Ohio Republican Bill Aims to Loosen Requirements on Home Schooling

A Republican Ohio House Representative introduced legislation to make homeschooling approval easier for Ohio families.

House Bill (HB) 127, sponsored by State Representative Sarah Fowler Arthur (R-Ashtabula), aims to only require the superintendent of a school to acknowledge a parent or caretaker’s intent to home school.

“The notice shall provide the parent’s name and address, the child’s name, and an assurance that the child will receive education in the subject areas required under this section. The child’s exemption under this section is effective immediately upon receipt of notice,” the legislation reads.

The legislation would also remove the requirement that parents must submit textbooks and subject curricula they plan to use for approval.

The proposed legislation would still compel parents to give their children a basic education, including instruction in history, arithmetic, science, and English.

A child would also be permitted to enroll in a public school after any term of home education under the bill, and it states that they “shall be placed in the appropriate grade level, without discrimination or prejudice, based on the policies of the child’s district of residence.”

Fowler Arthur told The Ohio Star that Ohio law has always included homeschooling as a footnote.

“Ohio law, even when well intentioned, has always included home education as a footnote,” Fowler Arthur told The Star.

The Ohio Department of Education reports that during the 2021–22 academic year, more over 51,000 pupils in Ohio were homeschooled. The number of students leaving public school systems increased as COVID-19 shut down schools; the Census Bureau received more than twice as many reports of homeschooled students in the fall of 2021 as in the spring.

Fowler Arthur (pictured above) is an advocate for the parental direction of children’s education and local control of Ohio’s public schools. She has a personal interest in advocating for homeschooling as she was homeschooled herself and was the first homeschool graduate in the nation to be elected to a State Board of Education.

Fowler Arthur told The Star that HB 127 will simplify the regulatory process for homeschooling families in Ohio.

“HB 127 will bring all the regulatory pieces together in a clear and consistent manner, simplifying the regulatory process for home educating families,” Fowler Arthur told The Star.

The legislation is currently under review in the Ohio House Primary and Secondary Education Committee.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Sarah Fowler Arthur” by Ohio House of Representatives. Background Photo “Homeschool” by Andrea Piacquadio.


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