Major Changes to Georgia's Home Study Law

Written by Jan Bryson. Posted in Blog

 
MAJOR CHANGES TO GEORGIA'S  
HOME STUDY LAW
Due to meetings that GHEA board members had with representatives from the State Department of Education, there are major changes to the home study law in Georgia. Representative Ed Setzler, Dist. 35, member of the House Education Committee, was the person in the General Assembly most responsible for getting the best language possible, even better than we had hoped, in Sec. 23 of HB 283.
There were others who were very instrumental in getting the good language in the bill as well. They are: Representative Brooks Coleman, Dist. 97, Chairman of the House Education Committee, Senator Lindsey Tippins, Dist 37, Chairman of the Senate Education and Youth Committee, and Senator Fran Millar, Dist 40, member of the Senate Education and Youth Committee. Tom Wilson, Director of Governmental Affairs with the State Department of Education, was very supportive of the effort to make homeschool compliance easier for everyone. If anyone has any questions about the new law, please call the GHEA office at (770) 461-3657
Governor Deal signed the Comprehensive Education Bill, HB 283, on May 7, 2013 and it goes into effect on July 1, 2013. Go to www.house.ga.us. Enter 283 in the empty box and click on search. 
Click on "current version" to read Section 23, the section pertaining to the home study 
law, of HB 283.
All attendance reporting to the Georgia Department of Education (DOE) or to the local superintendent has been struck from the law. Homeschooling families are no longer required to submit any attendance reports to the State Department of Education or to any local school superintendent. Beginning July 1, 2013 and thereafter, parents or guardians are ONLY required to submit an annual Letter of Intent to Utilize a Home Study Program. The best and easiest way to do this is by email using the form at the DOE website. www.doe.k12.ga.us. Click on Home Schools under Parents. Scroll down and click on "Submit an Online Declaration of Intent Form". You may also submit this form by mail.
NOTE: A yearly attendance form MUST be sent to the State Department of Education 
for the 2012-2013 school year. Use the form at the DOE website
These are the records that parents must keep in their school files:
* An annual assessment report for reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
* Test results from standardized testing required to be administered every three years starting in the third grade.
These records must be kept for a minimum of three years. We recommend that you 
keep them at least for the duration of your homeschooling years. It may be prudent to keep them longer to prove school attendance. Although it is not explicitly required by law to keep formal attendance records showing 180, four-and-one-half hour school days or the equivalent, GHEA recommends that you do so. A sample form will be available at the GHEA web site. "The parent or guardian shall have the authority to execute any document required by law, rule, regulation or policy to evidence the enrollment of a child in a home study program, the student's full-time or part-time status, the student's grades, or any other required educational information".
Sec. 23 HB 283 
This part of the law gives the parent the authority to generate documents which verify that their home study program is in or has been in compliance with the Georgia home study law. You may use a copy of your Letter of Intent generated from the DOE's website. This copy will have an unique code in the parent signature line which proves that you sent your letter to the DOE. If you need more proof a sample letter is available at the GHEA web site that you may use.
These documents will be used:
* to verify attendance for the Department of Driver Services for driving permits and licenses
* for work permits for employment
* for receipt of state or federal assistance
* for University, College or TECH college admission requirements
* or for any other reason that requires compliance with state law or verification of school attendance.
The State Department of Education will no longer generate compliance or attendance letters for parents or students. If anyone has questions about these changes, please contact the GHEA office at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 770-461-3657.



Blessings,

 
Jan Bryson
Director, Scholars Guild
 
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.  A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a,12b