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Date:
From:
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10/11/2012 5:25:50 PM
Tj Schmidt -- HSLDA
Indiana -- Legislation to Regulate Homeschooling Mentioned by Candidate

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Legislation to Regulate Homeschooling Mentioned by Candidate


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

On September 25, 2012, the issue of homeschooling came up in a
question-and-answer forum put on by the Indiana School Board
Association and the Indiana Associate of Public School
Superintendents. At this event, Ms. Glenda Ritz, a candidate for the
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, was asked, "Do you think
policy needs to be changed on homeschooling?" We believe her answer is
very informative to all those interested in continued homeschool
freedom in Indiana.

Ms. Ritz's initial response was, "We don't have any policy on
homeschooling in Indiana." While the applause that followed this
statement may be concerning to us as homeschoolers, you have to
remember the audience of the ISBA/IAPSS forum. Most of those in
attendance at this event were public school corporation employees or
school corporation board members.

After the applause died down, Ms. Ritz went on to state "We need some
policy on homeschooling. It's actually being abused in many cases. I
have heard of students being withdrawn by their parents to take care
of an aging grandparent and getting absolutely no schooling at home.
There are no regulations at all regarding it. So, yeah, we need some
policy on homeschooling."

Now, these statements are alarming for two reasons.

First, homeschooling is regulated in Indiana. There are several code
provisions and Indiana case law that applies to anyone who want to
teach their children at home. If, and I mean "if," this situation Ms.
Ritz mentioned is actually happening, these provisions of Indiana law
can be applied to ensure that children are being educated.

For instance, local attendance officers can bring a case to enforce
the compulsory school attendance provisions of Indiana law. They can
also serve notice on any parent whose child is out of school
illegally. Parents who are convicted of failure to send a child to
school can be imprisoned up to 180 days and fined up to $1,000
dollars.

In Indiana a parent conducting a homeschool program is legally
recognized as operating a nonpublic school. Among other things, they
must maintain certain records to provide evidence that their child is
legally attending their homeschool program and receiving instruction
that is equivalent to that given in the public schools. Homeschoolers
in Indiana don't need any further regulation.

Secondly, homeschooling families in Indiana need to be aware of the
fact that freedom must be diligently protected. Even though Indiana
has had a long history of protecting the right of parents to privately
educate their children in their home this does not mean that
homeschooling in Indiana will always remain free. This is especially
true if we don't remain vigilant.

HSLDA is not endorsing any particular candidate in the Indiana
Superintendent of Public Instruction race. However, since
homeschooling was mentioned in this recent forum by a candidate for
state office, we thought you might be interested in knowing what was
said. You can hear the audio for the question and the answer Ms. Ritz
gave at the Indiana Home Educators' PAC website:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15968

We will continue to monitor homeschooling freedom and work with state
homeschool organizations like the Indiana Home Educators' PAC and the
Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) to ensure that it remains
free. Thank you for your support for homeschool freedom in Indiana!

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider
taking a moment today to join or recommend us and support our work
defending individual families threatened by government officials and
protecting homeschooling freedom for all? Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=15969

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> What's the shortest distance between two homeschoolers?

HSLDA's elert service! When threats to homeschool freedoms arise,
you want to be able to respond. We make it possible.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1101

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