Homeschooling in DC – SBOE hearing

DC State Board of Education (DC SBOE) held a public meeting on July 14th to learn more about homeschooling the District of Columbia 

Homeschooling is permitted in DC and is regulated by OSSE. There are two new informational guides on homeschooling in the District of Columbia. Homeschool Information for District of Columbia Families provides parents and legal guardians with information on the requirements to homeschool, including notification to OSSE. Homeschooling in the District of Columbia: An Informational Guide for LEAs provides LEAs and schools with information about homeschooling, including the steps a school must take to withdraw a student due to homeschooling.

You can find more details about these new guidelines here:

Earlier this year, AJE interviewed  Stephanie Thomas, Home School Coordinator from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education(OSSE), to talk about the homeschooling program at the OSSE. You can listen to the interview here.  For more information on homeschooling in the District of Columbia, including homeschooling regulations, please visit OSSE’s homeschooling website or you can contact

At the hearing, several homeschooling parents testified during the meeting, and a few children shared with the SBOE their homeschooling experiences. Few experts on homeschooling offered insights about homeschooling. Here are some themes that emerged from the testimony: 

  1. Many parents find that homeschooling is a good choice for them and allows their children to thrive.  

Rahssan Bernard, a 13-year-old homeschooled boy, talked about how homeschooling education has been the best choice for him. He talked about lots of things he was able to do for his regular homeschooling schedule, such as learning history by seeing the actual historical document in the archive of the museum. 

DeLise Bernard, a homeschooling parent of three children and an education curator, talked about how her children are able to have access to education resources and opportunities to enrich their education experiences. For example, she explained how parents use community connections to plan different ways of learning, either with classes or in small learning groups. 

  1. Several Witnesses testified seeking more support for homeschooled students/families.  

Dr. Stacey Cohen, the founder and Executive Director of City Kids – 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (, spoke about her family’s homeschooling. She talked about the challenges of homeschooling, and she pointed out that no technology supports, curriculum supports, and funding are available for her family to support her son’s homeschooling. 

Farrar Williams, a homeschooling parent and a professional educator, proposed that more special education services should be available for homeschooled students. She also asked that the Dual Enrollment program be made available to homeschooling students to allow them access to community college classes.

AJE’s Maria Blaeuer, Director of Programs and Outreach of Advocates of Justice and Education, Inc, also mentioned that homeschoolers are no longer eligible for equitable special education services from DCPS even though homeschooling is often very attractive to students with disabilities who are struggling with traditional schooling.  You can find all of Maria’s testimony here.  

  1. Homeschooling students need some process to recognize their achievement and college readiness, other than the GED exam.

Michael Covin, a homeschooling parent for four daughters, talked about how frustrated it is to learn that one of his homeschooled daughters still needs to take GED for admission to UDC.  Monica Utsey, a homeschooling parent of two, had similar concerns. Her son needed to take the GED in order to be admitted to UDC,  but at the same time he did not need to take the GED for acceptance into colleges outside of DC.  

If you want to listen to the SBOE meeting, please click this link to the full public meeting held by the DC State Board of Education:  If you want to view the agenda and all the related documents to this public meeting, please click this link:

If you want to talk more, or have any questions about homeschooling, please call us at 1-(202)-678-8060

AJE Testimony MEB Homeschooling

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