Online Public Schools
Catoosa Home Education Association is a support group for homeschooling families. All CHEA events are conducted to promote, support and encourage privately funded, parent-directed, Christ-centered education. We believe that children are given by God as a stewardship to the parents, and not the state and that parents have both the knowledge and authority to teach and educate their own children. With regards to our children’s education, we recognize that true education can not take place unless God is upheld as our one and only Creator and all things are viewed in subjection to the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Georgia Cyber Academy, GCA, Tennessee Virtual Academy and other free public online school students are enrolled in a government funded online program of study for public education students. These students are not defined as homeschoolers under Georgia home study law. These families are mandated to follow the curriculum as designated by the state, whereas homeschooling families may select the curriculum and decide when, where and how to instruct their children. CHEA places emphasis on spiritual training and holds dearly the rights and freedoms that the homeschool movement has afforded us through many years of legal advocacy. Due to the fact that GCA students, Tennessee Virtual Academy and other public online school students are considered to be public school students, we must ensure that there is a distinction in the lawmaker’s minds between homeschoolers and online public school (GCA) students. We value the freedom to make religious instruction the true center of our children’s schooling.
The Georgia Cyber Academy ( GCA), Tennessee Virtual Academy and other free public online schools are not in keeping with our requirements for membership. Any family exclusively utilizing GCA, Tennessee Virtual Academy or any online public school, will not be accepted into membership. We would encourage parents who have made the choice to use these schools to join and/or form and develop support groups to meet the needs and concerns of public online students and families.
Families homeschooling at least one child and using GCA, Tennessee Virtual Academy or any other online public school for their other child or children, may be considered for an associate membership into our group, if a declaration of intent to homeschool has been signed (for Georgia residents) or if a family has registered with an umbrella school or directly with the superintendent (Tennessee residents) for the homeschooled student. Families may be requested to furnish proof of homeschooling. The homeschooled student and parents may sign up for CHEA events with limited number of spaces available. However, the homeschooled student’s school-age siblings using GCA, Tennessee Virtual Academy or any online public school or public/private school may not be signed up for CHEA events with limited number of spaces. *If the CHEA event has space available, the day before the event, then the non-homeschooled students may often sign up at that time. If the CHEA event specifies that there is no limit to the number of people that can attend an event, then these students typically may be signed up at any time. Some CHEA activities and events may not be open to the GCA, Tennessee Virtual Academy, online public school participants or public/private school students. GCA students, Tennessee Virtual Academy students and other public online students may not participate in activities sponsored by or underwritten by the Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association. (These activities include, but may not be limited to: sports teams, mock trial, graduation, CSTHEA yearbook, spring musical and Scout troops.) These families may serve as volunteers with CHEA, but may not serve in any position that involves the establishment of group policy.
It is imperative to understand the distinction between homeschooling and online public school enrollment. For those who have not yet made a decision and are seeking guidance, CHEA may be able to provide some support and additional resources. We hope to increase the awareness of the important differences between homeschooling and online public schools. HSLDA has more information on this topic at www.hslda.org.
*Homeschooling families with a child or children enrolled into public school solely for Special Education purposes are exempt from the above.