May 23, 2002

Following the Law Makes Life "Difficult" for NJ School District

A Home School Legal Defense Association member family in Middlesex County, New Jersey, received a call from the superintendent's office requiring them to send in information on their children and curriculum so that the school board could review and approve it. The superintendent's office further indicated it expected the family to follow its "curriculum instruction guidelines."

Mrs. Baker [name changed to protect privacy] was fairly certain that the law didn't require this, so she called HSLDA for assistance. We confirmed that New Jersey home schoolers do not have to provide the school district with curriculum information.

HSLDA called the superintendent's office and explained that under the Guidelines for home schooling adopted by the Department of Education, home school parents do not have to send in curriculum information. The school official agreed, but stated that "everyone else does. We just need to keep track of where the students are." She also insisted that she needed to know what grades the children were in. When we explained that the law did not require the family to pass in that information, she accused us of "making things difficult" but finally agreed to accept merely a letter from the family stating that they were home schooling - the exact method that the Guidelines suggest.

Constant vigilance is necessary to keep hard-won freedoms from eroding. Please contact HSLDA if your home school freedom is under attack.