Department of Defense Homeschooling Policy
Posted (July 29, 2003) Current DoDEA policy on home education.
[Special thanks to Valerie Moon for this update.]
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
4040 NORTH FAIRFAX DRIVE
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22203-1635
November 6, 2002
Office of the Director 02-OD-02
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EDUCATION ACTIVITY
This Policy Memorandum supersedes all previous policies on home schooling issued by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). It applies to DoD dependent students eligible to attend a DoDEA school on a space-required basis in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) and on a tuition-free basis in the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) systems.
It is DoDEA policy neither to encourage nor discourage DoD sponsors from home schooling their minor dependents. DoDEA recognizes that home schooling is a sponsor's right and can be a legitimate alternative form of education for the sponsor's dependents.
A host nation, state, commonwealth, or territory where a DoD sponsor is stationed may impose legal requirements on home schooling practices. DoDEA encourages DoD sponsors who wish to home school their dependents to communicate their desire to their commanders to determine if there are any command policies or other rules ensuring that home schooling practices meet host nation, state, commonwealth, or territory requirements. Sponsors are responsible for complying with applicable local requirements.
DoDEA schools will provide and offer home schooled DoD dependents classes and/or special education services, consistent with existing regulations and policy. Dependents of sponsors electing to take a single class or more must complete a registration form and comply with other registry procedures and requirements.
By statute, (20 U.S.C. 926(d), as amended by section 353 of PL 107-107) eligible dependents in overseas areas are entitled to receive specified auxiliary services from DoDDS. This Policy Memorandum implements this statutory provision for DoD dependents who are eligible to enroll in DoDDS on a space-required basis and administratively extends it to DoD dependents who are eligible to attend DDESS on a tuition-free basis. A DoD dependent who is educated in a home school setting but eligible to enroll in a DoDEA school, shall be permitted to use or receive auxiliary services of that school without being required either to enroll in or to register for a minimum number of courses offered by the school. A DoD dependent who is home schooled may be required to satisfy other eligibility requirements as well as to comply with standards of conduct applicable to students actually enrolled in the DoDEA school who use or receive the same auxiliary services. Auxiliary services includes use of academic resources, access to the library of the school, after-hours use of school facilities, and participation in music, sports, and other extracurricular and interscholastic activities.
For the purposes of use or receipt of auxiliary services without enrolling or registering in DoDDS, a DoD dependent must be eligible for space-required enrollment as specified in DoD Directive 1342.13, "Eligibility Requirements for Education of Minor Dependents in Overseas Areas." For the purposes of use or receipt of auxiliary services without enrolling or registering in DDESS, a DoD dependent must be eligible for tuitionfree enrollment, as specified in DoD Directive 1342.26, "Eligibility Requirements for Minor Dependents to attend Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) ." In both DoDDS and DDESS, eligible home schooled DoD dependents using or receiving auxiliary services or electing to take courses will not be charged tuition.
Proof of eligibility must be provided and will be maintained at the school where the dependent is receiving services or participating in extracurricular or interscholastic activities. Documentation establishing eligibility will not be maintained as a permanent record and will be returned to the sponsor when services are no longer being received, the dependent is no longer participating in extracurricular or interscholastic activities, or the school year ends, whichever is earliest.
Attached are Frequently Asked Questions and Answers related to the implementation of this Policy Memorandum.
Joseph D. Tafoya