reasons to add “dual-enrollment” to s.313 “open-enrollment”

HAR_1765SC, it’s time to join the bandwagon. (by Kelsey Farnhan)
Since 2009, parents in Idaho have enjoyed unparalleled freedom to educate children from home without governmental interference. As a result of those tremendous liberties, home schooling in Idaho has thrived and students have excelled.
The state of Idaho is known nationwide for their freedoms in education. Their statutes on dual enrollment are ideals that several other states have adopted as well. In fact, over 26 states enjoy little to no regulations on the matter.
Dual enrollment is the option of non-public school student to enroll in a regular public school and an alternative public school program. A nonpublic student is any student who receives educational instruction outside a public school classroom and such instruction can include, but is not limited to, a private school or a home school. Idaho permits non-public school students to enroll in classes and participate in non-academic programs at state public schools. The state board of education established rules to govern dual enrollment that include the following:
1. The public school can and will maintain records on the non-public school student.
2. Regularly enrolled students will have priority over dually-enrolled students and can bump the dually-enrolled student from programs that have reached maximum capacity.
3. Every public school program is open to dual enrollment.
4. Once dually-enrolled, the student must meet the same behavior and performance standards that are applied to the public school students under the program.
5. If the program requires academic qualification to participate, the qualification is established under this statute and may be satisfied by either of the following:
a. grade level proficiency in any state board of education recognized achievement test; or
b. scores in the average or above average range on any nationally-normed achievement test. Generally, any score on the 26th percentile or higher will qualify the student to participate in such activities. (Home schooled students usually test above the 76th percentile.) School districts shall provide to nonpublic students who wish to participate in dual enrollment activities the opportunity to take state tests or other standardized tests given to all regularly enrolled public school students.
6. Once established, academic eligibility shall cover the school year for which it is established and the next school year. If academic eligibility is lost, it shall be lost for the remainder of that school year and all of the next school year.
7. A student may only dually-enroll for nonacademic activities (e.g., sports) at the public school in whose boundaries the student resides.
8. Oversight of academic standards relating to participation in nonacademic public school activities shall be the responsibility of the primary educational provider for that student.
9. Dual enrollment shall include the option of enrollment in a post-secondary institution. Any credits earned from an accredited post-secondary institution shall be credited toward state board of education high school graduation requirements.
The State of Washington says “Our state law and your tax dollars guarantee part-time enrollment privileges for your homeschooled or non-public school student in public school.” They actually withhold funds to districts that do not comply with their laws on part-time dual enrollment.
In Virginia, part-time enrollment is open to both private school and homeschooled students. School boards and public schools now have an incentive to allow part-time enrollment—partial funding. Part-time students will now be counted in the average daily membership (ADM), and schools will receive up to one-half ADM funding for each part-time student. In VA and ID alike, enrollment is limited based on space.
The list of states goes on and on and what’s interesting is there is quite a mixture of what are typically republican and typically democratic states that support this. This liberty is a necessity and is a next step for improving the SC education system. It’s surprising that more public schools aren’t fighting to promote this freedom. As if “dual enrollment better educates some students” isn’t enough, there is also the incentive that schools generally receive more funding from the district for including these part-time students. They get to claim their test scores, which average over the 76th percentile. It’s time for SC to follow the example of over 26 other states that have implemented this freedom for their taxpayers and provide this track for students to excel further on.
We’ve previously written about the amendment that’s on s.313