December 6, 2010

District Fights Back, Law Prevails

The Hanson family (name changed to protect privacy) began their first year homeschooling in Ohio after submitting a notification form to the local public school superintendent, as required by the Ohio homeschool regulations. To their surprise, however, the school district replied that the Hanson children must register in public school before they could be “released” to homeschool. The family immediately contacted HSLDA.

Ohio regulations are explicit with regard to the information homeschool families are required to submit to the local superintendent in order to comply with state homeschool law. Accordingly, superintendents have no authority to enforce policies that require information above or beyond what is prescribed in the regulations. Despite this fact, some superintendents attempt to enforce excessive and illegitimate requirements on homeschool families.

HSLDA Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly wrote to the Hansons’ district superintendent, clarifying that homeschool families are not required to register their children with the public school. Donnelly also reminded her that her duty is to review homeschool paperwork for compliance with the law, not to determine whether in her opinion it ought to be “approved.” The district then responded with an email to the family informing them that in lieu of registration, they must show identification (driver’s license) and proof of residency. Donnelly again wrote explaining that there is no such requirement in Ohio’s homeschool regulations and that the Hansons had already complied with the regulations. With the persistent support of HSLDA, the Hansons are now homeschooling in peace.

HSLDA is pleased to advocate on behalf of member families who prefer not to deal with their school district over the legal requirements for homeschooling in Ohio. In addition to peace of mind for their own families, membership with HSLDA provides support for other homeschool families by empowering HSLDA to continue to defend homeschool freedom worldwide.