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7/26/2005 12:29:13 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California--Confusion Reigns in Gilroy

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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July 26, 2005

California--Confusion Reigns in Gilroy

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

There have been a series of articles in the Gilroy Dispatch regarding
homeschooling which has created legitimate concern for homeschoolers
in Santa Clara County where the Gilroy Unified School District (GUSD)
is located.

It started with a pronouncement from the attendance officer of GUSD
that the school district has the authority to approve the right to
establish a small private school in California. Small private schools
are often begun by homeschoolers.

He further asserted that in order to approve the school, the
administrator of the school would have to notify the school district
of their intent to start a private school. HSLDA, through Michael
Smith, responded twice in the Gilroy Dispatch to the incorrect
assertions on the part of the attendance officer. Homeschoolers
establishing private schools are subject to the same requirements
under the Education Code in California as a regular brick-and-mortar
private school. Therefore, there is no authority to pre-approve or
disapprove the establishment of a private school by a local school
district or any other governmental agency in California.

Private schools are required to file a private school affidavit once a
year between October 1 and October 15. This filing requirement is
completed by downloading the affidavit from the California Department
of Education (CDE) website, signing the copy by the school
administrator and forwarding it to the CDE.

Just when we thought we had this matter resolved in Gilroy, on July
20, 2005, in the Gilroy Dispatch another article on homeschooling
entitled, "Homeschool on the Rise," by Kristen Munson was printed. In
the article, Pam Slater of the CDE said "You can file a private school
affidavit on-line with the CDE, but you must file with the district
too."

We contacted the legal counsel at the CDE that supervises the private
school sector and he assured us that this is not a new requirement of
the CDE and there must have been a misunderstanding between the
reporter and Pam Slater. Additionally, we directed another letter to
the Gilroy Dispatch informing them that there was misinformation in
the article regarding the alleged filing requirement with the local
school district.

Please be reassured that the law has not changed in California, nor
has the practice of the CDE regarding the filing of affidavits.
However, members need to realize that the CDE has informed the local
school districts that it is their obligation to enforce truancy and
that local school districts can determine how they will enforce the
truancy laws.

It's not unreasonable to believe that there will be other school
districts in addition to the GUSD that will attempt to use creative
ways to thwart homeschooling in the name of preventing truancy.

HSLDA needs to continue to address any misinformation regarding
homeschooling in California newspapers. If you see misinformation, or
you have questions about its accuracy, please contact our office as
soon as possible.


Sincerely,

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President



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-> There may be a shortage of the flu vaccine, but there's no
shortage of legal protection for homeschoolers.

HSLDA is 80,000 families standing together for the right of each
family to teach their children at home. You don't have to stand
alone against those who think homeschoolers should be regulated
and controlled. Joining a team of home educators who will stick
with you may be just what the doctor ordered for your
homeschool . . . and your peace of mind.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1934

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