Petition to Revise or Remove the Commissioner’s July 23rd Memo


On December 10, 2012, Retta Dunlap of the Vermont Home Education Network posted a Petition asking the Commissioner to revise or remove his July 23rd Memorandum. Please read the Petition and consider signing it. In fact, instead of reading this post any further, I would much rather you stop reading right now and go and look at the Petition. Go ahead. I won’t mind. Here’s the link: Petition Link.

Here’s why I support … Continue Reading ...

The 50 State Homeschool Survey: AL, AK, AZ, AR, and CA

Today, I begin a new project: A 50 State Homeschool Survey.  I plan to examine and analyze the home study statutes of all 50 states.

For each state, I will describe the main features of that State’s statutes, cite relevant authorities, and, if notable, describe how the statute is applied by the State’s educational authority. I will also maintain a table that keeps track of how each State handles various aspects of its homeschool administration.… Continue Reading ...

The Commissioner Speaks at the SBE Meeting

Commissioner Vilaseca was present at the September 18, 2012 meeting of the State Board of Education. During the public comment period, Retta Dunlap and two current homeschooling parents addressed the Board and Commissioner Vilaseca. After those comments, Commissioner Vilaseca spoke at length, explaining how he would like to change the home study statute and discussing mistakes he made in his July 23, 2012 Memorandum.

Below, I have provided a transcript of the Commissioner’s remarks. I … Continue Reading ...

VHEN Proposal 2.0

The Vermont Home Education Network (VHEN) is now prepared to offer a second proposal for revising Vermont’s Home Study Statute. This proposal, dated September 16, 2012, is based on the original VHEN proposal. However, the original proposal has been modified in several important ways.

Under the new proposal, parents would submit their enrollment notices solely to the Department, not to their local superintendent.

The September 5, 2012 proposal provided that parents would submit their … Continue Reading ...

Results of the VHEN Proposal Survey

On September 13, 2012, I created a survey asking for feedback on the four principles underlying the recent VHEN proposal for Revising the Home Study Statute. As of this writing, fifty three people have taken the VHEN Proposal Survey. The results of that survey provide quantitative data reflecting the qualitative discussions that I read on the Yahoo homeschool discussion boards and that I heard in direct conversation with homeschoolers.

There was overwhelming support for simplified … Continue Reading ...

A VHEN Proposal for Revising Vermont’s Home Study Statute

UPDATE (9/13/2012): I created a survey at to gather opinions about the principles underlying the proposal below. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey: Click here to take survey.

Today, on behalf of Vermont homeschoolers, Retta Dunlap, of the Vermont Home Education Network (VHEN), sent the following proposal for revising Vermont’s home study statute to the Commissioner of Education, the Vermont Superintendents Association, and the Vermont Principals Association. The proposal incorporates … Continue Reading ...

Previous DOE Proposals for Revising Vermont’s Home Study Statute

In the last two years, the Vermont Department of Education has made two separate proposals for revising Vermont’s Home Study Statute. This post summarizes those proposed revisions and provides links to the original proposals.

The DOE’s 2011 Proposal: Minimal Enrollment Notices with Standardized Testing

In 2011, the DOE suggested a radical overhaul of the home study statute. Under the proposal, parents would submit minimal information to the Department (essentially Form A) and the sole progress … Continue Reading ...

When should I file my Vermont homeschool enrollment notice? Part 3: Let’s Begin Again

When should you file your home study enrollment notice? I have a new short answer for you: Do it by Labor Day.

Recent events compel me to restart my ongoing discussion of home study enrollment deadlines. As many of you may already know, the Commissioner recently issued a Memorandum “clarifying” the home study enrollment process. In my view, the Commissioner’s “clarification” completely ignores the plain meaning of the home study statute, contravenes the legislative … Continue Reading ...

Commissioner Vilaseca Stands by the New Enrollment Deadlines

The Department intends to stand by the deadlines announced in the Commissioner’s July 23, 2012 Memorandum.

Although I have not yet received a direct response from Commissioner Vilaseca to the Open Letter I sent on August 6, 2012, I was copied today on a response from the Commissioner to a similar letter sent by Peter K. Kamakawiwoole, Jr. of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

On August 7, 2012, HSLDA attorney Peter K. Kamakawiwoole faxed … Continue Reading ...

An Open Letter in Response to Commissioner Vilaseca’s July 23, 2012 Memorandum Concerning Home Study Enrollment

August 6, 2012

Commissioner Armando Vilaseca
Vermont Department of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

Re:       An Open Letter in Response to Commissioner Vilaseca’s July 23, 2012 Memorandum Concerning Home Study Enrollment, delivered via certified mail to the Commissioner, delivered via email to all copied recipients, and posted publicly at

Dear Commissioner,

I write in response to your Memorandum, dated July 23, 2012, to Parents, Principals, Superintendents, and States Attorneys, entitled “Clarifying the Continue Reading ...