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August 4, 2010

Extra Form Unauthorized

As Home School Legal Defense Association member families approach the beginning of the 2010–11 school year, they may be asked by local public school officials to complete and submit various unauthorized forms. An example from the 2009–10 school year was an “Affirmation of Understanding” form sent to homeschooling parents in the Jefferson City Schools. This form was an effort to get parents to acknowledge the legal requirements of a home study program in Georgia, but it also asked for personal information about each child that state law did not require to be furnished to school districts. The form in question sought each child’s Social Security number, date of birth, and grade level.

After an HSLDA member family received this form and a letter requesting its completion and return to the superintendent’s office, they contacted HSLDA for assistance. Senior Counsel Dewitt Black replied to the school official’s letter and explained that the family was already in full compliance with state law by having previously submitted a declaration of intent to conduct a home study program. State law requires submission of the declaration of intent within 30 days after the establishment of a home study program and by September 1 annually thereafter. The information to be submitted in the declaration of intent is as follows: “a list of the names and ages of the students who are enrolled in the home study program, the address where the home study program is located, and a statement of the twelve month period that is to be considered the school year for that home study program.” No other information need be provided in the declaration of intent.

After receiving Black’s letter, the public school officials made no further attempts to get the family to complete the unauthorized form. Other HSLDA member families who are requested to complete similar forms should contact us for assistance.