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New York

July 28, 2008

School Drags Feet on Letter

Earlier this year, the Herralds (name changed to protect privacy), a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in the South Jefferson Central School District, decided to request a letter from the district verifying that their child had completed a substantially equivalent education. After being told that the district didn’t do this, the family contacted HSLDA for help.

Since the change in the Board of Regents Rule 3.47 back in 2004, many parents who have reported for all their child’s high school years have obtained a letter from their local school district verifying this compliance. This letter can be used, along with a transcript and homeschool diploma, when applying to college. Under the revised rule, a letter of substantial equivalency is one of the ways in which a student can demonstrate completion of a high school program at home.

To assist the Herralds, HSLDA Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt wrote a letter informing the district that all it needed to do was verify that the parent had been in compliance with New York law for all of the student’s high school years. Many times, school districts incorrectly assume that a substantive review of all of the coursework is necessary in order to write such a letter.

Schmidt also sent along a packet of material that HSLDA has compiled, containing several useful documents that enable school districts to quickly and easily verify student compliance.

After receiving HSLDA’s communication, the school district contacted us to state that it would review the Herrald student’s record and write the requested letter.