or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Good states vs bad states?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Good states vs bad states?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
My husband wants us to relocate, and I would like to also. BUT, I am scared of situations like Dorsey's. I have heard of Californina and Pennsylvania and Georgia being that way. I am wondering, what states do you have personal knowledge of them being good vs bad for homeschooling and parents rights?
post #2 of 29
I think it's terrible that Dorsey is going through what she is, but I wouldn't make any big decisions based on it, because the vast majority of homeschoolers never have trouble with CPS. Homeschooling is legal, and CPS is generally very busy with real abusers.

If I were going to move, I would investigate homeschool groups in the areas we were considering, much in the way a schooling family might investigate schools.
post #3 of 29
I am from California --- I have heard lots of interesting homeschooling stories, would never move there and try to homeschool. Oh wait, I would never move back for a gazillion other reasons first!

I dont know about GA, but I saw a fun foreclosure story of the SWAT team 'assisting' the people out of their house, so wouldnt put it past them with CPS. However, people seem to really mind their beeswax here, KWIM?

I, personally, would check out Oregon, Colorado.
post #4 of 29
I homeschool in Pennsylvania. While it's considered one of the harder states to homeschool in, there's a difference between "hard" and "legalistic". I spent about 30 minutes creating my NOI papers, then made minor adjustments for the new year. Portfolio took about an hour. Evaluation took an hour. Testing is 3x's before high school.

It's stupid, but it's easy.

None of my irl hs friends (and we span 4 or 5 districts, reporting to our individual zoned districts) has had any trouble from any government entity.

I'm from NJ, and would love to go back. No notification, no nothing. I'm less familiar with irl homeschoolers over there, so I can't speak to any harassment issues.
post #5 of 29
I live in Indiana and homeschool, it's one of the easiest states to HS in. The only records I have to keep are attendance records, and legally that's all anyone can ask to see. It's very rare that hsers have issues here.

*eta*

Just to clarify, I am required to keep attendance records, but I'm not required to hand them in every year or anything. The superintendent can ask to see them, so I keep them just in case (I just mark a cumulative tally on our daily lesson plans). That's all the school district can ask to see, and I've never known anyone who was asked to show them.
post #6 of 29
Texas and Arizona are awesome. Texas requires nothing, no notification, no record keeping. Arizona requires notification only once, when you start homeschooling. Nothing on a yearly basis. I did HS in CA at one point, and was involved in the local HS community there, we had cases where HSing parents were harassed by the school districts, truant officers and even the police.

I think you are smart to check this out. I would never live in NY due to their vax exemption problems and HSing laws for example.

Figure out what you are willing to tolerate and what your ideal is.

You might find this map helpful but you must read the details of the states you are interested, because low regulation means a variety of things.

http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp
post #7 of 29
Idaho is very hands-off homeschool wise. They're one of the states that has fewer big-brother/nanny type laws. Hs'ers can go do their thing, no notification to anybody.

But. If, say, your 14yo wants to get more into chemistry, you can enroll your homeschooled child in up to two classes a semester/year without having to enroll them full time into public school. Handy for that added peace of mind that your kid won't blow up your house. Hs'ed kids can also join the sports teams if I remember right - a friend has a 17yo and was talking about that the other day. Been like that for a good 15 years I believe. But general living/harassment of homeschoolers I'm sure varies by community, so with that you do need to take caution.

But honestly, my family is/was more concerned with having a paying job than the specific state to live in. Are some states preferable? Of course. But if there's no job to support us, well, there you go. I can get creative as need be, I can suck it up and deal.
post #8 of 29
Arkansas is pretty non-invasive. You do have to fill out a form and turn it in to the school district each year - on the form you have to list your planned curriculum. However, no one is allowed to ask you about it or do any follow up checking - no attendance reporting, for instance, so I don't even know why that is required. There is mandatory testing here from 3rd grade up, but you can do it yourself if you pay for the test (we have done this - you don't submit the results anywhere, so, again ?why?), or the state provides testing centers where your child can take it for free.

The NW part of the state has a lot of homeschooling support groups, coops, and programs. It is pretty much homeschool heaven. The SW part, where I live, not so much LOL.

But our neighbors in TX! As someone mentioned above - they are free as a bird!
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
I am from California --- I have heard lots of interesting homeschooling stories, would never move there and try to homeschool. Oh wait, I would never move back for a gazillion other reasons first!

I dont know about GA, but I saw a fun foreclosure story of the SWAT team 'assisting' the people out of their house, so wouldnt put it past them with CPS. However, people seem to really mind their beeswax here, KWIM?

I, personally, would check out Oregon, Colorado.
We're homeschoolers in CA and find it very easy with lots of support. The state education system offers lots to homeschoolers, and there are many charter schools to choose from that support homeschoolers and offer curriculum, enrichment classes, record-keeping, etc.

You also have the choice to homeschool privately and only have to notify the district each year that you are homeschooling by filing online. That's it: no required testing (unless you choose to hs through a charter school), no portfolio or other documentation.

That said, we're relocating to OR and find the required testing every few years (to be paid for by the parents) a bit cumbersome....and there aren't any charter school programs that serve homeschoolers to utilize if you choose. We're really excited about the move though for lots of other reasons (nature, for one) and an excellent parks and rec dept.

