March 4, 2010

School District Adds to Private Tutor Requirements

Earlier this school semester, Home School Legal Defense Association assisted a parent in Birmingham when Shelby County Schools attempted to add to the private tutor requirements of state law. Section 16-28-5 of the Alabama Code states that prior to beginning the instruction, the private tutor must file with the public school superintendent a statement showing the child to be instructed, the subjects to be taught, and the period of time such instruction is proposed to be given. Although the mother of the child to be taught at home had provided all of the required information to the school district, she received a letter from a school official requesting that she provide a copy of her teacher’s certificate, an overview of the plan of instruction on the academic concepts that were to be taught during the school year, and a final grade report for each student with end-of-year grade averages in each subject. Additionally, the school official enclosed a form to be completed by the private tutor seeking, among other things, the tutor’s Social Security number and indicating that she was also required to keep daily lesson plans.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the school official on behalf of our member family, informing him that the information already provided by the parent was more than sufficient to comply with state law. Black further stated that, because of this, the parent was entitled to proceed as a private tutor without providing any additional information or completing the form sent to our member.

HSLDA members in Alabama desiring to serve as private tutors for their children and encountering similar difficulties from public school officials should contact us for assistance.