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8/24/2011 2:54:23 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Maryland--Prince George's County Over- Regulates Homeschoolers

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Maryland--Prince George's County Over-Regulates Homeschoolers

Dear Maryland HSLDA Members:

Prince George's (PG) County's homeschool policy places some unique and
unlawful requirements on homeschool families. COMAR 13A.10.01.01.F
("Regulation F") forbids school systems from imposing any requirements
in addition to those listed in the state regulations. Entitled
"Administrative Procedure: Homeschooling," the PG policy goes beyond
appropriate boundaries and violates Regulation F in several ways.

WHO INITIATES THE PORTFOLIO REVIEW--Section VI.B. of the PG policy
says "the parent ... is responsible for contacting the Home Schooling
Specialist to schedule a date and time" for a portfolio review. There
is no such requirement in the state regulations, and the county school
system cannot impose it on their own. The regulations only require
parents to "permit" the review--not initiate it.

It is therefore up to the school system to communicate in some
appropriate manner with families if they want to review a child's
portfolio.

MANDATED HALT OF HOMESCHOOLING--Homeschooling under the state
regulations means that if you do not "consent" to the state
regulations, you must enroll your child in public or private school.
However, the PG policy (IV.F.) mandates that if you don't consent to
PG County's own requirements, you must enroll your child in public or
private school.

The county cannot usurp the place of the state and demand that you
fulfill the county's own requirements or stop homeschooling.

REGISTRATION: A FIGMENT OF THEIR IMAGINATION--State regulations do not
require homeschoolers to "register." Families simply submit a notice.
But the PG policy says families must "register" and their notification
must be "processed." The policy says families will be sent a letter
"verifying completed registration"(see section V.)

This is not a mere matter of semantics. A "registration" can only be
completed after a bureaucrat takes some specific action. The citizen
is dependent on the government for registration to be accomplished.

On the other hand, a "notice" can be successfully completed without
the action of any bureaucrat. Maryland state regulations have been
crafted so that families are not dependent on any government agent in
order to lawfully initiate their homeschool program. PG County's
effort to morph the simple "notice" into a "registration" is
inappropriate.

"DISCUSSION" OF NOTICE REQUIRED?--Section IV.B. of the PG policy opens
with, "After discussing the requirements of Home Schooling with the
parent ..., the parent ... will complete and forward..." the
notification form. This seems to imply that the county is mandating
that parents have a discussion with them before filing their notice.

No such requirement is contained in state regulations, and it cannot
be imposed by PG County schools.

CONCLUSION--Whether or not you live in PG County, don't hesitate to
call us if you believe your school system is treating your family in a
way that violates state homeschool regulations.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff
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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