So, every area has something. In CA, our public schools are pretty bad, so many people homeschool or choose alternative/private programs for that reason, so there is a lot of support. We just love homeschooling though and would do it regardless of where we live
post #10 of 29
Hm... I live in Mississippi, and according to our neighbors (and the HSLDA site) we are only required to give some notification, and that's it! Easy peasy.

EDIT-- Now, as far as living here, there IS a Toyota plant coming to Tupelo. Sometimes it's hard finding good work around here that isn't low paying. Well... to some people it is. It depends on what you're willing to do. If you're ok with some physical labor you can make it. Closer to Memphis is also good because there's lots of jobs there, it seems... once again, depending on what you want to do.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by briansmama View Post
We're homeschoolers in CA and find it very easy with lots of support. The state education system offers lots to homeschoolers, and there are many charter schools to choose from that support homeschoolers and offer curriculum, enrichment classes, record-keeping, etc.
I didn't say it wasnt easy. I said I heard a lot of interesting stories (over a 25 yr period). I am glad you are having a fantastic time, but this thread isn't about it being easy or hard, it is about being a target. Lisa doesn't want to end up like Dorsey.
post #12 of 29
i lived in sacramento right before we moved here (in SC but near the charlotte NC area). my best friend still lives there and unschools with ease. i also have a good friend in atlanta (where i'm originally from & grew up) and she homeschools with no issues whatsoever. we are currently in SC & our laws seem strict to an onlooker, but it's really very easy here. our homeschool group is in charlotte (just 45 minutes away), and although i'm not familiar with NC laws, most of the people i know IRL live there & are unschoolers. they have no issues whatsoever. there are over 10,000 homeschoolers in the charlotte area alone. hth.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
I would never live in NY due to their vax exemption problems and HSing laws for example.
I thought that before we moved here, but I haven't had any trouble with getting a vax exemption for my 4yo to get speech services through the school district or with us homeschooling the older kids. NY's laws make it sound harder than it really is.
post #14 of 29
I'm in CA and have had many false CPS reports that have lead to major CPS harassment (especially over home schooling). Yeah the workers in my county have a real bee in their bonnets over me home schooling...no matter how legal and "easy" it is.

I don't know that you can really label states (especially ones as big as CA) as either good or bad. In my experience it various so much from city to city, county to county, and especially worker to worker.

I have been put through hell and back from CPS in the county that I live in (Ventura). I have been told by numerous lawyers that if I just lived five minutes away in the next county (L.A.), that I would have never had any of this grief. But my county is small and boring, so they have less to do. In the other county, there are real problems and abuse for them to deal with instead of harassing me for what seems like fun to them.

I don't speak about my cps experiences here because inevitably someone will come along and say that "I must be hiding something" and that cps "doesn't really do" what they did to me for "no reason". Which is not true. CPS can and does make big mistakes with who they label as "potentially abusive". I know because it happened to me (note my kids have never been removed though, I've just been threatened with it many times). I don't know how often it happens. But if it happened to me, I'm sure it happens to others.

So while I understand the fear and the reason to start a thread like this, I just don't think it will work. When it comes to wrongful CPS involvement, so much of it is random and bad luck I think.

Instead of trying to locate the "safest" state or city (which I don't think exists). Find a state with good home schooling laws. Don't abuse or neglect your kids (duh). Stay away from toxic friends or family who might make CPS calls out of spite. Stay away from any drama that can lead to CPS interference. Know what to do (and what NOT to do) should CPS ever drop by your home. And then just live your life normally. Because I don't think this is something that happens everyday to people when it shouldn't.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I thought that before we moved here, but I haven't had any trouble with getting a vax exemption for my 4yo to get speech services through the school district or with us homeschooling the older kids. NY's laws make it sound harder than it really is.
I've read many threads in the vax forum from parents being harassed when trying to use their religious exemption in NY. In fact I'd say it's the state most often posted about with regard to vax exemption problems here.
post #16 of 29
I live in Kentucky and it's very simple. You just have to send a letter of intent to the board of education at the beginning of the school year. There are quite a few homeschooling groups and co-ops in my area.
post #17 of 29
I live in Kansas and it's pretty simple. Just register as a "private school" and you are done.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
I didn't say it wasnt easy. I said I heard a lot of interesting stories (over a 25 yr period). I am glad you are having a fantastic time, but this thread isn't about it being easy or hard, it is about being a target. Lisa doesn't want to end up like Dorsey.
Gotcha. I just didn't want the op to think CA is a tough place to hs, as it's pretty easy for most/all hsers I know- including us.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by briansmama View Post
Gotcha. I just didn't want the op to think CA is a tough place to hs, as it's pretty easy for most/all hsers I know- including us.
I agree. We're starting our 6th year of HSing in CA, it's easy, no one we know has been targeted because of HSing, it's not that unusual as an educational choice here and there is a lot of support available in many areas in addition to the state-wide (secular and non-gov't) support groups like HSC and CHN.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gem0406 View Post
Arkansas is pretty non-invasive.
I'm glad Arkansas is a pretty easy state to homeschool. We just do our paperwork by the 15th of August every year and I make sure they test in March/April. I just wish they had more group things around where we live as well.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Good states vs bad states?