October 13, 2005
District Adds Unauthorized Requirements

Prior to the start of the 2005–2006 school year, two Home School Legal Defense Association member families residing in Cannon County forwarded to our office a notice about homeschooling which appeared in a local newspaper. The notice stated that all homeschooling parents had to provide the school director with proof of legal custody or guardianship by a copy of the child’s birth certificate or court order, and a copy of the parents’ high school diploma or baccalaureate degree. There is no requirement in state law that homeschooling parents provide any proof of custody or guardianship of their children or provide any documentation relating to the extent of the parents’ education. The notice of intent form developed by the Tennessee Department of Education has a section in which the parent simply checks a blank indicating whether the formal education requirements for the parent have been met.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black responded to the article by writing a letter to the school director of Cannon County Schools, informing him that the information contained in the newspaper notice was contrary to state law. HSLDA also notified all of our member families in Cannon County that the notice was erroneous.

Any HSLDA member families encountering school districts seeking more information about their homeschool than is required by state law should contact us for assistance.