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January 26, 2011

Confusion Remains Regarding the Legality of Homeschooling

One would think that once you’ve notified the public school that you are withdrawing your children, and informed officials what private school they are enrolled in (in California homeschools operate as private schools), that would be the end of the matter. Not so for two families.

One member family in Rancho Palos Verdes continued to receive correspondence from the public school indicating their child’s class schedule and that the child was being marked absent. The implication was that their child was considered truant and the family would not be allowed to homeschool. HSLDA contacted the school on their behalf, and the school backed off. The family heard nothing further.

A more serious situation arose in Anza, California where a family had gone through the proper withdrawal procedures and thought everything had been taken care of. One month later, the family started receiving phone calls from their former public school indicating that their children were being marked absent. When the family contacted the public school to find out why their children were being marked absent when they were no longer enrolled there, they were informed that the “district” had instructed the school to re-enroll the children. HSLDA contacted the school, advising them they had no authority over the parents since they were legally homeschooling pursuant to the private school exemption.

Neither family, nor HSLDA, heard back from the school officials—which is not uncommon. However, this also meant the family received no more threats of truancy from their local public school.