Religious exemption law won't be studied

A lawmaker's questions about a Virginia school-attendance law were quickly squelched in the General Assembly Thursday: Del. Thomas Rust's resolution suggesting a study of the law that allows families to opt out of public education for religious reasons was killed in a House subcommittee by a 3 to 1 vote.

Virginia's law goes further to protect religious freedom than any other in the country, by allowing families the option to educate their children without any oversight. Most families in the commonwealth who choose to educate their children at home do so under the state's home-school statute, which requires parents to document educational progress. But those who file for a religious exemption from the compulsory-school-attendance law are exempt from state oversight, as well.

Rust (R-Fairfax) sponsored the resolution out of concern from constituents that the wording of the law might allow some children to go without an adequate education — or any lessons at all.

Advocates of the law argue that it's an essential liberty for families.

Susan Svrluga is a Virginia rover for the Washington Post, covering anything and everything that’s happening in the Commonwealth.
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