The Home School Court Report
VOLUME XXI, NUMBER 1
- disclaimer -
January / February 2005


FEATURES
State Legislation Summary—2004
2004 art contest

Our Judges

Winners of the three categories
PHC beats Oxford in debate
GenJ: Into the land

What are Generation Joshua & HSLDA PAC?

Sodrel: One very tight race . . .

Davis: In a dead heat

DEPARTMENTS
From the heart

2004 in review

From the director

Impact of the fund

Mission statement of HSF
Across the states
Active cases
Members only
About campus
President's page

ET AL.

On the other hand: a Contrario Sensu

HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

HSLDA legal inquiries

Prayer & Praise


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  LEGAL/LEGISLATIVE UPDATES  

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ACROSS THE STATES

AL · CA · CO · FL · GA · IA · KY · MI · MS · MO · NV · NJ · NM · NY · ND · OH · OK · OR · PA · RI · TX · UT · VT · VA · WA · WI

GEORGIA

Legal contacts in Pierce and Jackson

School officials in two Georgia counties contacted local homeschooling families early this school year to insist that they abide by local policies that are contrary to state law. In Pierce County , the superintendent insisted that parents conducting a home study program utilize the Declaration of Intent Form provided by the school district and also adopt the same dates for their school year as those designated for the public schools. The Home School Legal Defense Association member family seeking assistance had already submitted their declaration of intent three times, only to have it rejected and returned to them each time. In Jackson County , the school social worker insisted that an HSLDA member family utilize the county's attendance reporting form and that the mother provide a copy of her high school diploma or general educational development diploma.*

In responding to these unlawful demands, HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black pointed out to the school officials that subsection (e) of § 20-2-690 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated requires the state board of education to devise, adopt, and "make available" to local school superintendents, who shall in turn "make available" to parents or guardians of children in home study programs, such printed forms as may be reasonably necessary to carry out the reporting provisions of the homeschool law. However, there is no requirement that parents or guardians actually use the forms which have been made available to them in submitting the declaration of intent and the attendance records. Had the Georgia Legislature intended that the use of the forms be mandatory, the statute would contain language to this effect. Additionally, parents, not public school officials, determine the 12-month period that is to be considered the school year for that home study program. Otherwise, the legislature would not have required parents to include the dates of their program's school year on the declaration of intent.

Subsection (c)(3) of § 20-2-690 requires parents or guardians teaching their own children to possess at least a high school diploma or GED diploma. However, there is no requirement that a copy of either diploma be submitted with the declaration of intent.

— by Dewitt T. Black

* See "A plethora of forms".