Across the States
Family Told They Must ‘Enroll’ Children in School
Earlier this school year, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Lahaina was contacted by the local intermediate school. The school registrar told Mr. and Mrs. Clay (name changed to protect family’s privacy) that they were required to “enroll” their children in the public school system even though they were homeschooling them. The registrar threatened that if the Clays did not enroll their children, the school would look into charging them with educational neglect.
Very concerned, Mr. and Mrs. Clay contacted HSLDA for help. Staff attorney Thomas Schmidt immediately phoned the principal of the intermediate school to find out what was going on.
During his conversation with the principal, Schmidt pointed out that homeschooling students in Hawaii are not required to be enrolled in the public school system. Instead, under Hawaii Administrative Rule 8-12-13, homeschool parents must simply send a letter to the local public school with their child’s name, birth date, and grade level along with the parents’ telephone number, address, and signature. Or a parent can simply fill out Hawaii Form 4140 (although this form is not required).
The principal promised to look into the situation and speak with the registrar.
Within a few days, HSLDA received a phone call from the principal apologizing for the registrar’s demands and acknowledging that homeschooling parents are not required to enroll their children in the public school system. The school’s confusion was resolved after the registrar contacted the Hawaii Department of Education and learned how to enter homeschoolers into the recordkeeping system without actually enrolling them in the public school.
If you encounter similar problems with your local public school, please don't hesitate to ask HSLDA for assistance.
— by Thomas J. Schmidt