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No. 4

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District Publishes False Homeschool Deadlines

In April, a Florida member family alerted Home School Legal Defense Association to a notice on the Orange County Public Schools website. Addressed to “Home Education Families,” the notice lists the various requirements for homeschoolers operating under the state home education statute and states that “Results of annual evaluations/test scores may be submitted to the Office of Home Education during the period of May 17-June 30, 2006.” The notice further says that if a family “cannot meet this deadline, PLEASE NOTIFY THIS OFFICE IN WRITING.”

There is, however, no basis for this deadline in state law. HSLDA wrote the author of this notice, explaining that homeschoolers operating under Florida’s homeschool law must simply submit their test scores or evaluations within one year of beginning homeschooling, and each year thereafter. Florida homeschool law does not impose any other deadline for submitting the evaluation to the county, and therefore the county has no authority to impose additional requirements.

Until the notice is revised, homeschooling families may disregard its erroneous deadline requirement. Unfortunately, this situation is not unique in the Sunshine State. Other counties have repeatedly tried to set false deadlines for the annual evaluation. All HSLDA members in Florida should be aware that such deadlines are not required.

— by Christopher J. Klicka