The Home School Court Report
- disclaimer -
January / February 2005

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

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


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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Protecting homeschoolers' privacy

Ohio requires homeschoolers to provide a "brief outline of the curriculum" which is "for informational purposes only." Unfortunately, there is no definition of the word brief . This has led to a number of clashes between school districts and homeschool families over what exactly is required, especially when families move from one district that accepts a very simple outline to another that demands a full table of contents for every textbook used.

Recently, the Ohio Department of Education instructed school officials that they may demand more information than many homeschool families had previously provided. This new directive is a problem for families that value their privacy. Ohio's privacy law treats homeschool records as "public records," which must be disclosed to third parties upon request. The "brief outline" that must be submitted for "informational purposes only" can wind up in the hands of any person who really wants to get at it.

Fortunately, the state department of education and a number of school districts are sensitive to these concerns. Several school districts that had been threatening prosecutions have agreed to review and return families' outlines without copying them, as long as families provide a self-addressed stamped envelope for that purpose. The department of education has no objections to this approach. Given the positive response to this means of protecting homeschool privacy, Home School Legal Defense Association has announced plans to revise our Ohio Notice of Intent to Home School forms to make this practice standard in every district.* This means that all HSLDA members should have more educational privacy by this time next year.

— by Scott W. Somerville

* See "A plethora of forms".