Across the States
School Caseworker Visits Family
The Regional Office of Education (ROE) in the Illinois counties of Logan, Mason, and Menard recently called for homeschoolers to register. Families were asked to complete and return a “home school registration” form put together by the ROE.* The form requested the parents’ names, address, email, and telephone number; the curriculum used; each child’s name, grade, gender, and race; and the subjects taught.
After receiving this form, one Home School Legal Defense Association member family was visited by a ROE caseworker. Knowing their 4th Amendment right to be secure against any unwarranted search or seizure, the Squaires refused to allow the caseworker to enter their home, but courteously called him later to find out what he wanted.
The caseworker demanded that the Squaires show him their curriculum and then return the “home school registration” form. To support this demand, he asserted that the ROE had been involved in a court case that set a precedent requiring homeschoolers to list their curriculum on the form.
HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka sent a letter to the Logan-Mason-
Menard ROE explaining Illinois law. He pointed out that Illinois considers homeschools to be private schools, and that the Squaires were teaching the “branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public school” in the English language, as the law requires. The ROE wrote back, acknowledging that the “home school registration” form was optional.
In Illinois, there is no requirement that homeschools register with the ROE or any other government office. If you have received a “home school registration” form, or one like it, you are not obligated to return it.
— by Christopher J. Klicka
* See “A plethora of forms”.