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November / December 2005

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District demands too much information

A Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Collier County called our office to notify us that the intent form their district sent them requested information not required by law.* The form, titled "Notice of Intent to Establish a Home Education Program," demands details such as the student's sex, race, and grades; parents' home, work, and cell phone numbers; parents' signature; date homeschool started; whether the family withdrew from a public school; whether the student is enrolled in an exceptional student education (ESE) program; and answers to a district survey asking the parents' "main reason" for homeschooling. The form even states that it is in compliance with Florida Statutes 228.041 and 229.808.

The Florida Statutes, however, simply require the names, addresses, and birth dates of homeschool students. Any additional information is optional.

HSLDA contacted the Collier County district school board regarding the errors in their form. The school board office indicated that they did not know exactly what the law required of homeschool families, but they wanted "as much information as we can get." HSLDA staff insisted that the district revise its form to accurately reflect Florida law and send HSLDA a copy of the revision. The school board office promised to do so.

If you live in Collier County, do not provide any information on their notice of intent form except that which the law requires (names, addresses, and birth dates of your students).

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See "A plethora of forms."