School officials hassle home schoolers
The Lake County Assistant Regional Superintendent asked three Home School Legal Defense Association member families to fill out a Nonpublic Registration Enrollment Form. The cover letter stated, "In the judgment of the Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools, if the home instruction given by the parent is not commensurate with the standards prescribed for the public schools, the case will be investigated." Such "approval" of home schoolers' curriculum is not required by law.
On behalf of our members, HSLDA informed the school district of the proper application of the law and the situation was resolved.
In Deland, an HSLDA member stepped inside a store, leaving her 10 year old in their locked van to watch their 1 and 3 year old. An anonymous caller turned the family in to social services, resulting in a social worker demanding to enter the home and see the children. HSLDA persuaded the social worker to resolve the investigation with a simple visit at the front door where the children were easily observed without being interrogated.
Acting on the basis of another anonymous tip that a child was being neglected, the Hamilton Community Consolidated School District wrote this HSLDA member family threatening to report their son as truant and demanding that he be instructed for five hours per day in all the core subjects. In response, HSLDA explained the law to the school district and pointed out that the 6 year old was not yet of compulsory school age.
Two other districts instructed HSLDA member families to complete and return forms not required by law. The associate superintendent for pupil personnel of Des Plaine Community Consolidated School District 62 instructed a family to fill out a notarized statement of assurance and a Home School Progress Report, which they were to return to the special education office. However, the family did not have any student with special needs, nor was the information asked regarding the child's progress required by law. The regional superintendent of Logan, Mason, and Menard counties, sent our member family a form demanding information and annual registration that was not required by law. After HSLDA contacted both superintendents, the situations were resolved.
The District 130 Public Schools Superintendent demanded that an HSLDA family in Blue Island provide information about their curriculum, minutes of instruction per day, and assessment methods. In a letter, HSLDA explained that home schoolers are not required to submit this information and reassured the district that this family was in full compliance with the minimal requirements established by the Illinois Supreme Court in the Levisen case.
- Christopher J. Klicka