9/25/01 2:36:20 PM
J. Michael Smith, Esq., President of HSLDA
California--If your county will not give you a private school affidavit . . .

From the HSLDA@Capitol Hill E-lert Service...

September 25, 2001

Dear California Members and Friends,

Many Home School Legal Defense Association members have experienced
difficulties this year obtaining private school affidavits from their
county offices of education. Initially, these offices told our member
families that there was a shortage of R-4 forms, but that more would
soon be available.

However, we have learned that some counties are refusing to give
private school affidavits to home schoolers (whom they identify by
the number of enrolled students). We also know that the division of
the state department of education responsible for distributing and
collecting such affidavits is refusing to mail them to any family
indicating they are home schooling. Further inquiries from families
are referred to the legal department.

It appears that many counties and the state department of education
have decided to act upon the legal opinion of Deputy General Counsel
Carolyn Pirillo. You may have already seen this opinion letter as it
is often sent with the private school affidavit. Basically, Pirillo's
letter takes the position that parents may not establish private
schools in their home. It is her opinion that the only legal way for
parents to home school is either to enroll their children in a public
school independent study program or to hold valid California teaching
credentials. We have reported on several occasions in the Court
Report why we believe this interpretation of the California Education
Code is wrong. [The Home School Court Report (March/April 1999)]

The California Department of Education appears to believe that by
withholding the private school affidavit, it can prevent parents from
establishing a private school in their home. However, there is no
requirement in the education code that parents submit notice on a
state form. Therefore, California members who are being refused
private school affidavits may go to the members only section on our
website ( and download a
private school affidavit prepared by HSLDA. It is critical that you
follow the instructions for filing and maintaining copies, as you
will need proof that the affidavit was received by the California
Department of Education.

If you reside in a county that has not taken this position and has
provided you with the private school affidavit form, file as you have
done in the past. No additional action is required on your part. You
should not use HSLDA's form until you have been unable to obtain the
private school affidavit from your county superintendent's office.

We do not know what action the state department of education will
take when they receive the HSLDA form. If the form is returned to you
with indication it has not been filed, contact our office

If you are enrolled in a private school independent study program,
this form does not apply to you. It only applies to families who file
their own private school affidavit.

Please share this information with all your HSLDA friends who do not
have e-mail or Internet access. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Michael Smith, President

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
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 Other Resources

More Information on California's Private School Affidavit R-4 Forms

As California Settles One Problem, a "Creative" District Introduces Another

10/2/2001 California E-lert Obtaining and Filing A Private School Affidavit

San Francisco Withholds Private School Forms