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Families Forced to “Register”

Several member families recently contacted Home School Legal Defense Association about the online “registration form” provided by the Indiana Department of Education (DOE). These homeschooling families were told by local school district officials that they were required by law to "register" with the DOE.

In at least two cases, school officials filled out the online registration form on behalf of the family, despite the parents’ strong objections. Other families were told that they had to register in order for their homeschooled student to receive a driver’s permit or take the general equivalency diploma (GED).

Indiana Code 20-33-2-21(b) states, “Each principal or school administrator in a nonpublic school that is attended by a student who is subject to the compulsory school attendance law . . . shall furnish, on request of the state superintendent, the number of students by grade level attending the school.”

If you visit the DOE website, you will find a generic “request” from the state superintendent of public instruction to all homeschooling parents. Several school officials have informed HSLDA that the DOE has directed them to “register” all homeschooled students using the online form.

In HSLDA’s opinion, a blanket request posted on the DOE website does not constitute a legal request to an individual parent (administrator) of the home (nonpublic) school.

Another problem with the online DOE “registration” form is that it requests more information than is required by statute. Indiana law merely requires administrators of private schools to provide, upon request, “the number of students by grade level attending the school.”

If your local public school officials attempt to force you to register with the DOE against your wishes, please call HSLDA for assistance.

— by Thomas J. Schmidt