The events of 2003 inspired one young homeschool mom to begin volunteering countless hours every year, monitoring education legislation and to help fill the void of statewide homeschool leadership. For a decade, Alessa Giampaolo Keener networked with homeschoolers across the state, helping to rally the way to Annapolis to testify on bills that potentially affected the right to homeschool in Maryland.
A few notable highlights from the past few years include:
- 2014: MDHSA launched its own website, believing that all families should be able to access free and accurate information about the rights, responsibilities, and resources relating to homeschooling in Maryland.
- 2015: MDHSA led a statewide grassroots campaign to eliminate language from proposed regulatory changes that would have allowed counties to find homeschool families non-compliant if they refused to provide reviewers with copies of their student’s grades from community college classes.
- 2016: MDHSA was asked to provide input in drafting MSDE’s new Frequently Asked Questions document about homeschooling.
- 2018, part 1: MDHSA led a massive statewide call to action, which enabled MDHSA to negotiate the committee death of a controversial Maryland General Assembly bill. The bill would have allowed government officials the right to enter a homeschool family’s residence – without probable cause – for child welfare checks.
- 2018, part 2: MDHSA was invited as an Interested Party to attend a planning session with MSDE on a proposed regulatory change that would remove “observe instruction” from COMAR.
- 2019: MDHSA held its first-ever fundraiser to help pay for its website redesign.
Rooted in the shared commonalities for the love of our children and our commitment to education – yet celebrating the differences that each family holds dear to their individual households – Maryland Homeschool Association strives to support the needs of Maryland homeschooling families by crowdsourcing volunteers and collaborating with regional support groups.
As an inclusive and secular group, MDHSA respects the vast array of religious and non-religious backgrounds Maryland homeschool families represent. At the same time, we stand firm in our belief that no family or child should be discriminated against based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, marital status, age, disability, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other category of being.