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North Dakota

March 16, 2006

School District Refuses To Provide Monitor

At the half-way point of this school year, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family found themselves in a legal dilemma when the Velva Public School District No. 1 notified them that it would not provide a monitor required for their home education program.

Unless a homeschooling parent in North Dakota is a state-certified teacher, holds a baccalaureate degree, or has met the cutoff score of a national teacher examination, the parent must be monitored by a state-certified teacher for the first two years of homeschooling. According to state law, "the school district shall assign and compensate an individual to monitor a child receiving home education unless the parent notifies the school district that the parent shall select and compensate an individual to monitor the child."

In the case of our member family, the mother had initially selected a monitor who functioned in this capacity for a brief period of time, but the monitor had notified the mother that she no longer desired to continue providing monitor services. At that point, the teaching parent chose to obtain monitoring services provided by the school district, but the school district refused to do so.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black wrote the superintendent of the school district and told him that should the school district refuse to furnish a monitor for our member family, this would waive the requirement that the home education program be monitored at all. He explained that a school district may not refuse to provide a monitor as required by state law and then complain that the home education program was not monitored.

After receiving this letter, the superintendent arranged for the school district to provide a monitor to the family at no cost.