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California

January 26, 2012

Schools Continue to Misrepresent the Law

A new homeschooler who had withdrawn from an Antioch public school got a surprise when she went to the school requesting copies of her child’s pupil records. The school principal told the mother that she could not have the file and she could not homeschool unless she was a licensed teacher or had permission from the state Department of Education.

The mother called HSLDA and spoke to someone in our Legal Department who immediately faxed a letter to the principal explaining that homeschoolers operate as private schools in the state of California, citing the 2008 decision in Jonathan L. v. Superior Court. The letter went on to explain that public schools are required to transfer pupil records when they received a request from a private school, and additionally, parents are always entitled to a copy of pupil records.

Sadly, this has not been an isolated incident. Public school officials continue to misunderstand the law. It has been four years since the Jonathan L. case reached national attention, yet many public school officials are either uninformed or are ignoring the law. Unfortunately, it is usually the new homeschooler that has to face this opposition.

We greatly appreciate your support and membership. This is what enables us to provide help to those who encounter difficulties with public school officials, and to resist the tendency of some to infringe on the rights of parents who are committed to directing the education of their children.