Legal Contacts September/October 2000
|Home School Law||224|
February thru September
More Counties Try to Collect Processing Fees
Home schoolers in Los Angeles County are familiar with the drill. You request a private school affidavit from the county. The county sends it to you along with a large packet of materials outlining all the requirements for private schools, including some things that are not required for private home schools: fire, health, and safety inspections, business licenses, and fictitious names. Also not required is a $40 processing fee. Home School Legal Defense Association advises our members not to pay the processing fee, but to send the R-4 private school affidavit directly to the California State Department of Education via certified mail. This has been the routine in Los Angeles County for a number of years.
However, Los Angeles Countys tactic appears to be spreading and member families in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties are now participating in the annual drill as well. Again, we advise our members that they are not required to obtain any inspections or business licenses, and neither are they required to pay a processing fee. The California State Education Code does not require a fee for filing a private school affidavit, nor do we believe any county office of education is authorized to impose such a fee.
Alameda and Contra Costa residents should send their affidavits directly to the state department of education without the fee via certified mail. Once the affidavit has been filed with the department of education, they forward back to the county the carbon copies designated for the county and the school district.
Upon receiving the countys copy of the affidavit from the department of education, Alameda County has been sending a letter and an invoice for $25 to the private home school. The letter indicates that the county is holding the affidavit and will not process it until the county receives the $25 processing fee. Once again, HSLDA has advised our member families that their affidavit has already been processed and filed with the department of education and that they should ignore the invoice and demand for payment.
At this point, Alameda County has probably spent more than $25 sending out invoices for fees it is not entitled to collect. HSLDA asks our members to keep us informed of any further contact from the county that might require our intervention. J. Michael Smith