When regulations were being drafted, SHBE had insisted that parents have recourse to register with the department of education. This was necessary, not to encourage discord with school divisions, but rather to encourage cooperation by ensuring parents did not feel cornered and powerless. SHBE recommended and advocated for a home-based education review panel that would arbitrate disagreements over policy or procedure, while leaving matters of substance to the parents and the local school boards.

Positive Changes Proposed

  • SHBE submitted proposed changes to the Intensive Needs section, to use less aggressive wording and thereby offer no dis-incentives for home based educators to inform regarding intensive needs. The SHBE proposal would make the Intensive Needs wording more compatible with other sections of the policy manual.
  • SHBE is currently advocating for a more balanced and representative dispute resolution mechanism, in which home based educators are fairly represented and have adequate recourse to settle disputes with school divisions.
  • SHBE has requested changes to the residency requirements for registration of home based education programs.

Freedom to Excel

SHBE ultimately advocates that fewer regulatory burdens be placed upon homeschool families. Based on research indicating that regulation does not lead to better academic outcomes, SHBE believes this is a reasonable goal that will not jeopardize the province’s compelling interest in the education of children and youth. SHBE does not simply advocate for “Freedom from regulation”, but “Freedom to excel”: easing the regulatory burdens from home based educators will allow them to expend their time and effort on delivering excellent educational opportunities for their children, which is ultimately also in the interest of the province of Saskatchewan.