The Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Virginia says that the seven thousand-plus children who received religious exemptions from public school attendance during the 2010-2011 school year are not required to show proof of alternative education, effectively allowing parents to withhold their children from schooling of any sort if they wish.
Washington Post reports that there is no follow-up after children are granted the exempt status, as seen below:
Virginia Department of Education spokesman Charles Pyle said the department presumes that these students are getting some kind of home instruction. But there’s no follow-up reporting.
Home-school advocates say the law is essential to preserving the rights of families who believe that any state control of their children’s education would violate the tenets of their faith.
“This is a very serious decision, not something everyone should do,” said Yvonne Bunn of the Home Educators Association of Virginia. “It is based on sincere religious conviction. If that’s not the case, they need to just comply with the home-schooling law.”
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