Originally Sent: 7/16/2015
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Alachua County School Board Amendments Threatening Homeschool Freedom
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
Last summer, several new homeschooling families contacted HSLDA after receiving requests for documentation from Alachua County’s “Home School Division.” Whenever a family submitted a notice of intent to establish home education programs the home education office would request additional information. School officials asked for birth certificates, Social Security numbers, and proofs of residency.
I immediately contacted the Home School Division office and was referred to the school district’s attorney, Brian Moore. I explained to Mr. Moore that the documentation being requested was not required by Florida law. After our discussion, it was my expectation that Alachua County would stop demanding such information.
However, this summer, several homeschool families received another letter demanding much of the same information. Additionally, the Alachua County School Board is now considering amending their home education policy to permanently implement these document requirements.
You can read these and several other disturbing amendments at this PDF link (beginning at page 252).
The school board will have a public hearing on these amendments this coming Tuesday, July 21. The public hearing is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., right after the regular board meeting at 6:00 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the Kirby-Smith Boardroom at the Kirby-Smith Center, 620 East University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601.
Florida homeschooling is regulated by state law. Local school officials have no authority to enact homeschool policies or procedures which are contrary to Florida’s home education statute. I have already written a letter to the Alachua County School Board raising HSLDA’s concerns and our legal objections to these changes. I will also be attending the hearing with local homeschooling leaders in order to stand against this proposed policy.
I urge you to attend the public hearing on Tuesday to voice your concerns about these amendments. Plan on being there before the regular board meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. If you can’t attend the meeting, you can still contact your school board member and urge him or her to oppose these changes. To find contact information for your school board member, go here.
Thank you for your support of homeschooling freedom in Alachua County. I hope to see you next week in Gainesville!
HSLDA Staff Attorney
P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support for our work enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >> .
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