Originally Sent: 8/19/2014
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Info about Declaration of Intent
Dear Georgia Members:
It has come to our attention that the new Declaration of Intent forms on the Georgia Department of Education’s website seek information beyond what is required by state law. Specifically, both the electronic and written forms ask for the name of the school district where you reside. Unfortunately, this information is in a required field so that you must provide the name of the school district in order to submit the electronic form. The only way to avoid submitting the name of your school district is to print the written version of the form and mail it to the Department of Education without filling in that blank on the form. You may also use an earlier version of the form still appearing on the website which does not request school district information. This is what we recommend to those of you who object to providing this unauthorized information to the state. That form is available on the Department of Education’s website.
Section 20-2-690(c)(2) of the Georgia Code Annotated prescribes the information to be included in the Declaration of Intent: names and ages of the students, home address, and a statement of the 12-month period that is the school year for the program. Further, Section 20-2-960(e) says that the forms developed by the Department of Education “shall not be inconsistent with or exceed the requirements of this Code section.” By asking for the name of the school district in which the family resides, the Department of Education is breaking the law. The problem is not that the name of the school district is information that home educators necessarily want to withhold. The problem is that we do not want the Department of Education to begin requiring any information that the law does not authorize it to receive.
HSLDA and the Georgia Home Education Association are working together to resolve this difficulty. We will advise you further as we receive responses from the Department of Education. In the meantime, the law requires that your Declaration of Intent be submitted within 30 days after the establishment of your home study program and by September 1 annually thereafter. If you elect to use the written form, we recommend that you send it certified mail, return receipt requested.
Dewitt T. Black, III
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