At a time when many parents are wrapping up a successful homeschool year and looking forward to a summer break, some are getting letters from their local school districts demanding to know what they plan to do next year.
Parents in Fleming County, Kentucky, received a letter from local school officials in April that insisted that they fill out a “Home Schooling Notification” form. The letter also demanded that they return this form to the district by May 14.
While parents in Kentucky are required to submit a homeschool notice to their local school district every single year, they can wait to submit their notice until the first two weeks of the school term. Since most public schools start in early August, parents typically submit their homeschool notice by the second or third week of August.
No Need to Rush
If parents in Kentucky submit the required notice no later than two weeks after the start of their local public school term they are presumed to be operating a bona fide private homeschool program. There is no benefit for the homeschool program to submit their notice early.
And there are other good reasons to file later rather than earlier. Parents who are homeschooling from year to year might not make their final decision until summer—after they have been able to take a step back and evaluate their past school year.
In Florida, meanwhile, public school officials dug for information that state law does not entitle them to.
Homeschool parents in Madison County, Florida, received an email in early May demanding that they notify school officials of their plans for the 2021–22 school year or terminate their homeschool program.
What the Law Says
Florida law only requires parents to file a one-time notice to the local school district to establish a home education program. In all subsequent years of homeschooling, a parent will submit an evaluation for each child.
In both of these situations, it appears that local school officials are trying to plan for next year. With the recent increase in homeschooling, officials seem to be trying to get homeschool kids back into the public school system.
I wrote letters in both of these situations and explained what state law actually requires. I also insisted that school officials stop making demands of homeschool parents that are not mandated by the law.
If your local school officials make similar demands, don’t hesitate to reach out so we can help educate your local school officials and defend your choice to educate your children.