The Home School Court Report
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Rugby is the geographical center of North America.

North Dakota

Revisions in Statement of Intent Form

With the enactment of Senate Bill 2199 this spring, North Dakota’s home school law was amended in several ways. First, the revised law changed the requirements for the statement of intent filed by the parent with the local public school superintendent. The statement must now include, among other things, (1) a list of public school courses in which the child intends to enroll and the public school district offering the courses and (2) a list of extracurricular activities in which the child intends to participate and the public school district or approved nonpublic school offering the activities.

The most recent version of the Statement of Intent form developed by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) goes beyond the new requirements. It asks parents to indicate the “courses or extracurricular activities in a public school district or approved nonpublic school” in which the child intends to participate. However, the law does not require parents to indicate in the statement of intent any courses to be taken at nonpublic schools. The only nonpublic school information required is related to extracurricular activities.

This form also lists various federal programs in which parents may choose to have their children participate. Parents are requested to check “yes” or “no,” indicating their decision about their children’s participation in these programs.

On July 26, 1999, Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Dewitt Black sent a letter to DPI pointing out the discrepancy in the curricular and extracurricular information sought on the form. Additionally, Black expressed his concern that parents who elected not to answer about participation in the federal programs would be considered out of compliance in submitting the statement of intent. To date, HSLDA has received no response.

While state law requires that parents provide specified information in the statement of intent, there is no requirement that they use any particular form. Accordingly, parents are free to provide the required information in any format or make any changes necessary on DPI’s form to properly submit that information. Any family encountering difficulties with public school officials over the use of DPI’s Statement of Intent form should contact HSLDA for assistance.