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November 22, 2010

Bulgarian Homeschoolers Face Resistance

At the fifth annual Bulgarian homeschooling conference held in August 2010, families decided to form the Association for Home Education in Bulgaria (AHE-Bulgaria). The organization’s board of directors filed papers to officially register the association with the regional court in the small town of Silistra, located in northeastern Bulgaria. Several homeschooling families come from this area.

When the court rejected the organization’s application on the grounds that Bulgarian law recognizes only formal education at state-funded or approved schools, AHE-Bulgaria’s leadership decided an appeal would be fruitless and would draw unnecessary negative attention to the fragile homeschool movement. Approximately 60–100 families currently homeschool in the former communist-bloc nation of 7.5 million people. Despite its being prohibited, these families remain committed to homeschooling and are working diligently to influence the nation’s legal framework.

Bulgaria’s education law provides for fines of up to two-thirds of the minimal monthly salary for parents who do not send their children to the state-controlled school. Thankfully, such fines have not yet been imposed. A homeschooling family in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, received letters from school officials and the local mayor earlier this year threatening fines. The family is new to homeschooling and recently withdrew their children from the public school.

Bulgarian homeschoolers ask that you join them in prayer: “Please pray for the Christian families who have decided to educate their children at home as they face a hostile and uncertain legal environment and future.” HSLDA commits to continue its support for the fledgling homeschool movement in Bulgaria. Thank you for standing with us for freedom and remembering fellow homeschoolers in need!