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New York

November 12, 2007

Homeschool Program Not Approved

Home School Legal Defense Association members Mr. and Mrs. Henderson (name changed to protect family’s privacy) submitted their Individualized Home Instruction Plans (IHIP) for their children to the East Ramapo Central School District on August 1. Over two months later, they were surprised to receive a letter from the District stating that their homeschool program was “not approved.” The letter informed the family that if they did not revise the IHIPs immediately they would be required to enroll their children in school.

The Hendersons quickly called HSLDA Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt for help. After reviewing the letter from East Ramapo and the IHIPs the Hendersons submitted in August, it quickly became clear that the District was overstepping its authority.

Under Section 100.10, a parent is to submit “a list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or plan of instruction to be used in each of the required subjects” listed in the IHIP. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson had chosen to provide a list of the textbooks they are using.

In their letter rejecting the IHIPs, East Ramapo stated that the family had failed to provide “a description of the material to be covered in each subject listed in the IHIP.” However, under New York regulations this description is to be submitted in the quarterly reports, not the IHIP.

HSLDA contacted East Ramapo and informed them of these errors. Schmidt pointed out that even if the District had a legitimate concern with the IHIPs they were over four weeks past the deadline to object. The District quickly changed course and notified the family that their IHIPs were in compliance.