Confusion is important to avoid to avert regulation. As IAHE Director of Government Affairs, I frequently interface with the Indiana General Assembly (IGA) on issues related to home education in Indiana. I told a legislator I would share this concern with you.
I was told if homeschoolers do not want to see increased regulations, they need to STOP using government (taxpayer) funding. It was further explained homeschoolers have found a way to have the government pay for their homeschooling by enrolling in virtual schools.
It was said virtual schools are having great difficulties (poor A-F grades), and the IGA never intended to have a lot of people use them. The IGA envisioned them to be used for students with disabilities who could not physically go to school. They especially were never intended as a substitute for homeschooling.
I share this as a warning to homeschoolers to avoid using government funding such as ESAs, tax credits, etc. If the money was touched by the government, consider it tainted. Tax deductions are your money, and the government never even saw that money. Some legislators even complain about that.
I explained virtual charter public school students are not classified the same in Indiana Code as homeschoolers have been for decades. I also gave him the funding chart to demonstrate the differences in funding. It was created to help families more easily understand the differences between virtual charter public school and homeschool.
In fact, Indiana case law has classified homeschoolers’ parent-directed, home-based, privately-funded form of education as a private school since 1904 in State v. Peterman. Homeschooling has a long history in the Hoosier state that was occurring while Indiana was still a territory. Abraham Lincoln was an Indiana homeschooler.
Finally, I am curious to know if those who use virtual public charter schools such as Connections, Hoosier Academy, Indiana Virtual, EVSC, etc., did you ever believe you were “homeschooling”? Why did you think it? Thanks for your insight. I told him I’d report back with findings.