The Home School Court Report
Vol. XXV
No. 1

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State makes demand for unauthorized information

After turning in their year-end assessment, the Hillstrom family (name changed to protect family’s privacy) received a letter from the Maine Department of Education instructing them to submit a Subsequent Year Letter with their children’s ages, the starting date of their homeschool program, and assurance that the program would continue for at least 175 days and cover all the required subjects.*

Members of Home School Legal Defense Association, the family called for help. HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff spotted the state’s gaffe: the department of education was demanding information the family had already submitted—information that only needs to be submitted once. Under the major reforms of Maine’s homeschool law in 2003, families must submit a fairly detailed notice of intent their first year of homeschooling; but, in subsequent years, they need only to file a brief letter confirming their intention to continue homeschooling (the Subsequent Year Letter).

Woodruff wrote a letter to the Department of Education explaining that they were demanding information that was not appropriate for a Subsequent Year Letter. The Maine Department of Education has since amended its online Subsequent Year Letter form and made it fully consistent with state law.

— by Scott A. Woodruff

* See “A plethora of forms”