Across the States
School Asks for Too Much Information
Home School Legal Defense Association members Eric and Cathy Marek (name changed to protect privacy) withdrew their three children from public school in order to educate them at home and sent an appropriate courtesy letter to the children’s schools. That should have been the end of their transition out of the public school system.
But two weeks later, the superintendent at the Lee/Ogle Regional Office of Education in Dixon sent the Mareks two forms asking for information about their curriculum, level of the parents’ education, time of day of instruction, total hours of instruction, who the instructors would be, and other aspects of their homeschool program, none of which information was required by law. The form also asked the parents to sign “assurances.” No explanation was offered as to why the superintendent needed this information.
The Mareks contacted Home School Legal Defense Association for assistance. HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff called the superintendent’s office and explained that Illinois law does not authorize school systems to seek the requested information from homeschooling families. The superintendent’s representative promptly acknowledged that families are free to disregard both forms.
When school systems ask homeschooling families to “voluntarily” fill out forms not required by law, the best way to protect liberty is for parents to stand unified and reject the request. Acquiescing and filling out such forms may encourage encroachment on homeschool freedom.
— by Scott A. Woodruff