October 21, 2011

Pass on Offer to “Verify” Your Private School

Under Illinois law, public schools have no authority over private schools. So it was odd that the Regional Office of Education No. 11 in Charleston would ask homeschoolers to register so the office could “verify” that the homeschool is a private school.

The registration form the regional superintendent sent to homeschool families along with the letter said, “Please remember to register each year.” It called for a great deal of information families have no duty to provide, including the name of the curriculum they plan to use and all subjects to be taught.

The letter asserted that the registration form was being sent “per the request” of the homeschool family. This is simply not believable. A few months ago 4,000 homeschoolers turned out to oppose a bill that would have created mandatory registration!

It is not necessary for homeschools to register in Illinois. Families do not need their regional office of education—or any other educational official—to “verify” that they are operating as a private school.

For most families, the best decision is simply to ignore any request they receive to register. Families in unusual situations may want to seek individualized guidance.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff has written to the regional superintendent to ask him to stop sending misleading letters.