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California

January 20, 2012

Public School Officials Require Prior Approval to Homeschool

An HSLDA member family was informed by their local public school that to withdraw their child they would have to complete an exit interview and get approval from the school district.

This unlawful demand is so absurd, when we first heard about it we actually laughed—though it’s not funny. The fact that a school district in California still thinks it can approve whether or not a family homeschools is very disturbing.

There are several possibilities for the school’s mistaken request:

  • The school officials are simply ignorant of the homeschool law in California that recognizes homeschooling primarily through private schools;
  • Or even more troubling, officials think that if you enroll your child in a public school before starting to homeschool, the public school has control over that child’s education.

The school district received a withdrawal letter from the family explaining that they didn’t have the authority to approve whether a child could homeschool or not, and that the family would not be attending an exit interview.

We would like to think that homeschooling is becoming more accepted everywhere, but the reality is this a freedom movement. We must remain vigilant in our protection of this precious liberty or we will lose it.

It can be quite intimidating to withdraw a child from public school to start homeschooling, and if you know families considering this scary trip, please refer them to HSLDA so we can take them through the process as painlessly as possible. Thank you for your continued support as you make it possible for us to help families trying to do what’s best for their children, yet being told they don’t have a right to do it.