The Home School Court Report
No. 5

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District Responds Favorably to HSLDA Request

The Provo City School District is notorious for not sending out exemption certificates in a timely manner. In 2008, a legal requirement was added to state law requiring school districts to issue exemption certificates within 30 days to parents who file affidavits stating their intention to homeschool. Because of an internal policy that brings each affidavit before the school board “for approval,” the Provo City district has sometimes taken more than 30 days to issue exemption certificates.

In April 2010, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family submitted an affidavit for the 2010–11 school year. The district initially informed the family that they would not receive an exemption certificate until August at the earliest. Because the certificate is proof of compliance with the law and proof of being a homeschooling teacher, the family needed theirs sooner in order to qualify for curriculum and other discounts available to homeschoolers. They contacted our legal department for help.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly wrote a letter to the superintendent explaining that Utah law requires school districts to issue exemption certificates within 30 days. Donnelly also clarified that school boards have no authority to approve homeschool programs but must issue an excuse as a matter of course when an affidavit is filed. After receiving HSLDA’s letter, Provo promptly issued the family a certificate.

— by Michael P. Donnelly