Home School Court Report
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No. 3

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Family Almost Loses Benefits

When homeschooling families come into contact with state agencies, they often run across employees who are uninformed about state homeschool laws. This can occur in a myriad of situations, such as when applying for student driver’s licenses, work permits, federal and state aid, and social security benefits.

The Brighton family (name changed to protect family’s privacy) recently had such an encounter when obtaining services from the Arizona Department of Economic Services. They were told that their benefits would be denied because they could not prove that their son was attending school. The family explained that they were homeschooling and showed their caseworker a copy of their notice of intent as proof. The caseworker informed them that the notice of intent was not enough to prove their son was actually in attendance. Instead, the caseworker gave the family a form that was to be filled out by the public school to verify attendance. Not knowing what else to do, the family called Home School Legal Defense Association for help.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt promptly wrote a letter to the caseworker, explaining what Arizona law requires from parents who teach their children at home. Schmidt also verified that the Brightons are members of HSLDA, and he pointed out that they are in compliance with the Arizona homeschool law. After the caseworker received this letter, the family had no further difficulties.

If you find yourself in a situation where a state officer or employee is questioning the legality of homeschooling, please call HSLDA immediately for assistance and advice.

— by Thomas J. Schmidt