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

8/20/2002 1:14:21 PM
J. Michael Smith, Esq., President of HSLDA
California--Private School Affidavit Update

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

We are continuing to work in conjunction with Roy Hanson and Jim
Davis of Family Protection Ministries to provide the most current
information possible concerning major changes in obtaining and filing
the private school affidavit. We will let you know as soon as the
California Department of Education (CDE) posts the new affidavit and
associated information on their web site. It is important that
everyone who plans to file a private school affidavit this October
continue checking our web site through August and September,
especially before filing the Private School Affidavit (between
October 1 and 15).

The following is the latest information we received from the
Department of Education as of August 16th:

We expect the CDE to post the new private school affidavit on their
web site in late August or early September.

Schools that filed an affidavit last year (2001) reporting an
enrollment of six or more students will receive a letter from the
Department of Education as early as late August providing them with a
password to access and complete an online affidavit for the 2002-2003
school year.

Schools that filed an affidavit last year (2001) reporting an
enrollment of five or fewer students will be able to access the
online affidavit from the CDE web site without using a password. As
soon as accurate information about this process is confirmed, we will
report it to you. Affidavits are not to be filed until the period of
October 1-15.

Many of you are concerned about letters you have received from county
offices of education or local school districts claiming that "home
schooling ... is not an authorized exemption from mandatory public
school attendance." This is the same inaccurate opinion that has
been routinely propagated by an attorney in the CDE Legal Office for
the past 10-12 years. This is not a new position from the CDE.
However, the CDE does not have any authority to enforce truancy. The
local school districts must do that. What has changed is county
school officials will no longer be involved in either distributing
affidavits to or receiving affidavits from private schools.

At an August 15 public meeting in Sacramento, attended by Family
Protection Ministries' Jim Davis and other home school leaders, the
CDE Legal Office clarified that public school officials cannot refuse
to provide a blank affidavit form to anyone who requests one. This
is consistent with the fact that blank affidavits will be available
online to anyone.

It is important to remember that no laws have changed in California
regarding private schools and, thankfully, no laws have been
introduced or passed to define or regulate private home education.
Anyone (except someone with a specified criminal background) can
operate a private school, enroll any children they want, and operate
their private school anywhere they want (including in their own
home.)

There is no reason for private home schoolers to be unduly concerned
by changes in the way the affidavits are processed or as a result of
misinformation circulated by some public school officials. Neither
should home schoolers feel intimidated into joining a charter school
or public ISP. The change in the affidavit process could prove to be
beneficial to private home schoolers in the long run. However, there
may be counties who, in their frustration over loosing control of the
affidavit process and for other reasons, may try to take some
unprepared home schooling family to court as a test case. Encourage
your non-member friends to join HSLDA.

By way of reminder, do not contact state, county, or local public
school officials about anything regarding the private school
affidavit, including obtaining one. Do not file your affidavit for
the 2002-2003 school year before October 1st, and do not use an
affidavit form from a previous year.

It is important to check HSLDA's web site
(http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/CA/default.asp) regularly throughout
August and September and one last time just before you file your
affidavit between October 1 and 15.

For more background information on this issue, visit our web site at:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/CA/200207290.asp

Sincerely yours,

J. Michael Smith
President of HSLDA

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