Legal Contacts September/October 2000
|Home School Law||40|
February thru September
State Law Creates Flexibility for Parents
With perhaps the only law like it in the nation, Alabama permits parents or guardians to delegate to another person any power regarding health, support, education, or maintenance of a minor child or ward. The delegation of powers may not exceed a period of one year and is accomplished by signing a power of attorney in accordance with Alabama law. Designated as Code of Alabama § 26-2A-7 and originally enacted in 1987, this provision of the law enables parents and guardians to transfer authority for exercising educational choices without having to obtain a court order.
Many times Home School Legal Defense Association receives applications from individuals across the nation relying upon a parents notarized statement or power of attorney as the authority to teach the parents child in a home school. However, unless their states law contains a provision like Alabamas, these efforts by parents are legally invalid. Instead, these parents must obtain a court order changing custody or appointing another person as guardian. Because so much of HSLDAs representation of families in court is based upon the right of parents to direct the education of their children, parents delegating this authority must follow the proper legal procedure before they are eligible for HSLDA membership. Dewitt T. Black