February 17, 2012

School District Demands Use of Unauthorized Form

When a Home School Legal Defense Association member attempted to withdraw his son from public school in Grand Rapids to teach him at home, the principal of the middle school insisted that the father complete a Home School Report Form as part of the transition. According to the language on the form, it was to be completed “by all parents or legal guardians who are educating their children at home and who wish to be exempted from the compulsory school attendance provision of the Revised School Code.” In addition to other personal information, the form sought the family’s home telephone number, the date the student was enrolled in the homeschool, and each student’s date of birth and grade level. Uncertain about whether completion of the form was actually required by state law, the father contacted HSLDA for assistance.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the school official and informed him that our member was conducting a homeschool in accordance with §380.1561(3)(f) of Michigan Compiled Laws which contains the following exemption from public school attendance:

The child is being educated at the child’s home by his or her parent or legal guardian in an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar.

Black pointed out that in order to implement this educational option, parents do not have to submit any form to public school officials. They need only begin to teach their children at home in an organized program, instructing them in the required subjects. Under the law, there is no notice to anyone of the parents’ decision to conduct a home education program for their children, no registration with the state, and no reporting to anyone of any information about the home education program. This communication from HSLDA resolved the difficulty encountered by our member family.