December 11, 2001

New York School District Responds Late

Home School Legal Defense Association recently assisted a member family when the Manhattan School District not only responded to the family's notice five months late, but also sent a packet of incorrect information and demands.

Mr. and Mrs. B. submitted their notice of intent to the local superintendent in July. Under New York law, the school district was then supposed to send an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) form for them to complete and return. However, Manhattan ignored this requirement until mid-way through November.

Even when the district finally responded, the information they sent was extremely inaccurate. The IHIP form failed to seek the information required by the home instruction regulation, but sought other information not required by state law. The district attempted to mandate the contents of each subject, even though this is not allowed under state policy. The school district also set date for submission of the required quarterly reports, instead of allowing the parents to choose the dates as state law demands.

In addition, the letter accompanying the IHIP threatened that the district would report the family for educational neglect if they did not comply with all of the district's demands.

HSLDA immediately wrote to the Manhattan School District, explaining that Mr. and Mrs. B. were in full compliance with the law and that the district's demands were contrary to state law. Our member family has not heard anything further from the district.