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September 10, 2010

Charles County Rattles Saber, Promptly Retreats

HSLDA member Debbie Marshall (name changed to protect her privacy) had her regular portfolio review in Charles County, and she passed with flying colors, as she expected.

She was horrified to get a letter a week later telling her that that “upon further discussion and a follow up review,” her homeschool program was not in compliance with the law. The school official told her:

“Your student must now be promptly enrolled in … school. Failure to comply will result in this case being turned over to our Pupil Personnel Worker with possible action by the State Attorney’s Office.”

She was given 10 days to comply. Debbie quickly called HSLDA. We prepared a letter to the school official explaining that it was his actions—not Debbie’s—that violated the law.

He did not detail the alleged deficiencies in Debbie’s program, in violation of Regulation .03.B. He conducted part of the review secretly, in violation of Regulation .01.E. He gave her 10 days to respond, in violation of Regulation .03.A (entitling a family to 30 days). He violated Regulation .03.B(1) by failing to give her an opportunity to correct any deficiencies.

Regulation .01.F forbids counties from imposing requirements not specified in law. It was obvious that his sudden change of heart and rejection of the portfolio was based on requirements not authorized under law, although he lacked the candor to explain what those requirements might be.

After pointing out how his actions and letter violated these regulations, HSLDA’s letter respectfully requested that he withdraw his letter.

He didn’t. But the family never heard another peep from him.