October 1, 2001

Tennessee County Asks for Enrollment Verification

Last month, Robertson County Schools exhibited a serious misunderstanding of Tennessee school law, when an official contacted several Home School Legal Defense Association member families, requesting that they complete Verification of Enrollment Status forms for their children for the 2001-2002 school year. HSLDA stepped in to protect our member families.

Home schools in Tennessee may operate under two different provisions of the law. One option directs parents to submit a notice of intent to the superintendent annually, while those home school families associated with a church-related school provide "registration" for children in grades 9 through 12.

However, children may also attend a church-related school instead of being home schooled. Under this third option, there is no need for parents to comply with any of the home school provisions such as notice, registration, or testing through the public school.

The Tennessee State Department of Education has recognized that children attending a church-related school through a satellite or extension program, yet being taught in their home by a parent or guardian, are in compliance with the state's compulsory attendance law. HSLDA explained this to Robertson County and informed them that our member families would not be submitting the district's verification forms.