September 17, 2001

San Francisco Withholds Private School Forms

Since home schools in California operate as private schools, parents choosing to home school must either join an existing private school or file an R4 affidavit establishing their own school in order to satisfy compulsory attendance requirements. Recently, Home School Legal Defense Association discovered that the San Francisco Unified School District is refusing to provide R4 affidavits to persons they suspect are teaching their own children at home.

To protect our member families' right to home school as a private school, last week HSLDA wrote to the San Francisco Unified School District. We explained that county and city school districts that have contracted with the state department of education to provide and collect private school affidavits are obligated to provide these affidavits regardless of the size of the private school.

In addition to withholding forms, the district has been forwarding a California Department of Education letter to individuals who request a private school affidavit. The letter leads parents to think they must be certified teachers in order to home school, a conclusion that would clearly violate their fundamental right to direct the education of their children pursuant to the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and specifically upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Wisconsin v. Yoder. HSLDA pointed out that if such a policy were to be enforced, California would be the only state in the nation to require parents to be certified teachers in order to be able to legally teach their children at home.

California HSLDA members whose school district refuses to provide an affidavit should immediately contact HSLDA for advice.

 Other Resources

More Information on California's Private School Affidavit R-4 Forms

As California Settles One Problem, a "Creative" District Introduces Another

10/2/2001 California E-lert Obtaining and Filing A Private School Affidavit

9/25/2001 California E-lert If your county will not give you a private school affidavit . . .

As California Settles One Problem, a "Creative" District Introduces Another