State Residency Homeschooling Question
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  1. #1
    Super Moderator JohnEdelson's Avatar
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    Default State Residency Homeschooling Question

    I was asked a question that I don't know the answer to but maybe a military homeschooler, since you travel a lot, might.

    When do you become subject to a state's homeschooling laws? Is it tied to state residency? Anybody ever had to wrestle with this?

    As background, I know some roadschoolers keep their state residency when they travel around. Usually state residency only matters for issues such as:
    - state taxes
    - driver's license, car registration
    - voting
    And usually, states have pretty clear and aggressive laws about what it takes to set up or remove residency. Does anyone know about how this works for homeschooling?

    What about a family that is in another state for only 12 months and they keep their legal residence in the first state. Anyone know if they are subject to the state where they have legal residency or where they sojourn? Does it change if they are on a military base for a 12 month "temporary" assignment?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: State Residency Homeschooling Question

    Hi John!

    Understanding the homeschooling laws and how they apply to military families is rather frustrating! While many items -- voting records, driver's license, etc. -- we're allowed to go by the state of record, unfortunately it is not the case when it comes to children's education.

    Military homeschoolers are required to abide by whatever their *physical* state of residence is. As you indicated this means many military families who PCS (move) every few years (at least!) are constantly trying to keep up with the laws of their newest state of residency! Where it gets even stickier is when dealing with high school credits and moves during high school years.

    Now - some good notes:

    1) There is a push by a few different Military / Homeschooling associations to lobby for being able to choose one state of record to follow.

    2) When a military family moves, they can only be held accountable to the homeschooling laws from the point they register within that state. In other words, the new state cannot force your previous years of homeschooling records to comply with their laws.

    3) Homeschooling overseas -- even in countries where homeschooling is illegal -- is an AMAZING experience! Homeschoolers overseas are covered by the State of Forces Agreement (SOFA). This means, there's no reporting and total autonomy! There are numerous homeschooling groups (yes, even in Germany!) and tons of support available.

    This article may offer more insight:

    Homeschooling: Where In the World Am I?

    Hope this helps!

    ~MJ

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