Homeschoolers in Vermont have to submit a significant amount of paperwork to the state Agency of Education, so it’s not surprising that one family was told to provide extra documents that weren’t really necessary.

The simple error threatened to become a big problem, however, when an official insisted the missing paperwork could result in legal action.

That’s when the family contacted us.

Annual Paperwork

At the end of the school year, Greg and Arielle Moore submitted information required by the Minimum Course of Study form for their child, as well as an end-of-year assessment by a licensed Vermont teacher.

Shortly after submitting their paperwork, an Agency of Education official sent these parents a notice demanding they submit a list of the books their child read that year. The agency stopped processing their end-of-year assessment and gave the family 14 days to submit the booklist, saying that otherwise it would not process the application.

If the child’s enrollment notices were not sent to the family by the beginning of the school year, the agency warned, “the child may be considered truant.”

HSLDA stepped in to help. The agency’s home study guidelines clarified that a booklist is an optional component if parents submit a report and portfolio, but it is not a requirement for an assessment by a certified teacher (which the family submitted here).

We then contacted the agency to correct this misunderstanding and asked officials to complete their review because the family had submitted all required paperwork.

Problem Solved

The following day, the Agency of Education confirmed that the booklist was not necessary because the certified teacher provided sufficient documentation. We expect the agency to issue a completion letter to the parents shortly. The family expressed relief at the prospect of having the situation resolved.

“We’re grateful for the way that God works through all of you at HSLDA to stand up for our right to homeschool our children,” Greg Moore wrote us. He added that he would “love to see the word passed along to other homeschoolers as well as to why you are all so important!”

If you or someone you know has run into something similar, please let HSLDA know so we can ensure that these issues are corrected. Together, we can make sure that no family in Vermont loses their ability to teach their children at home due to agency misunderstandings.