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November 16, 2006

Enlightened School District Reverses ‘Denial’ of Homeschooling

Shortly after Tammy Ross filed her notice of intent, a Portsmouth school official sent back a terse letter saying that her application for homeschooling had been denied, and that she should file another notice of intent. No explanation for the abrupt denial was offered.

When this came to the attention of Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Scott Woodruff, he called Tammy. He learned that her notice of intent satisfied all the requirements of state law. Tammy had no clue why Portsmouth would curtly deny her “application.”

Woodruff immediately called the official, who explained that her only complaint was that Tammy had not listed her children’s dates of birth and grade levels. When Woodruff explained that the law does not mandate that parents supply this information, she readily agreed and acknowledged that parents could treat it as optional.

Woodruff followed up with a letter to the official confirming that Tammy had chosen to not release this information. He also requested that the official edit her letter, if she planned to use it again, to eliminate any reference to “approving” homeschooling. Families are not required to seek approval, and officials are not empowered to grant it.