When the next president takes office in January, he or she will preside over major shifts in the K12 education landscape—from implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act and Common Core, to the rollout of nationwide STEM initiatives, to the simmering battles over charters, school choice and teachers unions.
Public school leaders have grown accustomed to the ground shifting beneath their feet. The one constant we could always rely on was this: Come fall, students would be there, waiting. These days, though, even that’s not a given.
In the absence of federal homeschooling guidelines, states have created provisions for such students that vary widely from one place to another, according to a July report from the Education Commission of the States.
Some states, such as Alaska, Idaho and Michigan, have little or no homeschooling regulation. Others, including Washington, New York and Pennsylvania, have robust oversight policies.
Driven by a commitment to serve all students, or by a desire to maximize state funding, some districts are offering families that educate their children at home everything from free computers to curricular guidance.