SB246: LEARNING POD PROTECTION ACT
EdVentures Operates as a Learning Pod
EdVentures, LLC identifies as a learning pod program and serves the homeschool community by operating, facilitating, and organizing, several learning pods programs, including our academic hybrid program, Friday EdVentures, and standalone enrichment classes. We provide space, curriculum, instruction, and educational resources to parents who come together in voluntary association and assist with the primary education of their children. Establishing ourselves as a Learning Pod allows us the greatest freedom in meeting the needs of our homeschooling families without restriction.
What is the Learning Pod Protection Act?
The Learning Pod Protection Act, or SB 246, provides protections for homeschooling families who choose to voluntarily associate to advance the primary education of their children; this act provides exemptions from many governmental restrictions, regulations, and oversight that may hamper homeschooling families from educating their children in the way they feel is best. For example, "exempt" programs such tutoring facilities or traditional enrichment programs are limited to 10 hours of services per child per week, while learning pods have no such restrictions.
What is a Learning Pod?
According to GA law, 'learning pod' means a voluntary association of parents choosing to group their children in kindergarten through grade 12 together at various times, to include traditional before and after school hours, or places to participate in or enhance a remote learning option offered by their primary educational program.
(SB 246, LINE 18 - 21)
Are Businesses Allowed to Host Learning Pods?
Yes. According to SB 246, learning pods may include parents and "any other individuals assisting those parents while engaged in any actions taken to organize, facilitate, or operate the learning pod and any facility, home, or other structure utilized by the learning pod." (LINES 26 - 27). The act also permits payment for these services: "Payment for services does not alter the definition of a learning pod." (LINES 21 - 23). Businesses must comply with the regulations set forth within the act, including providing insurance, protecting the health and safety of the students, and abiding by Civil Rights Laws.
Does Participation in a Learning Pod Meet GA
Educational Attendance Requirements?
Yes! SB246 amends past codes to include learning pods as an acceptable means of fulfilling GA attendance laws. "Participation in a learning pod to facilitate a remote learning option offered by the student's primary education provider shall satisfy all mandatory attendance requirements provided for in Code Section 20-2-690.1. 'Primary education' means any learning mode or system recognized by the state for 30 a student to participate in education in kindergarten through grade 12. (SB246 Lines 59-61).
Are You a Licensed Childcare Facility?
No. Under the Learning Pod Protection Act our program does not require licensing, exemption, or accreditation from Bright from the Start, the DOE, or any other governmental agency. That said, we have designed our own policies and protocols to meet and/or exceed the standards of similar licensed, accredited, or exempted programs.