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October 26, 2006

School District Backs Down from Unauthorized Demand

After a member family withdrew their son from public school to continue his education at home, a representative of the Parsons School District sent them a letter insisting that they fill out a “Registration Information for Non-Accredited Private School” form and return it to the school district.

The form said that it must be filled out completely to comply with Kansas law. It called for the parents’ names and address, telephone number and name, birth date, and grade level of the student. The form said the school district would forward the form to the “Director of Certification, Teacher Education and Accreditation at the Kansas State Department of Education.”

Homeschooling parents in Kansas do not need to submit any information to their local school district. Once families have registered the name and address of the private school they are operating with the state Board of Education (a homeschool is a private school under Kansas law), they have complied with Kansas Statutes 72-53,101 and there are no further filing requirements.

State law requires that the private school’s “custodian of records” file the registration. It does not authorize school districts to file the registration. This school district was attempting to act as an intermediary between the home-based private school and the state Board of Education . HSLDA strongly cautions families against allowing a public school to act as an intermediary in registering their private school.

Home School Legal Defense Attorney Scott Woodruff promptly called the Parsons School District, and informed an official that state law did not authorize them to demand information from the family. Woodruff explained that the family had already met all requirements of Kansas law and would not need to submit anything further to the school district. The official acknowledged that Woodruff was correct.

We thank this member family whose alert response will help protect freedom for all Kansas homeschoolers.