by Mike Donnelly • September 4, 2019
An uproar of sorts is brewing in Aurora, Colorado as school officials make unlawful demands of homeschooling families.
Home School Legal Defense Association has sent numerous letters and emails to both the local public school superintendents and the Board of Education president without the courtesy of a single reply—not even an acknowledgement.
In Colorado, families may submit their homeschool notice of intent to any public school district. For decades, many families who live in Aurora have chosen to send their homeschool paperwork to the local district without a single problem—until this year.
Steve Vaughn, homeschooling father of six, brought the issue to HSLDA’s attention.
“I’ve been homeschooling a long time and have always sent my notice to Aurora—it’s where we live,” Steve told me. “I’m not so much concerned with myself. Since we know the law well—having homeschooled for many years—I sent our notice to another district. But I’m concerned about newer homeschoolers who may not realize that what the district is asking is unlawful.”
Aurora sent letters to homeschoolers this year stating that they must use a website to submit their notice of intent. While providing such an interface is probably a good idea for both homeschoolers and the school district in order to automate a paper process, the law simply does not allow the school to unilaterally dictate that homeschoolers must use a web form.
The web form also unlawfully requires homeschool families to submit information such as an email address, the current grade of each student, phone number, birth dates, and full legal names.
Finally, the district erroneously informed homeschoolers that if they file a notice of intent with Aurora, they must also send their assessment to Aurora. Colorado law states that assessments may be sent to any district or to an independent or parochial school. Because of this provision, Aurora has a duty to follow the law for everyone.
Committed to Freedom
One of our foundational commitments at HSLDA is holding public officials accountable to the law. So, when a school district overreaches and asks for more information than is required by law, and in a form that is not provided for by law, we get involved.
Keeping school districts in Colorado accountable to the law is the duty of every citizen, which is why we ask that you encourage the superintendent and school board to do their jobs in accordance with the law.
As the school year begins all over the country, there are similar problems in other states. It’s an annual drama involving millions of homeschooled children that unfolds differently across thousands of school districts. When school districts create unnecessary obstacles, it makes it harder for everyone—especially newer homeschoolers.
Remember, HSLDA is here to assist you in your homeschooling journey and ensure that complying with the law can be accomplished as efficiently as possible. If you experience homeschooling difficulty because of school district or other government officials who are not acting in accordance with the law, please contact us immediately.
Our mission at HSLDA is to make homeschooling possible. If you are not a member, you can join to get personalized advice and help regarding your specific circumstances. We are stronger together, so join today!