September 14, 2009

District Demands Illegal Forms

At the start of this school year several families in Warrick County each received a packet of forms and memos from local public school officials. In a cover letter the families were told that they had to fill out and return to the public school two forms and register with the Indiana Department of Education.

The forms in the packet were entitled “Intent to Provide Instruction at Home” and “Home Study Plan.” Included in the packet were two memos erroneously claiming to describe Indiana law.

After receiving a copy of this packet from concerned Home School Legal Defense Association member families in the district, Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt contacted the person responsible.

Schmidt informed the school official that neither of the forms, which requested information about curriculum and instruction, could legally be required from homeschool families. In fact, Indiana Code § 20-33-2-12 states that “[a home] school…is not bound by any requirements…with regard to [the] curriculum or the content of educational programs offered by the [public] school.”

In addition, HSLDA pointed out to the school official that both memos either citied repealed sections of state law or misstated what the law does require. Ending the letter, Schmidt requested that the school district immediately stop attempting to require illegal forms and sending out false information.