Home School Court Report
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July / August 2003

Homeschoolers shine at competitions
Ready for the new school year
Farris given prize
The tide turns with the Stumbo decision

Signs of the turning tide

Timeline of the Stumbo case

The Stumbos' thoughts
Bush signs bill to protect families

Along the way

The National Center for Home Education
Freedom Watch

Watching school choice issues
From the heart
Across the states
Members only
Active Cases
About Campus
President's page

Beyond our expectations


Prayer & Praise

a contrario sensu (on the other hand)

HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal contacts for March/April 2003



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Baltimore demands jeopardize freedom

Baltimore City Public School System recently made several unauthorized demands in a letter to homeschool families. For example, the letter stated:

1)"It is mandated . . . that parents who home-school their child/children must register annually."

This is incorrect. Regulations require homeschoolers to file a one-time notice of intent to homeschool, not a "registration." Changes to regulations to be enacted this summer make it even clearer than before that a single notice of intent is to be filed.

2)"Please fill out the enclosed notification form and return it to us . . . not later than May 9, 2003."

By law, however, the initial notice of intent is due 15 days before the homeschool program begins. Under the coming regulations, the annual verification is due to the school system or your umbrella private school simply before the school year begins, not by May 9 or any other specific date.

3)"If we do not receive an updated notification form, your homeschooling status will be cancelled and your child/children will be returned to a public or private school."

No "updated notification form" is required under the current or coming regulations. A school system has no power to "cancel" your homeschool program or to order you to return your children to public or private school.

Freedom can be lost by small degrees. To protect freedom most effectively, homeschoolers must collectively say "no" to unauthorized demands.

Home School Legal Defense Association has advised our Baltimore members to disregard these demands and we encourage all Baltimore-area homeschoolers to do the same. Even a few homeschoolers complying with unauthorized demands could encourage school systems to expect blanket compliance with a false new standard or prompt a system to ask the state for more regulations to "bring into line" parents who stand up for their rights.

Scott A. Woodruff