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New York

September 13, 2004

Is Registration or proof of residency required?

This school year several Home School Legal Defense Association members have had their local school district demand that their children must be registered in the public school system before they could teach them at home. At least one district even attempted to require proof of residency and age of the children before the family could begin homeschooling.

HSLDA member families in Islip and North Syracuse were surprised to receive a letter from their respective school districts informing them that before their children could be taught at home they would need to fill out a "new entrant" form and register with the school district. A member family in the Shenedehowa Central School District received a letter demanding proof of residency and age of their child. Shenedehowa wanted the family to submit a deed, lease or a utility bill for the proof of residency and either a birth certificate or passport for proof of age.

After being contacted by our member families HSLDA attorney Thomas Schmidt informed each school district that New York law does not require parents teaching their children at home to register with the public school, provide proof of residency or proof of age. Please contact us if your school district attempts to demand that you register or provide documentation beyond what is required. When we are able to defend one member family and inform the school district of the law it helps all homeschooling families.