April 27, 2007

Families Forced To Register

Recently several member families have contacted Home School Legal Defense Association about the registration form provided by the Indiana Department of Education (DOE). These families were told that they were required by law to register with the DOE. In at least two cases, school officials filled out the online registration form on behalf of the family, even against the parents’ strong objections. Other families were told that they had to register in order for their homeschool student to receive a driver’s permit or take the General Equivalency Diploma.

Indiana law states, “Each principal or school administrator in a nonpublic school that is attended by a student who is subject to the compulsory school attendance law…shall furnish, on request of the state superintendent, the number of students by grade level attending the school.” Indiana Code § 20-33-2-21(b).

If you visit the DOE website you will find the “request” by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. While speaking with several school officials, HSLDA has been told that the DOE has directed them to register all homeschool students.

In HSLDA’s opinion, a request posted the DOE’s website is not sufficient. The request must be made individually to the parent (administrator) of the home (nonpublic) school.

Another problem with the online DOE registration form is that it requests more information than is required by statute. Indiana law only requires “the number of students by grade level attending the school.”

If your local public school officials attempt to force you to register with the DOE against your wishes, please call HSLDA for assistance.