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Vol. XXV
No. 1

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State Retreats from Race Demand

Homeschoolers were recently troubled when they learned that the South Dakota Department of Education (SDDE) had modified the Alternative Instruction form (Application for Public School Exemption Certificate) to require that parents specify the race or ethnicity of the children they will homeschool.

Home School Legal Defense Association Attorney Scott Woodruff called Carol Uecker of the SDDE to rectify the problem. Woodruff explained that state law does not require that families disclose the race of their homeschooled children. She agreed, acknowledged there was a problem, and said SDDE would instruct school districts to accept the forms even if families left the race question blank.

Woodruff said this was not enough—that since this is a mandatory form, it is imperative that it be accurate. Woodruff added that, at a minimum, the form should clearly indicate that the race question is optional.

Uecker agreed. Within a few days, the online form was modified to clarify that the race question is optional.

HSLDA recommends that families leave the race question blank. There is simply no legitimate reason for the SDDE to know the race of homeschooled children.

— by Scott A. Woodruff