Cumberland Times-News

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April 8, 2008

Home schoolers blast Mineral superintendent on state law comment

KEYSER — Two spokespersons for home schoolers in Mineral County have challenged Superintendent Skip Hackworth to find the section in the state code that limits the number of public classes that home-schooled students may take to 50 percent or less of their school day.

“You have led us to believe that this is state law,” parent Bretta Spencer told him Monday, noting that she and other home schoolers have contacted the State Board of Education, the West Virginia Home School Association and their attorneys.

“They have all told us there is no such state law,” she said.

Monday marked the second Board of Education meeting in a row that a large number of home school supporters crowded into the board room to voice their opinion on an incident that happened to three of their children earlier in the year.

According to spokesman Rob Fout, the three students were taken out of several public school classes “two days into the second semester” because they were told they were signed up for too many classes.

As a result of the controversy, Hackworth presented the board members with a proposed policy on April 1, with the suggestion that they read it over and place it on the agenda for the April 15 meeting.

At that time, they may decide to place the policy out for public comment, or they may decide not to adopt it at all.

Although Hackworth suggested the policy not be made public yet because it was a draft and subject to change prior to action by the board, both Fout and the Times-News did request and receive copies under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The proposed policy, if adopted as currently written, dictates that “home-schooled students who wish to enroll for more than 50 percent of the instructional day will be considered full-time Mineral County Schools students.”

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