March 24, 2017

The High School Puzzle

Piecing Together The High School Puzzle

Welcome to The High School Puzzle! After many years of serving homeschooling high school families, this past year I expanded my horizons and joined the online world. This site is designed to provide you with all of the tools to successfully homeschool your high school student.

Look around and you will find lots of information. Things like ways to earn credits, how to keep records, volunteering, starting the college application process, links to scholarships, a connection to Piecing Together the High School Puzzle and for those who want more individualized attention – a link to set up guidance counseling sessions or speaking engagements for your local group.

I am also a teacher for the Master-the-SAT Boot Camps that are designed to help your student improve their SAT scores. Check out that information under the 'Master the SAT' tab.

My goal is to publish new information regularly, bringing in more and more pieces, so bookmark us and check back often, sign up for our emails, put us in your RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook – you know – all those things. I’m excited to be here!

~to your success!

Joanne

(Image courtesy of photomyheart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The Latest!

Florida Legislative Updates March 2017

The latest from our Homeschool Lobbyist – Brenda Dickinson

2017 Bill Announcements
Districts  Interpretation of the Home Education Law

Brenda Dickinson, President of the Home Education Foundation, has been working since last summer to attempt to resolve by negotiation and education some of the issues which have arisen around the state challenging the freedoms of home educators.  Some districts have been interpreting the home education law in a way that it has not been interpreted for 30 years.  They are requiring parents to provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate and proof of residency prior to registering the home education program.

Last summer, Brenda met with School District Liaisons for home education and home education leaders to try to resolve these issues amicably, but met with resistance.  The only options left were to file a lawsuit or clarify the issues in law.  Lawsuits are always dangerous because the courts who do not understanding education law could establish precedent in favor of the school districts.   And then we would have to change the law to overcome the decision.  So, Brenda began working to find bill sponsors in the House and Senate while working on language to address this and other issues we have encountered where there has been misinterpretation of the laws relating to home education.

HEF is very happy to announce that Sen. Tom Lee and Rep. Eric Eisnaugle have agreed to sponsor bills to help us clarify those issues in law.  HEF has worked with FPEA, private school and home education leaders to find sponsors and to draft the right language and strategy.

2014 Dual Enrollment Law Impact

HEF has also been working with non-traditional private schools, as well as traditional private schools, to bring forth the dual enrollment problem created by a 2014 law which has impacted private schools and private school students negatively.  In 2014, the Legislature required public schools to pay state colleges tuition for public school students taking dual enrollment courses.  After that Session, the Department of Education found a way to open the door through the use of the word “may” to apply this to private schools.  Now, almost every state college in the state is requiring private schools to pay the tuition for any of the school’s students that participate in dual enrollment.  This is so discriminatory!  Private school students of compulsory attendance age should be able to participate in dual enrollment without charge.  However, this would require the Legislature to provide funding in the budget to pay for private school students.   We have not been able to get much support for this concept during this year in which the Legislature is seeking to find ways to trim the state budget.

Sen. Lee is open to helping us with the tuition issue, but I am not sure where the House stands on it so far.  Rep. Eisnaugle wants to provide a book voucher of $80/course to help home educated students pay for dual enrollment books.  The Senate bill does not have that provision in it.  So, some of these issues are going to have to be worked out as we move through the Session.

The 2017 Legislative Session begins on Tuesday, March 7, and Brenda will have to work with the sponsors to get the bills moved through the process.  HEF will give you updates when there is something to report.  You can follow the bills through the process at:  leg.state.fl.us.   The bill numbers are SB 1556 and HB 1391.
HEF will be working to get these bills passed and hopefully, find a way to resolve the dual enrollment issue.  It is not over until Sine Die.
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