parents and children out in public during conventional school hours in the Green Bay area may be questioned by police as part of their effort to reduce truancy by enforcing the county’s 1998 daytime curfew ordinance. (This is not an attempt to target homeschoolers. Also, the ordinance applies only to Brown County.)

Continue the work homeschoolers working together through WPA have done for many years to prevent problems such as this by opposing curfews.

Please share this information with others.

 

Continue reading "Homeschoolers and Curfews" »

11/23/2014

Stop the Spread of Dangerous, Incorrect Information About Form PI-1206.

Tell other homeschoolers: You are required to file form PI-1206 even if you begin homeschooling after the third Friday in September. (An organization based outside Wisconsin says on its website that families who begin homeschooling after the third Friday in September do not have to file the form.)

Tell other homeschoolers: You are required to file form PI-1206 ONLINE each year you are homeschooling. (The organization based outside Wisconsin states on its website that filing a paper version of the form is an “option.”)

Tell other homeschoolers: You can trust information from WPA because WPA took the lead in the development and passage of Wisconsin’s homeschooling law in1984 and has successfully maintained homeschooling freedoms in Wisconsin for over 30 years despite many challenges from school officials and other opponents of homeschooling.

Tell other homeschoolers: To protect your family and your homeschooling freedoms, support WPA.

SUMMARY

An organization based outside Wisconsin has posted inaccurate information about homeschooling in Wisconsin on their website. If homeschoolers take action based on this information, critics and opponents of homeschooling will be able to claim that homeschoolers are not obeying the law. This could easily lead to increased state regulation of homeschooling in Wisconsin, which since 1984 has had one of the best homeschooling laws in the country. Wisconsin homeschoolers are NOT required to take state-mandated tests, are NOT required to submit their curriculums for review and approval, are NOT required to report to school officials, etc. Homeschoolers in most other states are required to do one or more of these. Let’s work together through WPA to maintain our freedoms. Let’s not allow dangerous and incorrect information from outside Wisconsin to rob us of our freedoms.

See below for an explanation of these statements.

 

Continue reading " Stop the Spread of Dangerous, Incorrect Information About Form PI-1206." »

09/02/2014

WPA Gets DPI to Change Language on Enrollment

Good news! As a result of the serious analysis and careful negotiations that WPA has done over the past several weeks, today the DPI agreed to change the language on its website concerning when enrollment in a homeschool occurs.

It has agreed to remove language that says that a child is officially enrolled in a homeschool when their parent or guardian files form PI-1206. This change is another important action by WPA to maintain our homeschooling freedoms and parental rights.

As we know, enrollment in a homeschool begins when a parent decides to homeschool their child and begins to fulfill the requirements of the Wisconsin homeschooling law. Enrolling is distinct from filing form PI-1206, which means reporting the enrollment in a homeschool as of the third Friday in September, the 19th this year.

Therefore, if public school officials threaten you with truancy if you don't file the form before the third Friday in September, calmly and diplomatically tell them what the law says and that now the DPI has changed what it used to say about enrollment and filing form PI-1206.

Thank you to the courageous homeschoolers who, in recent years, knew their rights and refused to file the form early. One such homeschooling mom had to face police at her door and calmly explain what the law said. (She was a new homeschooler who had read her WPA Newsletter and the WPA handbook.) Without this kind of knowledge and action on behalf of parental rights, we surrender our homeschooling freedoms inch by inch.

For the details of how WPA was able to get the DPI to change its language, see the chain of WPA requests and the DPI's responses below. These details and language should be useful to parents who are working to counter unreasonable demands by their public school district.

Download WPA and DPI Exchange on Homeschool Enrollment

08/28/2014

WPA Key to Wisconsin Court Case That Supports Homeschooling Freedoms and Parental Rights

WPA was contacted by a homeschooling father who had been a member of the Amish community. As a result of a divorce settlement, a Wisconsin Circuit Court Commissioner had ordered that his homeschooled children attend a public school. The father asked WPA for help in appealing this ruling.

Continue reading "WPA Key to Wisconsin Court Case That Supports Homeschooling Freedoms and Parental Rights" »

How Questions about School Enrollment Affect Parental Rights

   The extent to which we maintain our parental rights and responsibilities depends on how we think, act, and react, especially when dealing with public officials, including school officials.

Continue reading "How Questions about School Enrollment Affect Parental Rights" »

How New Homeschoolers Can Deal With Challenges from School Officials

Summary: School officials sometimes challenge parents who remove their children from a public school to begin homeschooling. Here’s how to minimize the chances of this happening to your family and what to do if it does. Note that how you respond depends on when you are beginning homeschooling.

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Resolution: Maintain the Distinction Between Homeschooling and Public Virtual Charter Schools

At the annual WPA membership meeting during the WPA conference on May 3, 2014, at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, WPA members passed this resolution.

Continue reading "Resolution: Maintain the Distinction Between Homeschooling and Public Virtual Charter Schools" »

04/13/2014

Bridges Virtual Academy Breaks Promises

Summary: WPA’s predictions are coming true: Bridges Virtual Academy (BVA) in Merrill is unable to deliver what it promised to families who enrolled. Instead, in response to the DPI’s letter stating that BVA was not complying with state statutes, BVA has virtually no religiously based curriculum and materials on its list of “BVA Approved Curricular Materials.” It has increased the role played by the certified public school teachers it has hired and given them the final say and is requiring families to use a software system called Project Foundry so that BVA teachers can plan, monitor, track, and grade students’ work.

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Homeschoolers and Common Core

Summary

Questions are being raised about whether or when public schools in Wisconsin and other states should adopt Common Core standards proposed by the federal government and begin using the accompanying standardized tests. WPA has opposed public school standards since they were first introduced in the 1980s and continues to oppose them. Homeschoolers have handled the indirect effects that previous public school standards have had on us and should be able to handle the effects of Common Core in ways suggested below. Since this is a public school issue, homeschoolers who want to directly oppose Common Core should respond as concerned citizens, rather than as homeschoolers. Ideas for such responses are given below.

Continue reading "Homeschoolers and Common Core" »

12/09/2013

DPI Letter to Bridges Virtual Academy (dated 9/20/2013)

Note: In June, 2012, Bridges Virtual Academy (BVA), a public virtual charter school in Merrill, Wisconsin, claimed it would provide families with curriculums and lessons (such as music, gymnastics, etc.) as long as they enrolled in a public school, reported to the school periodically, and took state tests. The DPI has stated that BVA is violating Wisconsin law governing virtual charter schools. If BVA is not in compliance by December 2, 2013, the DPI will not pay BVA the state tax dollars it is expecting and would receive if it were in compliance with state statutes, an amount around $5,000,000. WPA continues to warn parents that it is risky to enroll in BVA both because students may not receive credit for work they have done and BVA undermines homeschooling freedoms.

Using the Wisconsin open records statute, WPA obtained a copy of DPI letter (see PDF below) sent to the Merrill School District on the September 20, 2013.

Download DPI Ltr Bridges 9-20-13_Leipart_Hagemeister

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