My old college roommate, Rob Bell, is the state legislator behind this bill.
Robert Bell, the legislator who is sponsoring the Virginia bill, said it represented increasingly nuanced parental thinking as home-schooling has evolved into a more mainstream activity, up from 850,000 students nationally in 1999 to 1.5 million in 2007, the latest figure available from the Department of Education. In Virginia, the number has risen from 3,800 students in 1990 to an estimated 32,000 today, Mr. Bell said.
“Twenty years ago, the perception was that home-schoolers wanted to be as separate as can be from public schools,” Mr. Bell said. “This is the next step, to take part in as much as makes sense for their kids. More and more parents are finding home-schooling a good fit, but they are not saying they want to be completely isolated from public schools.”