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10/22/2012 4:11:56 PM
Dee Black--HSLDA
Georgia--Homeschool Law Updates

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Georgia - Homeschool Law Updates

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

With the signature of Governor Nathan Deal on House Bill 39 on May 1,
2012, Georgia enacted significant improvements to its homeschool law.
Effective with the 2012-2013 school year, parents no longer have to
submit monthly attendance records to their local public school
superintendent. Instead, the records are to be submitted only once a
year to the Georgia Department of Education. Additionally, the annual
declaration of intent to conduct a home study program is to be filed
with the Department of Education instead of the local superintendent.

After the law was changed, the Department of Education began to offer
electronic filing of the declaration of intent and attendance records
on its website. Objections raised by homeschoolers to the information
initially sought in the forms were resolved earlier this month when
the department revised the forms, thanks to the work of the Georgia
Home Education Association. There is still some information outside
the requirements of the law requested in the declaration of intent,
but it is designated as "optional" information. You may simply leave
this part of the form blank. Homeschoolers who wish to continue to
submit paper documents to the Department of Education instead of using
the electronic filing option may do so.

Submission of monthly attendance records has always been a thorn in
the flesh of homeschoolers in Georgia. Problems with parents missing
the end-of-month deadline by a few days or misplaced records by school
officials often led to inappropriate action by the school district.
School districts routinely reported families to social services for
educational neglect or threatened truancy charges against family
members. They also initiated action to bring about the revocation of
the driver's license of students by reporting excessive absences to
the Department of Driver Services. Annual reporting at the end of the
school year should bring an end to these excessive and unwarranted
enforcement actions.

To view the forms and other information about home study programs on
the Department of Education's website, go to
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=16069 . Please contact us if you
have any questions about these changes.

Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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