Date:  
From:  
Subject:  
11/21/00 4:58:55 PM
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Mandatory Notification of Home Schooling to Base Commander

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From the HSLDA@Capitol Hill E-lert Service...
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November 21, 2000

Dear HSLDA Members and friends in United States Army Europe (USAREUR)

On October 23, 2000, Lieutenant General Larry Jordan issued a one-
year memorandum regarding home schooling in USAREUR. He correctly
explained in his memorandum that military families and civilian
sponsors of school-age children have three options for educating
their children. He defines school-age children as children who are
between the ages of 6 and 18. He also recognizes that children who
have completed high school before age 18 are not considered school-
age children. This is important for home schoolers, since many
graduate early.

Lt. General Jordan's three options are that parents must either (1)
enroll their children in the DODDS school, (2) enroll them in a
public or private host nation school, or (3) conduct home schooling.

This memorandum is significant, since it clearly recognizes the right
of parents in the Army to home school their children.

One additional aspect of the letter, however, has caused concern
among HSLDA members in the Army overseas. This is Lt. General
Jordan's requirement that any family with school-age children who do
not enroll their children in a DODDS school must complete a
registration form. Although there is no clear authority in the DOD
regulations for the military to regulate home schooling, the military
does have the authority to investigate educational neglect. Over the
years, Home School Legal Defense Association has resolved many
conflicts between military families and social workers over
allegations that the parents were neglecting their children's
education. When we provided evidence that the family was home
schooling, the situations were quickly resolved.

HSLDA has closely reviewed DODDS' registration form and found that it
asks only the name and address of the child and whether he is being
home schooled or enrolled in a host nation school. No other
requirements apply. There is no requirement for curriculum approval,
teacher qualifications, or home visitation. This minimal requirement
of merely informing the military that your family is home schooling
will greatly minimize, if not avoid entirely, unnecessary
investigations of home school families in USAREUR. Such a requirement
is reasonable and does not in any way limit parents' rights to
conduct their home schooling as they see fit.

At this stage, HSLDA believes this requirement for registration is a
very minimal restriction. We are prepared, however, to fight against
any attempt by the Army to go beyond this memorandum and regulate
home schooling in any additional manner. If that were to occur, we
would be prepared to defend home schoolers legally by establishing
the military's lack of authority to make further demands on home
schoolers.

My recommendation would be for families in the Army to complete the
registration form and return it by December 1, 2000.

Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
Senior Counsel of HSLDA

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Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
540-338-5600
www.hslda.org
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