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September 13, 2017

District to Family: Prove You Live Here or Stop Homeschooling

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Brandt P. Edmonston BRANDT EDMONSTON
Legal Assistant

A member family in Monroe-Woodbury Central School District called us when officials caused a minor crisis by refusing to process the family’s homeschool paperwork. The reason? They wouldn’t believe they actually lived in the district.

The family had complied with New York’s homeschool law by sending in both their notice of intent and individualized home instruction plan.

However, officials claimed they couldn’t accept these without knowing for certain that the family actually lived in the district. Specifically, they wanted a copy of the student’s birth certificate and other documentation proving residency.

The problem with this demand is that while the district is technically allowed to ask for proof of age and residency, they are not exempted from fulfilling their state-appointed duty to process the homeschool paperwork.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Tj Schmidt called to remind district officials that refusing to accept the notice of intent was not legal. The officials replied by claiming that the family didn’t live in their district. When Schmidt questioned them further, he learned that they had typed the wrong address into their search of the school tax records.

Eventually the officials relented and agreed to only require our member family to show proof of age and residency without having to leave any personal information with the district.

This story is one small example of the unlawful demands that homeschooling families have to deal with. We are pleased that we were ultimately able to resolve this situation on behalf of our member family.