Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Political and Legal Support for Homeschoolers in Utah
Alliance for the Separation of School & State
An advisory group concerned with educating people about the need to eliminate government involvement in education and the rights of parents to educate their own children. On this site, you will find a public proclamation for the separation of school and state, which you can sign.
Utah Homeschool Politics
This list was design to provide a forum to Utah homeschoolers to discuss politics that effect them in one way or another.
National Charter School Watch List
This list is created to be a means of informing, documenting and evaluating available information concerning the impact of virtual/charter schools on the homeschooling community. This information consists of and is not limited to news items, articles from various sources, legislative information (bills, law changes), documented efforts and experiences and other information that may give weight to whether home-based charter schools or virtual schools are having an impact in any negative way on homeschooling.
Legal Issues Affecting the Homeschool Community
Department of Child and Family Services
Your children are safest at home. It is an unhappy fact of our crumbling, anti-family society that government social services are sometimes out of control and innocent people are being accused and their children taken. Utah is particularly bad.
The McAllister Letter
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Scott Bean, asked the Utah Attorney General's Office ten questions regarding home education. An assistant to the Attorney General, John McAllister, responded by writing an informal opinion termed The McAllister Letter. This is relevant to current and prospective home schoolers in Utah because many public educators have responded as if it were law. That this informal opinion is not law is clearly stated in the last paragraph of the letter: "This advice has not been reviewed or approved by the Attorney General and does not constitute a legal opinion of the Attorney General's Office." The McAllister Letter was written on February 14, 1997 and some home schoolers have called it "The Valentine's Day Massacre Letter."
The Legal Side of Homeschooling: An Overview of the Legal Risks and their Solutions
Families homeschooling for the first time inevitably have questions about legal challenges or threats that they might face from local or state education authorities. Those who do seek an answer to these questions are often faced with a confusing array of laws, policies, and regulations that not only vary from state to state, but also between school districts, and school officials within the same state or district.
Summary of State Homeschool Laws - John S. McAllister
Text of the summary provided by assistant to the Attorney General, John S. McAllister, to State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Scott Bean.
HSLDA's Position on Tax Credits Generally
Although a credit or deduction could be helpful for homeschoolers, HSLDA opposes any tax break legislation that could come with governmental regulations. Homeschoolers have fought far too long and much too hard to throw off the chains of government regulation that hinder effective education and interfere with liberty. It would be inconsistent and foolhardy to accept tax incentives in exchange for government regulation. However, HSLDA supports tax credits that promote educational choice without threatening any regulation of homeschoolers. - See more at: http://nche.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200504150.asp#sthash.tvLv2ItR.dpuf
On Jumping Through Hoops
Most books and articles on home education are quick to point out that homeschooling is legal--in one form or another-- in all fifty states. Parents might have to jump through more hoops in one state than in another, but, as long as they're willing to jump through those hoops, they are allowed to teach their own children at home. But are these hoops actually necessary?
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes.
State Laws Concerning Participation of Homeschool Students in Public School Activities
This is a list of states that have addressed issues of homeschooler participation in public school classes, sports, activities, etc.
Political Influence
Every important movement or trend in this country was followed by an onslaught of legislative actions which resulted in some legal stipulations that controlled the trend. What is really of concern is that this legislative control is not static, but very fluid, subject to change (meaning more restrictions in many cases). These changes occur through either more legislative actions on the part of the government or through interpretation in the judicial system. Currently, the homeschool movement is being closely monitored by various teacher unions, the public and legislative bodies throughout the United States, resulting in more and more laws being passed to control or monitor the movement. If the homeschool movement is to survive in a manner which we feel would be beneficial to us and society as a whole, we have to be more and more diligent in protecting our rights. The only way we can do this is to be more active in the political process. The question now becomes, how do we do this?
Social Security's New Home School Flow Chart
For some years, the Social Security Administration has permitted home schoolers to receive benefits in some cases. The agency used a fuzzy test involving several different factors. New documents from the Social Security Administration indicate that the agency has a much better defined policy in place now.
Homeschoolers Protected by New Utah Law
A bill shielding homeschooling parents from requirements that they meet state credential standards and give public school officials records of what they teach passed unanimously in both houses of the Utah legislature in February 2005. Senate Bill 59, sponsored by freshman Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Lehi), also prevents school boards from requiring homeschool students to take standardized tests.
The Seduction of Homeschooling Families
Do the public school authorities feel threatened by homeschooling? Judging by their efforts to lure homeschooling families into dependence on local school districts, the answer is apparently yes. For the last several years, homeschooling has been the fastest growing educational alternative in the country. The sheer number of homeschoolers represent a distinct threat to the hegemony of the government school monopoly. Qualitatively, the academic success of homeschoolers, measured by standardized test scores and recruitment by colleges, debunk the myth that parents need to hire credentialed experts to force children to learn.
How to Suppress Homeschooling
The education establishment has realized that the socialization issue will be seen for the red herring that it is, and has searched for other means to suppress homeschooling. Two new strategies have emerged, and these pose real threats to homeschooling. The first strategy is to argue that homeschooling needs some form of accreditation. A number of reasons have been offered: it eases the transition back to the public school for those homeschoolers who go back, it is the basis for awarding a recognized diploma, and it makes it easier to provide homeschoolers access to public school programs and facilities such as science classes, libraries, sports, etc. But accreditation is simply another word for conforming, and the desire to not conform is the fundamental reason for choosing to homeschool. Homeschoolers as a group will not be seduced nor will they be tricked by the false promises of accreditation. The second strategy for suppressing homeschooling is one that is much more likely to be successful, and it is to drastically limit homeschoolers’ access to public higher education. In this, the education establishment has discovered its only effective weapon against homeschooling.
Battling for the Heart and Soul of Home-Schoolers
A look at the battle for the homeschooling movement and the demographics of homeschooling families that challenges the notion that all homeschoolers are conservative fundamentalists. This article is a critical look at the HSLDA.
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