March 31, 2009

Forms Request More Than Required

This year several members reported to the Home School Legal Defense Association that the information requested by their local district’s “Declaration of Intent” form was more than what is legally required.

Each year (by September 15 or within two weeks of any quarter, trimester, or semester) parents are required to submit a signed declaration of intent to homeschool their children to their local superintendent.

In the Ocosta School District homeschool parents were requested to provide each child’s birth date and grade level as well as the parents’ telephone number. Parents were also requested to state how they were qualified teach their children at home.

The West Valley School District form went even further. In addition to all of the information requested by the Ocosta School District, West Valley asked for the last public school attended and the grade the child had been enrolled in. West Valley also requested that the parent provide the “proposed home school grade.”

Washington law requires that the declaration is to be “written in the format prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction” and must include the name and age of the child. A parent must also indicate if they are going to be supervised by a certificated person. This is only required if the parent doesn’t otherwise meet the other requirements to be “qualified” to teach their children at home.

In each situation, HSLDA Staff Attorney Thomas Schmidt contacted the school district and informed them that their form was in violation of state law. Parents who become aware that their district form request unnecessary information can contact HSLDA for assistance.