The Home School Court Report
No. 2

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Forms don't always follow the law

As the September 15, 2010, deadline approached for parents to submit their declaration of intent to homeschool forms, Home School Legal Defense Association learned of several school districts that were asking for more information than state law required.

In the Medical Lake School District, homeschooling parents were being told to provide their child’s birth date and telephone number. The Snohomish School District declaration of intent form demanded each student’s date of birth, grade level, telephone number, and the name of the last public school they attended. In the Puyallup School District, each child’s date of birth, grade level, and the name of local school was requested along with an additional form to identify the student’s ethnicity.

The only information that homeschooling parents must include in their declaration of intent is found in § 28A.200.010 of the Revised Code of Washington. Each year, the declaration must “include the name and age of the child, shall specify whether a certificated person will be supervising the instruction, and shall be written in a format prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction.” Nothing else is required.

In each of the situations mentioned above, HSLDA Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt contacted local school district personnel and advised them that their declaration of intent forms were not in compliance with state law. Schmidt requested the immediate removal of the demands for extra information.

In most situations, a letter from HSLDA pointing out the information that cannot be required by the district is sufficient to resolve the issue. Occasionally, the requested extraneous information remains on the form and is listed as “optional.” If you find this to be the case in your district, you can use the declaration of intent form HSLDA has provided for members.*

— by Thomas J. Schmidt

* See “A plethora of forms.”