December 3, 2003

Homeschoolers Under Pressure In Illinois

The beginning of the school year is typically when homeschoolers in Illinois will hear from their school districts. The 2003-04 school year, however, has shown a marked increase of illegal requests from school superintendents.

The Rock Island County Regional Office contacted the Williams family and informed them that failure to fill out a 'statement of assurance form' would result in the district considering the children truant. This is illegal.

The McNeely family of Whiteside County was contacted by their regional superintendent who demanded to conduct a home visit and inspect the curriculum. Home visits are unconstitutional.

The O'Berg family in LaSalle County was asked by their "attendance caseworker" to complete a "Home School Registration" form. Another, illegal demand.

The infamous Superintendent Dennison, of Stark, Henry, and Bureau counties contacted several families---but he abandoned his demands of last year for home visits, curriculum approval and pre-trials hearings. It appears that he has heeded HSLDA's warning of legal action over these unconstitutional and illegal demands. This year he asked a few homeschoolers to fill out a 'statement of assurance form' to show that they were in compliance with the law, which is still illegal.

Several other counties contacted HSLDA member families, including Fulton, Peoria, and Will County, asking each family to complete various paperwork, which is not required by law.

In each of these situations, HSLDA attorney Chris Klicka was able to write to the superintendent of the district and explain that homeschooling families in Illinois are not required to submit to home visits, curriculum review, registration, or other illegal paperwork. As a result, every single situation that came to our attention has been resolved in the favor of the family.