Cumberland Times-News

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April 4, 2008

Mineral BOE releases home school ordinance

KEYSER - Complying with a request made under the Freedom of Information Act, Mineral County Superintendent of Schools Skip Hackworth released a copy of the proposed home school ordinance to the Cumberland Times-News on Thursday.

The proposed policy for students in the county who are home-schooled will be on the board of education's agenda for discussion and/or possible action April 15.

Hackworth presented the proposed ordinance, along with copies of several pieces of correspondence relating to the issue, to the board members Tuesday.

At that time, he suggested the officials not release the proposal to the public because they had not yet taken any action on it.

Stressing that the board members might decide to make changes to the proposal if and when they decide to put it out for public comment, he said, "When you make that decision, it would be appropriate at that time for people to get a copy of it."

His suggestion met with some discontent from the large number of home-school supporters in the audience, however, and spokesman Rob Fout pointed out that the proposed policy became public information once it was introduced to the board members during a public meeting.

Hackworth readily agreed and told Fout he could request a copy under the FOI law, and the board would provide him with one "in a timely manner."

Fout submitted a letter of request before he left the meeting that night.

The home-schooling issue arose earlier in the year when three students who had enrolled in several classes at the Mineral County Technical Center were told that they had to withdraw from all but two of the classes in order to meet a requirement that public school classes make up no more than 50 percent of their instructional day.

The decision prompted the home-school supporters to attend Tuesday's board meeting, asking why the students had been removed from class when Mineral County has no written policy on the matter.

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