July 19, 2009

Volusia County Superintendent Threatens to Terminate Homeschool

The Jacksons have been Home School Legal Defense Association members for over 10 years and had never been confronted with a problem from their local school district in Florida. That is, until recently. Throughout April and June, the Volusia County Superintendent’s office mailed the Jacksons several letters, demanding they submit their annual evaluations by June 30, 2009. The Jacksons filed their original notice of intent with the superintendent’s office on August 24, 1999, which set their evaluation deadline as August 24 each year thereafter.

In July, the Jacksons received notice from the superintendent that if the evaluations were not filed by August 24, 2009, the homeschool program would be in jeopardy of termination. Additionally, the superintendent insisted that Florida statute required that the Jackson’s daughter submit the evaluations, or she would be ineligible for driving privileges.

The Jackson family contacted HSLDA. After reviewing the correspondence from the superintendent’s office, Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt sent a letter in response. In his correspondence, Mr. Schmidt explained that there is no specific date established by Florida law for submitting annual evaluations. He further clarified that local school districts are without the authority to impose additional requirements or set a date by which evaluations must be submitted. HSLDA asked the superintendent to revise the form letter to more accurately reflect the law.

Since our letter, the Jacksons have been homeschooling without further contact, demands or threats from the Volusia County Superintendent.