March 14, 2002

Pennsylvania School District Rescinds Illegal Policy

After Home School Legal Defense Association contacted the Littlestown Area School District on behalf of a member family, the district's assistant superintendent assured HSLDA that the district would fully comply with state law by permitting parents to home school without following the district's home education policy.

Mr. and Mrs. Harding (name changed to protect the family's privacy) moved to Littlestown, Pennsylvania, from out of state. After examining the law, they filed their notarized affidavit as required. The Hardings thought their task of reporting was complete until the end of the school year, and continued with their home school program.

To their surprise, however, they received a letter from the Littlestown Area School District informing them that Littlestown had its own way of doing things. Littlestown's procedure included a meeting with the assistant superintendent, and required parents to submit a copy of the parent's high school diploma, and a student transcript with current grade level approved by the local public school's guidance counselor and the principal. Pennsylvania law requires none of this.

Mr. and Mrs. Harding used HSLDA's website to contact the attorney for Pennsylvania to ask if the law required them to comply with the Littlestown Area School District procedures. We informed them that they have done everything required by law, and after obtaining a copy of Littlestown's procedures, we wrote a letter on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Harding. Soon afterward, the assistant superintendent discussed the matter with HSLDA over the phone. He admitted his mistake and assured us that in the future, he would make it clear that the procedures were voluntary.

Many school districts attempt to enact procedures that go far beyond the requirements of state law. Members who encounter such policies in their own districts should contact HSLDA for assistance.