Across the States
District: “We Don’t Do Certificates”
Home School Legal Defense Association member Michelle Smith (name changed to protect privacy) delivered her homeschool affidavit to her local public school, where the secretary notarized it and handed back a photocopy. Mrs. Smith took the form home, assuming that an exemption certificate would be sent to her at some future date. After waiting nearly a month, she telephoned the school and spoke with another secretary who told her that the school “doesn’t do certificates” and that the copy of the affidavit was all she needed.
Mrs. Smith contacted HSLDA to clarify her understanding of Utah law—she thought that she was supposed to get an actual exemption certificate. HSLDA Legal Assistant Dan Beasley assured her that Utah school districts are required by law to issue an exemption certificate. HSLDA Attorney Michael Donnelly then sent a letter asking the school superintendent to issue an exemption certificate.
Responding promptly with a letter of apology and an exemption certificate, the superintendent explained to the Smith family that, as a result of personnel turnover, not everyone on the school staff understood the correct process for handling homeschool affidavits and exemption certificates.
While Utah has a good homeschool law, these are the kinds of hassles that busy homeschooling families shouldn’t have to deal with. At HSLDA, we are happy to assist our members with resolving these kinds of issues and to help hold the public schools accountable for following the law.
— by Michael P. Donnelly