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1/8/2010 12:17:58 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Dakota--Rapid City Demands Homeschool Kids stay in School

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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South Dakota--Rapid City Demands Homeschool Kids stay in School

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

If you take a child out of Rapid City Area Schools (RCAS) to
homeschool him, you should expect the RCAS homeschool office to hand
you a letter asking you to promise that you will keep your child in
public school until the school board approves your alternative
instruction paperwork.

The letter will ask you to sign the following statement: "I understand
my child(ren) must remain in school until I receive a copy of my
Certificate of Excuse signed by the school board president."

The use of this letter--which we believe is a new development--is
entirely unwelcome. RCAS has no authority to demand that parents sign
the statement. The best approach for most families will be to simply
disregard it. South Dakota Christian Home Educators is aware of the
problem and is working to convince the responsible persons to change
this troublesome letter.

Although the South Dakota homeschool laws are couched in terms of
"approving" the application, a school board in fact has no authority
whatsoever to deny an initial application for an alternative
instruction excuse that is properly filled out. SDCL 13-27-2 says
school boards "must" (non-discretionary language) excuse a child after
presentation of a completed application for an alternative instruction
excuse. By way of contrast, this statute says a school board "may"
(the language of discretion) excuse children because of illness or
attendance at youth events.

Approving a homeschooler's initial application is a routine
administrative function. The law neither permits nor requires the
school board to make a "judgment call." Hopefully RCAS will
acknowledge this reality soon and stop acting as if the school board
has the authority to deny an initial application.


Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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