The Home School Court Report
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Cover Story
Ninth Circuit Upholds Family Privacy and Parental Authority

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United We Stand

Two from Washington

National Center Reports
Children Tax ID Act Moves Forward

President Vetoes Tax Relief

Navy Fills Quota

Home Educated Athletes

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Tidbits & Trivia

The first railroad in america ran between Albany and Schenectady, a distance of 11 miles.

New York

Governor Vetoes Bill Raising Compulsory Attendance Age

On August 31, 1999, Governor George Pataki vetoed Assembly Bill 1977-B that would have increased the compulsory attendance age from 16 to “seventeen years of age or such older age as determined by the school district.” The governor took this action despite the fact that the bill had passed both the assembly and senate unanimously. Absent an override of the governor’s veto by the legislature, state law defining compulsory attendance ages will now remain the same.

BOCES Handbook Falls Short

The Home Instruction Handbook, published in January 1999 by the Wayne Finger Lakes Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), states that the New York State Education Department has authorized the Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES to act on behalf of 25 school districts in reviewing home school documents for compliance. Home schooling parents are now being told to deal directly with BOCES instead of their local superintendent.

New York home instruction programs are governed exclusively by the provisions of § 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education which clearly requires parents to work with their local superintendent in conducting their home instruction program. Section 100.10 contains no provision authorizing the local superintendent to delegate his responsibilities to a BOCES. Thus, local districts, BOCES, or the state education department have no authority to establish any policies or procedures adding to or contradicting § 100.10.

HSLDA has advised our member families within school districts served by Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES not to use the handbook for any purpose related to home schooling and to deal directly and only with their local school district in complying with the provisions of § 100.10. Parents receiving correspondence from a BOCES should not disregard it, but should respond to their local public school superintendent instead of BOCES.