September 5, 2007

Registration is Not Required as Some School Districts Assert

In August of 2007, several newspapers in Lee and Ogle counties in Illinois ran an article which called upon homeschool parents to contact the Regional Office of Education to register their children.

Many families contacted us about this article because they were concerned that if they did not call and register their homeschool, they would be violating truancy laws and thus committing the Class C misdemeanor mentioned in the article. Other families were concerned that due to the intimidating language of the article, new homeschoolers would not realize registration was voluntary.

We would like to clarify the issue of registration in Illinois.

Although Illinois law requires homeschoolers to teach the equivalent branches of education in the English language, nothing else, including registration with the Regional Office of Education, is required.

In Illinois, registration is voluntary. It is not required by state law. The newspaper article insinuated that registration is required in order to prevent truancy violations. However, this is just not true.

Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Chris Klicka sent a letter to the Lee-Ogle Regional Superintendent correcting their error.

In response to this letter, a weekly paper printed a follow-up article headlined: “Students Encouraged to Register.”

In this article the opening paragraph states: “Parents who are homeschooling their children are not required to register with the ROE but are encouraged to do so, said Amy Jo Clemens, Lee-Ogle Regional Supt. of Schools....” Quite a different tone!