Originally Sent: 7/9/2014

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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City of Roanoke Requests Religious Exemption Renewal

Homeschooling in Virginia.

Contact us if you need help.

Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in your state. He and his wife homeschooled their children.

Dear HSLDA Members:

Many homeschool families have received a letter from the superintendent of the City of Roanoke Public Schools asking them to fill out a form in order for their children to remain under the religious exemption.

While situations like this affect many people, it is difficult to give blanket guidance because everyone’s situation may be different. In order for HSLDA to give you the individualized guidance you deserve, please send us a copy of the religious exemption letter under which you are currently operating. We will respond to every request with guidance that fits the individual family.

You can call us at (540) 338-5600 or email info@hslda.org.

We will tailor our guidance to each family’s unique needs, but our general approach will be that folks who already have a good religious exemption letter that contains no time limit of any sort can ignore the superintendent’s letter. However, folks whose letter says that it expires in a year or must be reapplied for should plan on seeking to renew their exemption, while people who consider themselves to be exempt but have never requested an acknowledgement should contact their school board and seek formal exemption.


Virginia law gives no role to public school superintendents on religious exemption issues. The law authorizes only the school board to set religious exemption policy and make religious exemption decisions.

Some school boards across the state grant religious exemption without a time limit. Other school boards write exemption letters that state they are only good for one year. This pointlessly increases paperwork for everyone while benefitting no one. We encourage every homeschool family to work with your local school board to establish a policy that once an exemption is granted, it continues in force without the pointless filing of paperwork every year.

Once a school board grants an exemption (assuming it does not expire automatically), it can only be cut off if the school board follows due process, grants a fair hearing, etc.

Every year HSLDA helps hundreds of Virginia families obtain religious exemption. If you are seeking a religious exemption, please contact us and we can get you started in the right direction!


Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.,
Senior Counsel,
Home School Legal Defense Association

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

The HSLDA E-lert Service is a service of:

Home School Legal Defense Association • P.O. Box 3000 • Purcellville, Virginia 20134-9000
Phone: (540) 338-5600 • Fax: (540) 338-2733 • Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org

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