August 15, 2007

Official Tries to Shorten Due Date for Notice of Intent

Home School Legal Defense Association member Grace Cairns (name changed to protect family’s privacy) received a letter from Caroline County Public Schools asking her to submit the notice of intent for her child by August 10. This sounded wrong to her, so she called HSLDA for help.

Legal Assistant Peter LaRock confirmed that the notice was due the 15th, not the 10th. HSLDA Attorney Scott Woodruff followed up with a letter to the errant official pointing out the correct date and asking that a letter of correction be sent out to all who were told the notice was due August 10.

The school official promptly sent a letter acknowledging the mistake.

For many years, Virginia's home instruction statute provided that the notice of intent was due on Sept. 1. A few years ago, officials lobbied to move the date up to August 15 to give them more time to process paperwork before the school year began. No additional processing time needs to be added to the August 15 date.

August 15 is troublesome enough!

Last year, a tidewater-area public school official tried to prohibit a family from homeschooling. They had filed their notice of intent before the first day of school--but after August 15. He backed down after HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff intervened on behalf of the family. This illustrates, however, the potential disadvantage at which homeschool families are placed by being required to file their notice even before public school children spend their first day in school.

Families should file by August 15, but be sure to contact us if you are threatened for missing the due date.