Oregon Governor Vetoes Homeschool Bill

On June 16, 2003, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski vetoed legislation that would have removed unnecessary state oversight of homeschools. Senate Bill 761 had passed both the Oregon Senate and House of Representatives by healthy margins, but there were not enough votes in the House to attempt an override of the Governor's veto.

This is a major disappointment to home educators in Oregon. Senate Bill 761 would have made the following changes in the current law:

expanded the educational options for homeschoolers by providing that a child may be educated by the parent or legal guardian or "at the direction of" a parent or legal guardian, thereby permitting parents or guardians to appoint someone else to conduct some or all of the instruction;

repealed the requirement that parents notify the public school officials of their decision to homeschool;

repealed the testing requirements of the homeschool law, except for students participating in interscholastic activities at a public school; and

removed the requirement that the education service district or school district determine that a child under 18 is being homeschooled in order to get a driver's license.

Oregon first enacted a homeschool law in 1985, approximately 18 years ago. Since that time, numerous efforts have been made to enact amendments providing more freedom to parents. The most recent change in the law occurred in 1999 when significant progress was made in reducing state oversight of homeschooling. Senate Bill 761 represented a continuation of legislative efforts to gain more freedom for parents. Homeschool leaders in Oregon plan to have a similar bill introduced in the next legislative session in 2005.