The Home School Court Report
No. 1

In This Issue

Due to space constraints, Doc’s Digest did not appear in the January/February 2010 issue. Doc’s Digest will resume publication on a new rotating schedule beginning in the March/April issue.

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School Officials Send Inaccurate Letter

This fall, several Home School Legal Defense Association member families in Lafayette County notified us that the director of assessment, curriculum and technology had sent a form letter dated August 26, 2009, to local homeschoolers. The letter provided information to homeschooling parents about the district’s testing schedule and also informed parents that, “unless otherwise specified in your child’s home school plan on file in the district office, your child is required to participate in the district's annual assessment of all students.”

In Florida, homeschoolers are not obligated to report to the district how they will complete the annual assessments for their students, nor are they required to participate in the district’s annual assessments. This letter incorrectly implied that homeschooling parents had to get permission to use an alternative assessment.

HSLDA Attorney Thomas Schmidt sent a letter on behalf of our member families to the Lafayette County school official. Schmidt explained that while he understood that the letter was intended to be helpful, the county did not have the legal authority to require families to specify their child’s homeschool plan, let alone require them to participate in the district’s annual assessment.

If you reside in Lafayette County and have received this form letter, please discard it. We expect no further difficulties with this issue in Lafayette County.

— by Thomas J. Schmidt