September 4, 2001

Pennsylvania Superintendent Backs Down

Mr. and Mrs. L have home schooled for years without incident, but this year they ran into a superintendent who refused to recognize the limitations of Pennsylvania's compulsory attendance law.

Mr. and Mrs. L's son turned 17 years old during the 2000-01 school year. Because Pennsylvania's compulsory attendance age ends at 17, his parents did not submit a portfolio for him at the end of the school year.

When the school district demanded the portfolio, Home School Legal Defense Association wrote a firm letter on behalf of our member family, explaining why the district was not entitled to the portfolio. Unsatisfied with our explanation, the district threatened to bring truancy charges against the L family.

HSLDA spent several hours negotiating with the superintendent over the telephone. We explained that because the son was 17 years old, the district no longer had jurisdiction over him In spite of our reasoning, the Pennsylvania Department of Education wrongfully insisted that the law required Mr. and Mrs. L to submit a portfolio of their son's work up to his 17th birthday.

After several weeks of exchanging letters and telephone calls, we successfully convinced the superintendent to drop his demand for the portfolio.