February 26, 2007

School Board Wrongfully Rejects Homeschooler’s Notification

The Vonns*, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Bradford County, decided to homeschool their son. When Mrs. Vonn* called the school board office to find out where to send her letter of intent, she was told she needed to fill out a specific form.

Mrs. Vonn obtained the form, but only filled out the portions of it required by state law.

Soon after, Mrs. Vonn was contacted by officials with the state board of education. Mrs. Vonn was told that before her son could be legally registered as a homeschooler, she must also give his current grade level, grade level completed, and a list of curriculum.

However, the only information required by law is the notice of intent, which includes the name of the parent, the name, residence, and date of birth of the child, and the signature of a parent. Mrs. Vonn had sent this information already.

After hearing from Mrs. Vonn about the county’s mistake, HSLDA sent a letter to the school board informing them that Mrs. Vonn had already fulfilled the requirements of the law, and that the local board had no legal right to require any additional information. HSLDA told the board that demanding information that is not required by law is illegal, and they needed to amend their form to comply with state law.

The Bradford County school district has since amended their form to let people know that the extra information they request is optional.

*Name changed to protect family’s privacy.