October 9, 2001

As California Settles One Problem, a "Creative" District Introduces Another

While Home School Legal Defense Association, Family Protection Ministries, and Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA), have been investigating an apparent shortage of private school affidavit forms, Contra Costa County has been quietly attempting to institute home visits to check up on home schooling families.

In an article posted on our website September 17, 2001, and in a later e-lert sent to all of HSLDA's California members, we reported that several school districts and the California Department of Education were refusing to send private school affidavit R-4 forms to some home schoolers. After numerous discussions with the Department involving HSLDA, Family Protection Ministries, and CHEA, the problem appears to have been corrected.

It seems that new staff members at the department were misinformed as to their duty to send out affidavits. The California Education Code states that a private school affidavit is to be filed between October 1 and 15 each year, although every year the department receives and accepts affidavits after October 15. This year, in addition to the confusion of new employees, the department of education has had a number of printing problems with its contractor. As a result, it has not had enough affidavits to send to all the counties or private schools that requested them directly from the state office in Sacramento. However, a supervisor in the state private school office told HSLDA that late affidavits would not be a problem this year, and that that private school affidavit R-4 forms will be made available to all who request them.

Now that R-4 forms are going out, one school district has become "creative." Contra Costa County School District recently sent out a letter with the R-4 affidavits, stating that school officials would be visiting private schools this year to determine whether or not the schools were in compliance with the law and to evaluate academic records, curriculum, and teacher qualifications. However, their letter ignored the fact that nothing in state law gives the public school the authority to oversee private schools in this way.

HSLDA is defending our member families' right to home school without the threat of a home visit looming over their heads, and we encourage any member family whose district attempts this same tactic to notify our office immediately.

 Other Resources

More Information on California's Private School Affidavit R-4 Forms

10/2/2001 California E-lert Obtaining and Filing A Private School Affidavit

9/25/2001 California E-lert If your county will not give you a private school affidavit . . .

San Francisco Withholds Private School Forms