From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
Subject:

8/12/2002 1:54:24 PM
J. Michael Smith, Esq., President of HSLDA
California--Update: Private School Affidavit Offered Online

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Because of the high number of calls, emails and faxes from
understandably anxious members in California, we will be providing a
weekly status report on the developments in California. Many details
regarding the new procedures for filing the private school affidavit
still remain unclear. We will do our best to keep you informed with
the latest information we receive.

PLEASE share this information with your support groups and home
school friends who do not have internet access. Also, the next issue
of the Home School Legal Defense Association Court Report will have
detailed instructions on how to handle a visit from a school official
to your private (home) school.

It has become increasingly apparent that officials at every level--
from the California Department of Education (CDE) to county and
district schools--have stepped up their rhetoric in an effort to
convince everyone that home schooling is illegal unless the parent is
a California certified teacher or enrolled in a public school
independent study program. Neither HSLDA nor any other home school
organization in the state agrees with this faulty interpretation of
the California Education Code.

We have seen the numerous letters sent out by various County Offices
of Education with misstatements ranging from "you will not be able to
file a private school affidavit" to "you do not need to file a
private school affidavit." Both untrue. HSLDA still recommends that
you either file the private school affidavit or join an independent
study program.

As HSLDA's July email to our members explained, the CDE website will
offer a downloadable blank private school affidavit, a/k/a the "R-4
form." Periodically check their website to see when the form goes on-
line: http://www.cde.ca.gov/privateschools/ . For HSLDA members
filing their own R-4, we recommend that you fill it out, sign it,
make several copies for your records, and then mail it to the CDE
certified mail. It will be extremely important for you to make your
own copies of your signed affidavit and to keep the certified mail
receipt as proof of mailing.

If it appears that the form will be password protected (we don't
expect the CDE to be cooperative in handing out passwords), HSLDA
will put an alternative private school affidavit on our website. It
will be accessible to members and non-members alike. However, HSLDA's
alternative form will not go live until we are certain home schoolers
cannot obtain one from the CDE's website.

Many of you have expressed concern that if this issue is litigated in
California, you might be arrested, forced to put your children in
public school or have your children removed from your home. HSLDA
wants to assure you that none of these scenarios should occur. Since
there is no educational neglect provision in California law, a child
would not be removed from the home solely because of educational
neglect allegations. A minor who is habitually absent from school
(normally this would only apply to the minor who is truant from
school against his parents' wishes) may in some circumstances be
declared a ward of the court. However, the California law that gives
courts jurisdiction over truants specifies, ". . . it is the intent
of the legislature that no minor who is adjudged a ward of the court
. . . solely [because of truancy] shall be removed from the custody
of the parent or guardian . . . "

Should you end up in court over this affidavit dispute, your home
school status will remain the same until a court resolves the matter.
At the end of the litigation, we should win, which would end the
matter. Even if we were to lose, we will appeal until we win. The
usual procedure during the appeal is that the status quo remains
until there are no appeals left.

The bottom line? Don't panic. Don't make plans to move. Be vigilant
with your prayers that God would preserve our freedom to home school.
God's plans will not be thwarted.

Sincerely yours,

J. Michael Smith
President of HSLDA

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