January 30, 2002

California District Demands Unauthorized Information

The Chino Valley District Director of Alternative Education wrote a threatening letter to several Home School Legal Defense Association member families whose private school affidavits listed six or less students enrolled. He intimated that home schooling was "likely" not in compliance with California school attendance laws and that home schooled children might experience "problems" if they ever tried to enroll in public school or college.

Based on these assertions, none of which have any foundation in state law, the director demanded that the families submit copies of their teaching credentials and program descriptions to his office in less than three weeks.

When these member families contacted HSLDA, we immediately wrote the district, explaining that California law does not make any distinction between large private schools and small private schools. Therefore, singling out schools with six or less students is wrong. In addition, we pointed out that the law does not give the public school authority to evaluate or approve any private school.

To date, the families have not heard back from the district. We will continue to defend our members' right to teach their children at home as private schools under California law.