Current Issue | Archives | Advertising | About | Search
- disclaimer -
November / December 2003

Colleges and homeschoolers

Paul Owen's story

The big picture
2003 art contest

The judges and their thoughts on the artwork

Winners of the three categories
Farris meets with President
A gift for the next generation
Homeschooling grows up

Along the way

Abounding in the work of the Lord

Resource information
From the heart
Across the states
Active cases
In the trenches
Freedom watch
Members only
About campus
President's page


HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal inquiries

Prayer & Praise




AL · AK · AZ · CA · CO · GA · HI · IN · IA · KS · ME · MD · MA · MI · MN · NE · NY · OH · PA · SC · TN · TX · UT · VA · WV


Families file for ex-emption under RFPA

Since the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year, an unknown number of families have been seeking an exemption from Pennsylvania's homeschool law under the recently enacted Religious Freedom Protection Act (RFPA). To date, Home School Legal Defense Association has assisted approximately 50 families who believe they are entitled to relief under the RFPA. Enacted on December 9, 2002, the RFPA adopts the "compelling interest test" in all cases in which a person's free exercise of religion is substantially burdened. In applying this test, the state has the burden of proving that enforcement of a state law is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling state interest if that law substantially burdens a person's religious freedom.

The families being assisted by HSLDA believe that being forced to comply with Pennsylvania's home education law substantially burdens their free exercise of religion. So far, only the Central Bucks School District has acknowledged that a homeschooling family is entitled to the religious exemption. Other school districts are expected to follow suit, although it is likely that at least some families will have to seek relief through the courts. HSLDA is prepared to assist any families desiring to obtain a religious exemption based upon their sincerely held religious beliefs.

— Dewitt T. Black