June 15, 2007

Superintendent tries to Set Family’s School Year

In June of this year, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family received a memorandum from the Superintendent of Pierce County Schools reminding them that they had until June 30 in which to conduct the equivalent of 180 days of instruction to complete their school year. Enclosed with the memorandum was a declaration of intent form for the 2007-2008 school year upon which the school district officials had already entered the dates for the upcoming school year for the home study program as July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008.

In response to the family’s request for assistance, HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black wrote a letter to the superintendent and pointed out the provisions of state law. Subsection (c) of section 20-2-690 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated sets forth the information which parents must submit in the declaration of intent to utilize a home study program which is submitted to the local public school superintendent. This information is as follows: “a list of the names and ages of the students who are enrolled in the home study program, the address where the home study program is located, and a statement of the twelve month period that is to be considered the school year for that home study program.” Thus, parents, not public school officials, determine the school year for their home study program.

The family in question had previously submitted a declaration of intent indicating that their school year was to begin on August 29, 2006, and extend until August 28, 2007. Therefore, the family had until August 28 to conduct the equivalent of 180 days of instruction, not June 30 as specified by the superintendent.

After HSLDA sent this correspondence to the superintendent, the member family was able to complete their school year without further difficulty. Any other member families encountering such problems about the dates for their school year should contact HSLDA for assistance.