The Home School Court Report
- disclaimer -
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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Alternatives to approval

In Utah, one of three states that require homeschoolers to seek "approval" of their education, individual families have discovered that such an "approval" law gives school districts far too much power over home education.

Jordan School District is notorious for refusing to let homeschoolers attend the local community college. Iron County has rejected exemption letters, insisting that homeschoolers use the district's form instead. Park City has been working on a new policy to require all homeschoolers to provide identical information. San Juan School District has tried to prevent homeschoolers from participating in extracurricular activities, despite a state law that guarantees homeschoolers that right. Whether these demands are large or small, they serve as a constant reminder that homeschoolers still need the "permission" of the local school district to operate under an "approval" statute.

There are two alternatives to Utah's "approval" law. One is to operate as part of a "regularly established private school," pursuant to Utah Code § 53A-11-101. Groups of homeschoolers have been operating such schools in Utah for many years.

The other alternative is to change the law. Utah Code § 53A-11-102 gives local school boards their existing "approval" powers. HSLDA encourages all Utah homeschoolers to work together so that no homeschooling parent has to get the government's permission to do what is best for their own child.

See the Maine article in this issue of the Court Report for the story of how homeschoolers convinced their legislature to take Maine off the list of "approval" states this spring. Homeschoolers refused to request "permission" from the Maine Department of Education, so they drafted, campaigned for, and finally enacted a bill that abolishes that department's control over homeschooling.

Scott W. Somerville