The George Air Force Base Ten
Upon receiving a copy of the private school affidavits filed by five home school families in the Air Force who reside on the George Air Force Base, the Superintendent of the Adelanto School District directed a letter to each family, requiring them to produce records demonstrating that they were in compliance with Education Code 33190 so that the exemption of the children could be validated. The families were to make an appointment with the Director of Curriculum to verify that their curriculum was appropriate, and the families were to meet with the Assistant Superintendent so he could review the qualifications of the teachers.
HSLDA responded on behalf of all the families, informing the school district that its demands were not supported by the law, that the families had done all that is required under the law, and that they were not going to do anything else. The students enrolled in these private schools were legally exempt from public school attendance by virtue of the fact that the school district had received a copy of the affidavits.
In response to our letter, the Superintendent indicated that he was simply following the mandates of the law and that he did not wish to approve the home school programs. He did state, however, that he was required to verify that each student within his district was receiving a proper educational opportunity.
HSLDA then explained that the public school does not have the authority under law to verify that children enrolled and receiving instruction in a private school are receiving a proper educational opportunity. The legislature has provided by law that a child enrolled in a private school who has filed a private school affidavit is presumed to be receiving a proper educational opportunity. Absent probable cause to the contrary, public school officials have no authority to conduct the kinds of “investigations” attempted in Adelanto School District.
One of the home-schooling fathers was the chaplain of the base. He received word by the grapevine that the principal of one of the schools where some of the children would have attended was going to request that the base commander expel the families from the base for non-compliance with the law. Some of the families' fathers were deployed to Saudi Arabia. The chaplain gained an audience with the base commander and was able to share our letters to the superintendent. After the father explained his position, the commander indicated he would take the matter under advisement.
The day came for the principal to meet with the base commander. The base commander informed the principal that he would not be removing the families from the base since he was not of the opinion that he had the authority to do so. The word was then passed among the school officials that they were not to pursue the matter further. HSLDA has not received any official word from the school district regarding their next move.