Maricopa Demands Exceed Law
The Maricopa County public schools are insisting that the affidavit of intent, required to be filed within 30 days from the time the child begins the home school program, be filled out on a form provided by the county. However, the home school law does not provide that the affidavit of intent has to be on a particular form.
The Maricopa County schools do not have any authority outside the law as passed by the legislature for the state of Arizona. Therefore, the county does not have the authority to restrict home schoolers to filing the affidavit of intent on the county form.
Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE) has provided a form which contains all of the information required under the statute. A home school family completed and submitted the AFHE form; however, the county rejected it because it was not on their form. We have notified the county that they do not have the authority to reject the form.
The principle of the laws is that government, including local school districts, derive their powers from the state constitution and legislative enactment. Legislative enactment can provide for rule-making authority for state and local agencies; however, Arizona has not chosen to provide any rule-making or regulation-making authority to the state department of education or county schools regarding home education.
Therefore, what authority or power which is not conferred on a state or local governmental agency is reserved to the people. In this case, the home schoolers of the state of Arizona are within their legal and constitutional right to provide an affidavit of intent on any kind of form (or non-form) which contains the information required to be provided in the statute. To this date, the county has not insisted upon any further compliance with its request that the family provide the information on the form provided by the county.
Some ask, “Why not just comply?” The reason is that the law should be respected by those who enforce the law or government officials will continue to demand more and more authority, especially if it is perceived that individuals easily give in to demands that exceed the authority of those making the demands.