Originally Sent: 8/13/2014
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.
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Dear HSLDA Members in Hampton:Last week I had a conversation with the attorney for Hampton Public Schools and followed up with a detailed letter explaining how the Hampton notice of intent form failed to line up with state law.
Hampton has now posted a revised notice of intent form. The heading on the revised document is “Home School and Non-religious Exemption.” The revised form comes a bit closer to lining up with state law, but it is still so woefully out of touch that we recommend that families not use it. Here is what is still wrong with Hampton’s form.
- It still says you must “apply” and refers to homeschooling as an “exemption” or an “exception.” A notice of intent is not an “application” for anything, nor is it a request that a bureaucrat take action. It simply puts the school system on notice of a current reality. Home schooling, or “home instruction” as it is known in Virginia Code 22.1-254.1, is not an “exemption” or an “exception” to compulsory attendance. It is an alternate way to satisfy the law that stands on equal footing with attendance at a public or private school.
- It still says your notice will be “considered” by the school board. The superintendent—not the school board—is responsible for processing your notice, but he does not “consider” it, as if you had to wait for him to make a decision. He merely receives your notice and notifies you if you have inadvertently omitted something the law requires.
- It still requires a child’s birth date, grade level, and parental phone numbers. None of these is required under law.
- Hampton’s form still requires a family to state whether the pupil is enrolled or is planned to be enrolled in an alternate attendance program. This is not required under law.
- The form still requires that parents agree to follow various laws and policies. This is out of line with state law.
As before, the best route for families is to use a form from a trusted source like HSLDA (click here for HSLDA’s form), or (if you prefer not to use a form at all) simply write a letter that contains the elements that a notice of intent must contain. Naturally, you should file your notice by August 15, as the law requires. If you inadvertently miss this deadline, contact us for personal guidance.
Click here to read our previous articles on this topic.
Thank you for standing with us for freedom!
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
Home School Legal Defense Association
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