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October 9, 2007
School District Acknowledges Request not Necessary to Homeschool

The Marshalls (name changed to protect family’s privacy) decided to homeschool their children and gave a courtesy notice to Little Egg Harbor Township School District. The Director of Instructional Services acknowledged the notice but referred to it as a request. By calling the notice a request, the Director of Instructional Services seemed to imply that the School District had the authority to deny home instruction.

While this was troubling enough by itself, the Director of Instructional Services went on to insert her personal opinion about the superiority of public school over homeschooling. She wrote, “I believe the best place for a child to be educated is in a public school setting, which promotes both academic and social growth. Research and experience has shown that children who are homeschooled have gaps in their education and miss socialization opportunities.”

Home School Legal Defense Association works hard to be completely up to date on homeschool research. We were therefore very curious about the letter's suggestion that “research” showed that homeschooled children had gaps in their education and missed socialization opportunities.

HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff wrote the Director of Instructional Services, pointing out that a family does not need to request home instruction. He also asked the director to identify the “research” to which she was referring.

The Director of Instructional Services wrote back promptly and acknowledged that families do not need to submit a request for home instruction. She said that they would change their routine letter to families and stop referring to notices as requests.

She said nothing whatsoever about the supposed research.