March 15, 2012

Threat to Adoption Subsidy Doused

Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Missouri. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

Mary Packer (name changed to protect her privacy) was entitled to financial support from the state of Georgia in connection with the adoption of her son.

When she moved to southwest Missouri and the agency asked for new documentation showing that her son was in a full-time secondary education program—as required to continue receiving the subsidy—she arranged for her homeschool correspondence program to send an official letter of enrollment.

The agency wrote back and said that wasn’t enough: “Since your son is being homeschooled the rules are different,” they said. The agency demanded that Mary provide a letter from her local board of education stating that her son is being homeschooled, what grade he is in, and expected date of graduation. And they demanded proof that Mary was a certified teacher!

HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff faxed a letter explaining that the new demands for documentation were completely out of step with Missouri law. No state requires a homeschool parent to be a certified teacher. Missouri law does not require a homeschool family to notify their local board of education. Woodruff confirmed that Mary was homeschooling her son full time in compliance with Missouri law. Mary also sent some additional supporting information.

Maintaining an open mind, the agency reviewed the new materials from Woodruff and Packer. Shortly thereafter they said they would continue the subsidy.