In order to comply with state law in beginning their home education program for the 2015–2016 school year, a Home School Legal Defense Association member family filed the required affidavit with course objectives and immunization records with Seneca Valley School District by August 1, using HSLDA’s affidavit form. So they were surprised when a school official insisted that they also complete and submit an “Admission Form” before the school district would acknowledge their son’s enrollment in a home education program.
HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the school official on behalf of our members and informed her that state law does not require completion of the “Admission Form,” particularly in light of the nature of the information sought in the form. For the student, the form sought the date of birth, gender, state of birth, date he or she moved into the school district, ethnicity, name and address of previous school attended and last grade completed there, reason for withdrawal, and whether the student had been involved in any previous disciplinary action or expelled. The parent was expected to provide a cell phone number, email address, work phone number, and authorization for the school district to receive records from a previous school, including IQ and aptitude test scores for the student. Additionally, the parent was to respond to the question on the form: “Are there custody concerns concerning your child?”
Students in a home education program are not public school students, so they do not register with the school district or complete any forms for public school students. The form used by Seneca Valley School District is simply a variation of the type of form used by some school districts to obtain unauthorized information about homeschooling families. This is also the same type of form used by school districts to count student enrollment for the purpose of receiving state funds, which are not authorized for students in a home education program.
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