August 7, 2001

Virginia: More Problems in the Old Dominion

In the last couple weeks, Home School Legal Defense Association has had to deal with numerous school districts in Virginia who are requiring more information than what the law entitles them to ask for. Below are several examples:

  • Lexington City Schools sent out a form requiring birth dates for all home schooled children, the parent's telephone number, and the parent's Social Security number. None of this information is required by state law.

  • Culpeper County Public Schools distribute a form titled Request for Religious Exemption. Besides the fact that state law does not require families to use any particular form for this purpose, the form requested the following information beyond what state law requires: home and work telephone numbers and birth dates and grade levels for the children. In addition, there were numerous misstatements of the law regarding religious exemption.

  • Loudoun County notified some home schooling families that if they wanted to use any assessment method besides the Stanford 9 standardized tests, they would need school permission before doing so. There is no requirement in Virginia law that home school families get permission from local public schools just because they want to use a form of annual evaluation other than the Stanford 9 tests.

  • Virginia Beach began to use a notice of intent form that demanded home schoolers disclose the race of their children. The district is not entitled to any such information by law.

In each of these cases, HSLDA has contacted the school districts, pointing out the legal errors and offering to assist in revising their forms and policies.

HSLDA members who encounter any similar problem with their school district should contact our office immediately so that we can respond on your behalf. In addition, members can click here to download forms from HSLDA's website.