October 1, 2001

Massachusetts Superintendent Drops Demand for Meetings

In August 2000, Home School Legal Defense Association received word that Pittsfield Public Schools had sent a letter to home schooling families requiring them to meet with school officials to discuss their program plans and review curriculum materials. This began a year-long negotiation process that finally ended last week.

HSLDA wrote to the school district last year explaining that the Pittsfield letter did not have the authority to insist on such a conference with home schoolers and that it was inappropriate to advise parents that such meetings were required. We also pointed out that the Care and Protection of Charles case governed what information public schools could ask home education families to submit.

The new deputy superintendent of schools for Pittsfield recently wrote us a letter thanking us for sharing information regarding the Charles case and stating that she was no longer requiring a meeting with home school families. She stated that those who did not desire to meet with her could simply submit a sampling of curriculum materials for the school district to examine.

HSLDA is thankful that the new administration at Pittsfield Public Schools has agreed to comply with the law, and we stand ready to defend any of our member families who experience similar difficulties.