July 14, 2003

Goshen County Defines "Curriculum" Broadly

Wyoming is a state with a good homeschool law and no restrictive regulations interpreting that law. According to Wyoming Statutes 21-4-102, homeschoolers need only "submit a curriculum to the local board of trustees each year." For years, parents and school districts alike have interpreted this statute to require a minimum amount of information on the annual notice: parent's name and address, children's names, basic curriculum information, and a date and signature. This year, Goshen County Schools has sent local homeschoolers paperwork that exceeds state law in a number of areas.

Goshen's "Non-Public School Approval Form" requires parents to provide the date of birth and grade level for each child, the address of each curriculum supplier, and a statement of intent regarding special education services. More disturbing is the back of the form, which indicates that the notification is actually a "request" for "approval," and makes provision for an appointment with the Superintendent for Instruction under certain circumstances.

Under Wyoming law, parents do not request approval to homeschool. They simply notify the school district that they are going to educate their children at home. The school district must excuse from attendance any student whose parent provides a complete notification. School districts in Wyoming do not have approval or discretionary authority over homeschoolers, as Goshen County's paperwork implies.

Because of this, HSLDA is advising members in Goshen County to create their own notification forms, or use those prepared by HSLDA, rather than use the from the county. Homeschoolers throughout the Cowboy State should be careful to maintain their liberties. Even in relatively "safe" states, eternal vigilance remains the price of freedom.