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New York

January 14, 2008

Trouble in the City

Over the past few months, several homeschool families in New York City have found themselves in trouble even though they were in compliance with homeschool regulations. Most of the problems are due to delays in the paperwork sent to the Central Office of Home Schooling for the New York City Department of Education.

While many parents do not receive timely paperwork back from their school district, the Central Office only recently sent out the home instruction packets that normally go out in July or August. Most of the problems seem to be due to inadequate personnel. There are only three staff members for over 2,500 children being taught at home.

Even more troubling, several Home School Legal Defense Association member families in NYC received visits this winter from social workers or attendance officers. These parents had removed their children from public school and had properly notified the Central Office that they were homeschooling. Because of the Central Office’s delay in processing the paperwork, the local schools had reported these children as being truant.

At least one of these families was threatened with court action and the removal of their children if they didn’t enroll them in school. HSLDA has been able to assist all of the families who have contacted us. However, a couple of the families had to personally visit the Central Office to have their children removed from their local public school roster.

If you know of parents who are planning on removing their children in the middle of the school year in New York City please have them contact us.