February 8, 2007

Family Told They Must Enroll Children in School

A member family in Lahaina was contacted earlier this school year by an official with the local public intermediate school. The school registrar told Mr. and Mrs. Clay* that they were required to “enroll” their children in the public school system even though they were homeschooling. If they did not enroll their children, the registrar threatened that the school would look into charging the family with educational neglect.

Very concerned by these threats, Mr. and Mrs. Clay contacted Home School Legal Defense Association for help. Staff attorney Thomas Schmidt immediately contacted the principal of the intermediate school to find out what was going on. During their conversation Schmidt pointed out that homeschool students were not required to be registered in the school as public school students were.

Instead, under Hawaii Administrative Rule 8-12-13, homeschool parents simply send a letter to the local public school with their child’s name, birth date, and grade level along with their telephone number, address, and signature. While not required, a parent can also simply fill out Hawaii Form 4140.

Before getting off the phone, the principal promised to look into the situation and speak with the registrar.

Within a few days HSLDA received a phone call from the principal apologizing for the registrar’s demands and acknowledged that homeschool parents were not required to enroll their children into the public school system. After contacting the Hawaii Department of Education the registrar had learned how she was to key in homeschoolers into their record keeping system without enrolling them in the public school.

If you have similar problems with you local school please don't hesitate to contact HSLDA for assistance.

* Not their real name.