On March 1, 2019, at the Public Hearing of the Education Committee, the State of Connecticut Education Commissioner gave inaccurate information regarding Connecticut law on homeschooling. A vote could occur as early as March 6, 2019 - the next scheduled meeting of the Committee. Please contact the Committee members and let them know they received inaccurate information.
1. Section 10-184 confirms that the duty of educating children lies first with the parents. That language goes back to 1650.
The U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed this and stated that the child is not the creature of the state.
The Connecticut Supreme Court has affirmed that the state’s responsibility is to offer a public education, not- as Commissioner Wentzell stated, to ensure that every child is educated. When something is a right, it can be declined.
2. Commissioner Wentzell also misstated what is required of homeschoolers in Connecticut. The Notice of Intent to which she referred has never been a part of our law, but only a Suggested Guideline contained in a letter from the State Superintendent of Schools in 1994. Some school administrators have mistakenly told homeschoolers it is required, but it is not. The requirement of mandatory in-person registration is a significant departure from current law and there is no reason to change it.
3. Commissioner Wentzell spoke as though schools routinely offer books and curriculum to homeschoolers. That is not true. We know of no public school that offers free books or curriculum. And we are not interested in their offer. Homeschoolers are successful at finding a variety of free curriculum to suit the needs of each child.
4. When asked if the information collected would be shared with DCF, Commissioner Wentzel said it would remain local. But Representative Linehan, in an email to a constituent, stated that it was being collected as a cross-check with DCF.
More detailed talking points can be found here.