Being hauled into court because a school district doesn’t understand how parents comply with the compulsory education law can be traumatic for all the family members involved. 

In Ohio, a family found themselves in front of a magistrate after local public school officials informed Ohio’s social services organization that the parents had not filed homeschool paperwork. Indeed, the parents had not, but that’s because they were complying with the compulsory attendance law by organizing what is known as an “08 school.” 

Named for Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-08, an “08 school” is formed to accommodate sincerely held religious beliefs. The regulation requires that teachers or administrators hold a bachelor’s degree and file certain reports with the local public school treasurer and the Ohio Department of Education.  

Home School Legal Defense Association defended the 08 school option for those who qualify and reached a settlement with the Ohio Department of Education in 2007. This resulted in official recognition of 08 schools as a viable option for families who comply with the regulation as an alternative to filing paperwork in accordance with OAC 3301-34, the “home education regulation.” 

In Compliance

This family who recently found themselves in court had complied with all aspects of the regulation, but staff at the local public school district were unfamiliar with the 08 school options. Their confusion resulted in the family having to appear in court to further explain the situation. 

HSLDA intervened in the case and, after lengthy back-and-forth with a local prosecutor, helped the various officials understand that 08 schools are a real thing. We also showed that the family had complied with the law and were providing for the education of their children.

Public authorities have a duty to know the laws, but sometimes they don’t. While it shouldn’t have to come to a court case—as it did in this situation—HSLDA attorneys are here to defend homeschooling freedom no matter what.  

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