August 9, 2007

‘Approval’ Dropped from Form

Since Virginia families don’t need “approval” to homeschool, why do some officials act as though they do?

An alert Home School Legal Defense Association member recently brought our attention to a form letter Hampton City Schools sends to families after receiving a notice of intent to homeschool. The form is entitled, “Approval Form—Home Instruction Program.”

HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff wrote to the employee in charge of the form. He explained that Virginia law does not require families to obtain school system approval in order to homeschool. Memos from the state superintendent of instruction have consistently stated that approval is not required.

The nationwide trend has been to abolish “approval” requirements and replace them with a simple notice. Today, only two or three states require approval. The other states either require no filing at all, or require the filing of a simple notice.

The Hampton employee took Woodruff’s remarks to heart. The caption on the form has been changed to: “Acknowledgment of Receipt of Notice—Home Instruction Program.”

Some Virginia school systems have recently tried to assert that they have approval power over homeschool programs—either because they wanted that power or mistakenly believed they had the power.

Please let us know if your school system tries to assert it has approval power over your homeschool program.