Current Issue | Archives | Advertising | About | Search
- disclaimer -
May / June 2003

A season to encourage

Burnt toast & sticky cards

A letter to my parents

The spiritual power of a mother
National Center hosts 2003 Summit
Farris addresses social workers

Along the way

Homeschool litigation: preparing the way
Freedom Watch

What's ahead in 2003?
From the heart
Across the states
Active Cases
Members only
About Campus
President's page

Good judges make good decisions


Prayer & Praise

a contrario sensu (on the other hand)

HSLDA legal contacts for November/December 2002



AR · CA · FL · IL · IN · KY · LA · MD · MO · MT · ND · NM · NY · OH · OK · OR · TN · TX · VA · WY


Participation forms proliferate

Every year, many Kentucky counties send out "Private Nonprofit Schools and Home Schools Declaration of Participation" forms. These forms frequently use language such as "The public school district must have a declaration form completed by each private, nonprofit school and home school physically located in the public district's geographic boundaries" [emphasis added]. With recent changes to federal law, the demands for this information only seem to be increasing.

Homeschoolers are not required to fill out these forms. Under Kentucky law, homeschoolers are required to maintain attendance registers and scholarship reports, and should send a letter containing this information during the first two weeks of the school year. They are not legally required to tell the local public school district any other information, such as whether they "make any distinction on the basis of race, color or national origin," or have "filed Articles of Incorporation with the office of the Kentucky Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation."

These forms reveal the pervasive influence of the federal government in education. The federal government spends an enormous amount of tax money on education, but attaches all sorts of strings to those funds. The states get the money only if they jump through the federal hoops. Each local school district has to document that it has complied with every jot and tittle of federal law before it can get money from the state. In order to prove that the district is eligible for federal funds, it sends letters to homeschools and private schools demanding information about discrimination, nonprofit status, and the like.

The homeschool mother who is intimidated by the "must" in these Declaration of Participation forms is a victim of a federal government that has abandoned its constitutional constraints. Home School Legal Defense Association members should not be intimidated by toothless threats from money-hungry school districts.

Scott W. Somerville