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7/21/2008 3:06:47 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California--Important Recommendations Concerning ISPs

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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California--Important Recommendations Concerning ISPs

Dear California HSLDA Members:

The phrase "Independent Study Program" (ISP), used by private
homeschools, has applied to those that file one Private School
Affidavit for multiple homeschooling families whose children are
enrolled in their school. Some programs characterized as ISPs are part
of a private school campus-based school, and others are composed
entirely of homeschoolers.

The Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA),
California Home School Network (CHN), Home School Association of
California (HSC), Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), and
Private and Home Educators of California (part of FPM) are jointly
making the following recommendations regarding the termination of the
use of the term "independent study programs" in the future.

1. We are recommending that the private homeschool community at large,
and the leaders of "private independent study programs" in particular,
make a change from using the descriptive phrase "private school
independent study program" (and its variants--e.g. "ISP", "Private
ISP", etc.), and instead use the phrase "Private School Satellite
Program" (PSP). This will assist us in defending these private
homeschool programs, in which the students' education is provided by
or under the direction of their parents. It will also make it clear
that private satellite schools (PSP) are different from public school
ISPs, in which there is an assigned credentialed teacher who directs
the students' education while the parents are teaching aides.

2. We also recommend that the administrator of each Private School
Satellite Program (formerly ISP) include in their count of teachers on
their annual Private School Affidavit (PSA) at least one parent or
guardian from each family in their Satellite Program (PSP).

In concert with our recommendation No. 2 above, we want to remind
every Private School Satellite Program administrators to continue to
require "a record of educational qualification of each [teacher]" to
be maintained at the address specified by the private school on the
PSA (see Ed Code 33190(f)(3).

This change in terminology DOES NOT affect parents who file an
Affidavit (PSA) for their own private school where they teach their
own children, but will affect the remainder of homeschoolers in
varying degrees.

You are no doubt asking why we are recommending this change before the
court decision is final. During the recent Appellate Court Case, the
California Department of Education (CDE) expressed their official
position on homeschooling in a legal document they submitted to the
court. Their stated position puts into question the wisdom of
continuing to use the term "ISP" to describe multi-family homeschool
programs. It's the CDE's position that an "independent study" program
as outlined in the Education Code can only apply to public school home
study programs. However, they did concede that one family can legally
operate a private school in their home. We believe they were confused
by the ISP name, so in order to eliminate that confusion, we're making
these recommendations.

The use of the term "Private School Satellite" accurately describes
the operation of a multi-family private school filing an affidavit
whether it be a private campus-based school or a private school
composed entirely of homeschool families. Each home is a satellite
location of the private school with the parents or guardians operating
as the teachers of the children in their homes.

We know that you will likely have questions and you should feel free
to contact us for further clarification.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

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