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South Carolina

November 1, 2007

Homeschoolers Harassed By School District

As the 2007-2008 school year got under way, Home School Legal Defense Association assisted member families in Berkeley County School District whose officials insisted that the families provide information about their homeschool not required by state law. Under South Carolina law, parents may conduct a homeschooling program by being a member of a homeschool association with at least 50 members. The public school officials were attempting to require parents to provide them with documentation verifying the family’s membership in the homeschool association. HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black wrote the school officials on behalf of our member families and told them that state law does not require parents to provide such documentation to school districts. Black also cautioned the school officials about attempting to impose unauthorized requirements on homeschooling families.

Section 59-65-47 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina (1976) governing homeschool associations requires that the associations report the number and grade level of children being homeschooled through the association to the children’s respective school district by January 30 of each year. This is the only information required to be furnished to local school districts about homeschool associations under South Carolina law. Individual homeschooling families do not have to provide school districts with any information.

HSLDA member families contacted by school officials seeking proof of membership in a homeschool association should contact us for assistance. There may be occasions when we advise parents to provide such proof, but school districts may not impose this as a policy by which all homeschooling families must routinely provide such documentation.