June 5, 2006
Hamblen County Adds Requirements

This past spring a homeschooling family moving from North Carolina to Tennessee encountered problems with their new school district in Hamblen County. Despite completing the form developed by the Tennessee Department of Education for notifying the local education agency of the parents’ decision to conduct a home school, the local school district insisted that additional information be submitted. Specifically, the public school officials wanted verification of a school entry physical examination, the child’s birth certificate, and Social Security card.

After contacting Home School Legal Defense Association for assistance, HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black wrote the director of schools for Hamblen County and explained that, in submitting the notice of intent form developed by the state, the family had already provided all of the information required by state law to commence the operation of a home school. The state form did not require that parents submit any of the information sought by the Hamblen County officials. Black also reminded the director of schools that students in a home school are not public school students and, therefore, are not subject to policies and procedures applicable to students enrolled in the local education agency. After this intervention by HSLDA, the family received no further requests for the additional information.