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7/21/2004 4:41:58 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Ohio--Frequently Asked Questions at the Beginning of the Public School Year

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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July 21, 2004


Ohio--Frequently Asked Questions at the Beginning of the Public School
Year


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

HSLDA has nearly 4,000 member families in Ohio, and the start of each
new school year brings us countless "frequently asked questions."
Summer is a good time to consider the requirements and options
provided by Ohio law in order to start the new school year on the
right foot. This e-mail addresses a few of the most common questions
HSLDA receives before the start of a new school year.

First, each family that has operated a homeschool under Ohio's
homeschool regulations must provide results of an end-of-the-year
assessment along with your notice of intent to homeschool for the
succeeding year. There is no particular deadline for turning in this
paperwork (although many school districts try to arbitrarily set their
own deadlines), but it is important to deliver the assessment and
notice of intent to the school officials before the start of the
public school year. While it is not technically a violation of the
law to turn in this paperwork after the public school year begins, it
does tend to cause significant problems.

More and more Ohio families are being asked to enroll in
"cyberschools" or other publicly funded programs. While HSLDA
respects the right of each parent to do what is right for their own
child, we do not believe the homeschool movement is helped when
homeschooling families give up their independence for a publicly
funded, publicly controlled educational program. An HSLDA member
family that enrolls their children in such a program will lose their
HSLDA membership as a result. While we can defend your fundamental
right to direct the education of your children in your own home, we
cannot defend your entitlement to publicly funded educational
services.

Families with strong religious objections to government control of
education may want to consider the possibility of forming a
"non-chartered, non-tax supported school," also known as an "08
school." These unaccredited private schools have been a part of
Ohio's set of educational options for many years, and were the primary
means for parents with bachelor's degrees to teach their own children
at home before Ohio's homeschool regulations were passed in the late
1980's. The school districts are unfamiliar with this option, so we
encourage families to consult with HSLDA before starting an 08 school.
We strongly advise parents to make sure they have "truly held
religious beliefs," as required by Ohio Administrative Code
3301-35-08, before initiating an 08 school.

We are especially concerned about rumors of parents who are using 08
schools simply to gain access to publicly funded college courses. The
State Board of Education authorized 08 schools to make sure that
sincere religious objectors could always exercise their religious
freedom in Ohio. Schools that want to receive publicly funded
benefits will need to accept the "strings" that come with government
dollars. Individuals who want to claim the freedom offered by an 08
school and still claim the "freebies" from the state of Ohio
jeopardize the entire 08 school option.

This is not to say that it is unlawful for 08 schools to receive
publicly funded benefits. The Ohio legislature has set aside one
million dollars to make it possible for students enrolled in 08
schools to attend college through the Post Secondary Enrollment
Options (PSEO) program. Both HSLDA and the Christian Home Educators
of Ohio (CHEO) encourage families to avoid such publicly funded
programs where possible, however.


Sincerely,

Scott W. Somerville, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

As a member of HSLDA, you have 75,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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