April 9, 2002

Ohio Superintendent Requires School Enrollment

On March 8, 2002, the Harris* family, after moving within Ohio, received a puzzling letter from their local district superintendent. Having submitted their annual notice of intent to home school pursuant to state regulations, the Harris family didn't expect to hear from the school district anytime soon. They were somewhat surprised therefore, when they received the following from the superintendent's office:

Please be advised that you must first be enrolled in a public school before the request for home schooling can be considered. You will need to contact the North Central Local Schools (Wayne County) Schools and register your child with them. After that is completed your request for home schooling can be processed.

Upon receiving a copy of the letter, HSLDA informed the superintendent what Ohio regulations require of home schoolers and public school superintendents. State law does not require enrollment or registration in order to home school--only an annual notice of intent. If the notice is incomplete, the superintendent must inform the family of that fact within 14 days.

Since it had been more than 14 days since the Harris family submitted their notice of intent, HSLDA attorney Scott Somerville informed the superintendent that enrollment is not necessary and that the family's notice is presumed sufficient.

Any HSLDA members receiving similar letters should alert us. This "requirement" is either a blatant attempt to get more federal funding through unlawful forced enrollment, or a genuine misinterpretation of the law.

*Family's name change to protect their privacy.