The Home School Court Report
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January / February 2004

Can Judicial Tyranny Be Stopped?

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From the heart

The difference made by "little things"

Impact of the Widows Curriculum Scholarship Fund

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Across the states
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New email confirmation

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New law may help some

On May 5, 2003, Tennessee enacted a new law known as the Power of Attorney for Care of a Minor Child Act. Under the new law, parents may delegate temporary care of a minor child to any adult Tennessee resident-giving authority to that adult to care for the child when hardship prevents the parents from doing so.

It is Home School Legal Defense Association's opinion that this new law may be used by someone who is not a parent or legal guardian of a child to conduct a homeschool. However, this power of attorney is only authorized when the parents or legal guardians are prevented from taking care of a child because of some hardship. Also, the statutory language indicates that the child must reside with the caregiver designated in the power of attorney.

The new law does not permit grandparents or other relatives to conduct a homeschool for a child unless the hardship requirement is met and the child begins to reside with the grandparent or other relative. Sometimes HSLDA receives applications for membership indicating that grandparents living in the same town as the parents desire to conduct the homeschool while the child continues to reside with the parents. Tennessee's power of attorney law does not help these families.

HSLDA requires that parents or guardians provide the majority of the instruction for their children in order to be eligible for membership. Tennessee's new power of attorney law would qualify caregivers for membership if they also met the instructional time requirements.

— Dewitt T. Black