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Superintendent Makes Up Law
Homeschool families in the Shelby County school district recently received a letter from the local superintendent’s office reminding them of Ohio’s legal requirements for homeschooling, which included a copy of the district’s notice of intent form. In her letter, the superintendent aggressively demanded information (her letter actually used “all-caps,” underlines and red ink) above and beyond what the law requires. The letter and form both contained several blatant errors and outrageous misrepresentations of explicit requirements contained in the law. For example, the district implied that homeschool families must follow the calendar of the local public school, requested unnecessary documentation, and required a mid-year progress report—due by January 31. None of these requirements are contained in Ohio’s homeschool regulations.
Many of the homeschool families in the district are HSLDA member families, and one such family contacted us with concerns about the letter. HSLDA Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly promptly responded with a letter admonishing the superintendent and cautioning the district against taking any actions that would further infringe on the rights of local homeschool families. Donnelly clarified the law and firmly suggested that the superintendent revise the district’s letter and form to accurately reflect state law.
Unfortunately, this sort of behavior by superintendents is not helpful, nor is it isolated. HSLDA corresponds with superintendents and school officials on behalf of member families who are confronted with unreasonable demands regarding the home education of their children. In addition, HSLDA provides forms for the use of member families who wish to comply with Ohio’s homeschool law. These forms and other helpful information about homeschooling in Ohio can be found on our Ohio webpage.
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