November 28, 2011

County Considers Notice of Intent Inadequate

Just prior to Thanksgiving, Home School Legal Defense Association assisted a member family who had recently moved to Montana and submitted a notice of intent to conduct a home school to the county superintendent using HSLDA’s members-only form. After receiving the notice of intent, the Carbon County superintendent of schools sent its own Intent to Home School form to the family and requested that they return the completed form in order to be “registered.” This form asked for each student’s name, date of birth, grade level, in addition to the parents’ home telephone number and email address. The county form also asked the family to indicate whether they intended to participate in various federal education programs listed.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black responded to the superintendent on behalf of the family by pointing out that state law simply requires the home school to “notify the county superintendent of schools of the county in which the home school is located in each school fiscal year of the student’s attendance at the school.” HSLDA’s form complies with this legal requirement by providing the names of the parents and the students of compulsory attendance age, their home address, and the applicable school year. There is no requirement that the notice include the other information sought by Carbon County’s form. Black’s letter also stated that the family declined to complete the portion of the form relating to participation in federal programs in the absence of any legal obligation to do so.