Legislative Alert – April 24, 2023


Dear friends and concerned parents,

There will be important hearings this week on two bills we have been intently tracking because of the effect they could have on the homeschool community in Ohio.

Substitute Senate Bill 1 (Sub.SB1) and House Bill 11 (HB11) will have hearings tomorrow, Tuesday, April 25, and it is critical for individuals to call or email their legislators regarding these two bills. We need the Ohio Senate and House to overwhelmingly hear from the home educating community across the state and impress upon them the serious concerns we have with the Sub.SB1 and HB11, as currently written. Even though a vote is not expected this week, the process tomorrow brings that vote one step closer. There really is no time to wait to make sure that home education is protected.

The Information:

We have previously released detailed information on the legislative page on our website regarding these 2 bills. If you wish to read more, Sub.SB1 and HB11. The main issues we wish to reiterate today are as follows:


Sub.SB 1:

This bill restructures state government to transfer all state regulatory authority for education policies affecting children to a new Director of Education and Workforce appointed by the governor. This bill seems to be gaining momentum. Our focus continues to be that the language affecting home educators is clear and protective.

Legislators created a new provision in Sub.SB1 to make students exempt from compulsory school attendance for the purpose of home education. This is different from our current policy of getting excused from compulsory attendance. If this bill is approved, the current set of home education regulations would be eliminated. The new proposed paragraph would require that notification of the exemption be submitted by the parents every year and that students are taught a specified list of core academic subjects. This moves home education from the administrative code into statute.

This specific change in this bill should be supported in order to keep home education policy from falling under the authority of an unelected political appointee.

One significant issue with the bill as currently written:

Other Ohio statutes that currently reference home education policies using the “excused” terminology haven’t been changed to align with the new “exempt” description. The statutes lack harmony. The process of aligning new and old policy is referred to as harmonization and must be done to preventing issues down the road. Current statutes should have been harmonized when the bill was originally introduced. This harmonization must take place before there is any forward movement on this bill.

A second additional issue with SB1:

The Ohio Senate ADDED a paragraph at the last minute before the final vote in the Senate chamber to require that home educated students be subject to the state law on truancy. This is nonsense! How can students, who are exempt from compulsory attendance and therefore not required to attend the public school, be identified as truant! Proposed RC 3321.042(C) needs to be REMOVED from the bill before there is a final vote in the Ohio House.


For Sub.SB 1 it is important to contact your state representative AND the members of the Ohio House Economic and Workforce Development Committee. Please politely ask them to make the appropriate changes to this bill, recommended all along by Christian Home Educators of Ohio (CHEO) and Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), so that home education is protected in Ohio.



HB 11 (Nicknamed the Backpack Bill)

This bill seeks to expand opportunities to use state funds for private schools and, as introduced, would include state funding for home educators.

One significant issue with this bill:

We understand that this legislation is well intended but we cannot support using millions of dollars from the state’s general revenue fund for home educated students. If direct personal funding occurs, CHEO wholeheartedly believes that there will be a strong call to pull home educators into the state’s accountability system (i.e. state testing, etc) to justify the funding. We will lose the stability of our freedom that current policy has provided for the past 33 years!

Another issue with HB 11:

This bill proposes that home educating families use education savings accounts (ESA) for this program. These ESAs will include parameters set by state contractual agreements or state approved vendors and could interfere with home educators’ capacity to choose their own curriculum and materials.


For HB 11 it is important to contact your state representative AND the members of the Ohio House Primary and Secondary Education Committee. Ask them to REMOVE home educators from the bill. Christian Home Educators of Ohio (CHEO) and Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) are in agreement with this action to remove.

Committee Link: https://ohiohouse.gov/committees/primary-and-secondary-education
Find Your Legislator Link: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov
Email Information: Email addresses are based on the Representative’s district number.  Example: rep01@ohiohouse.gov




As always, it is important to be respectful in all communications with elected officials.
If you have any questions regarding this legislative alert, please email us at cheo@cheohome.org.

Thank you for your commitment to home education in Ohio!