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Legislative Action Affecting Homeschoolers

1939 - Exemption B was added to the West Virginia Code 18-8-1 governing compulsory school attendance to allow home instruction with county approval and supervision. The exemption allowed each individual county board of education to interpret the home instruction part of the statute in its own way.

1987 - House Bill #2781 added subsection b to Exemption B, thereby removing county approval of homeschooling from the law.

June 27, 1988 -  Senate Bill #14 (S.B.14) was passed. It lowered the compulsory school age from 7 to 6. It also included the details concerning “driver’s licenses” for persons under the age of 18. (WV Code 18-8-11) This law is commonly known as ‘the dropout bill.”

1990 - the state Department of Education reviewed the law and recommended that some changes be made concerning testing. These changes, along with a provision under Exemption B, subsection a for the state to develop guidelines concerning special education students, became law on March 15, 1990 (HB 101).

1991 - WVHEA worked with the state Department of Education to write a bill that would have allowed parents to submit a portfolio of the child’s work to an approved professional educator in lieu of annual standardized testing (HB 2731). This legislative effort failed.

1994 -  through the joint efforts of WVHEA and CHEWV, HB 4546 made these changes in Exemption B, subsection b: individualized standardized tests were added to the list of approved tests; the areas to be tested “English and grammar” were changed to “language” to correspond to the sections of the tests; the county board must notify parents of services available to assist in assessment of children who scored below the 40th percentile; the word “mean” replaced “composite” in the reporting of test scores; remedial period changed to two years; two alternatives to standardized testing -- portfolio review and alternative assessment.

1995 - HB 2020 changed the word “six” to “five” to correspond with the actual number of tested subject areas to be reported to the county by June 30. This was to correct an error that was made in Committee Substitute for HB 4546.

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