Power Grabbing in Illinois and Indiana
Both Illinois and Indiana have had landmark court cases establishing homeschools as private schools. Neither state has burdensome requirements for private schools nor for homeschools. Yet several school districts in each state have attempted to inflate their own power by placing demands on homeschool families that their state laws do not allow.
In Kane, LaSalle, Macon, and Cook counties, authorities have sought to require everything from “registration forms&rtdquo; for homeschools to home visits and the use of public school curriculum. HSLDA instructed its members in these counties to provide notices of intent to the school districts explaining that their schools were private schools. Several members enclosed a copy of HSLDA attorney Chris Klicka’s memorandum on Illinois law. Through these member families standing their ground and demonstrating that they knew the law, school officials in each of these counties withdrew the additional requirements they were seeking to impose.
A Benton Community School District official sought to convince three HSLDA member families that he had the authority to require a conference with each family, a calendar of days of instruction, monthly progress reports, testing through the public school, home visits, and curriculum approval. All three families supplied him with notices of intent and nothing more, which persuaded him to withdraw his previous requirements.
Meanwhile, in the Evansville-Vandenburg School District, school officials endeavored to force the public schoo’s “minutes of instruction” on the HSLDA family. This system of instruction would have told the family exactly how many minutes each day they must spend in math, reading, science, etc. Again, the members sent the school district a notice of intent asserting that their school was a private school, and the school district did not pursue the matter.