June 3, 2002
Illinois Home Schoolers Threatened by Officials

Although home schooling has been clearly legal with virtually no restrictions in Illinois since 1950, school districts continue to attempt to exceed the law.

In Grundy County, the regional superintendent contacted the Krup* family who was a Home School Legal Defense Association member and explained that he had two responsibilities. One was to monitor home schools and the other was to perform the tasks of the truant officer of Grundy County. The letter stated further that he had scheduled a meeting the next week at his office for the purpose of "reviewing curriculum materials, schedule and plans, and completed work of their home school son." He attached the "Home School Monitoring Information" sheet that he expected to be completed and returned to his office. This sheet required the home schooler to provide evidence of the student's work, records regarding the student's daily schedule and attendance, long-term educational plans for the student, evidence of an adequate curriculum, and information on the instructor's qualifications.

The superintendent ended his letter by stating that he expected Mrs. Krup and her son to meet at the appointed time in his office with all the documentation. He said, "If you do not attend this meeting we will refer this matter for legal action."

HSLDA contacted the superintendent's office, indicating that the family was not required to attend the meeting. We supported the conversation with a lengthy letter describing the Illinois home school law.

Nonetheless, the state's attorney followed up with an additional letter indicating that the family was not "cooperating with the truancy investigation." He said, "In order to avoid court proceedings in this case, cooperation with the superintendent is vital." He ended, "Up to this point in time, all parents who home school their children have agreed to meet with the superintendent and we have not instituted legal proceedings."

HSLDA stood by their letter and sent the state's attorney a copy. The school district and attorney finally backed off and the family is happily home schooling.

*Name changed to protect the family's privacy.