Interpretation's Date: September 23, 2002
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: VIII. Finance
September 23, 2002
Dear Ms. Heflin,
I am in receipt of your request for a Superintendent Interpretation of West Virginia Code 18-8-1, Exemption B, (c) which provides that "[t]he superintendent or a designee shall offer such assistance, including textbooks, other teaching materials and available resources, as may assist the person or persons providing home instruction subject to their availability. Any child receiving home instruction may, upon approval of the county board of education, exercise the option to attend any class offered by the county board of education as the person or persons providing home instruction may deem appropriate subject to normal registration and attendance requirements." Specifically you ask whether county officials may "require homeschooling families to pay a refundable deposit equal to the full replacement cost of instructional material borrowed."
When previously interpreting this section of West Virginia Code, Henry Marockie stated "that you must provide home-schooled children with free textbooks, workbooks and other instructional materials necessary for successful completion of their curricula as though they were attending public school." Superintendent Interpretation October 4, 1990 addressed to Samson D. Bland. I know of no new law that would permit the practice of charging such a deposit to public or home-schooled students. Your county may charge a fee to replace damaged, destroyed or lost materials if the same is part of a policy that applies equally to public and home-schooled students.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am,