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May 18, 2001
Police Check Up on Home School Family

Last week, Mr. and Mrs. M received a letter from the Houston Police Department, requiring them to fill out an "Exemption Questionnaire" informing the department what educational option they had chosen. Among other things, the questionnaire requested the name of the curriculum suppliers the family used and copies of the children's most recent standardized test scores.

According to Texas law, home schools operate as private schools. When contacted by public school officials inquiring about compliance with the compulsory attendance law, home educating parents need only respond by assuring the local public school officials that the home school meets these requirements. This procedure for verifying legal status is also the policy of the Texas Education Agency.

HSLDA quickly faxed a letter to the police department and followed up with a telephone call, assuring that Mr. and Mrs. M were in full compliance with the law. The department took no further action against Mr. and Mrs. M.