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March 6, 2008

Family Almost Loses Benefits

Often, when homeschool families come into contact with state officials, they run across employees who are uninformed about laws with regard homeschooling. This may occur whenever homeschool parents are applying for student drivers licenses, work permits, federal and state aid, or social security benefits.

The Brighton family (name changed to protect privacy) recently had such an encounter with the Arizona Department of Economic Services. They were told that benefits would be denied because they allegedly could not prove their son was attending school. The family explained that they were homeschooling and showed their caseworker a copy of their notice of intent as proof. The caseworker informed them that the notice of intent was not enough to prove their son was actually in attendance. Instead, the caseworker gave the family a form that was to be filled out by the public school to verify attendance. Not knowing what else to do, the family called the Home School Legal Defense Association for help.

Attorney Thomas Schmidt promptly wrote a letter to the caseworker, explaining what Arizona law requires from parents who are teaching their children at home. Schmidt also verified that the family's HSLDA membership and pointed out they were in compliance with Arizona law. After receiving this letter, the family had no further difficulties.

If you find yourself in a situation with a state officer or employee questioning the legality of homeschooling, please call HSLDA immediately for assistance and advice.