Friday, July 18, 2008

A word about the law and what to turn in to the school district

Call me a paranoid, right-wing, nut job, but when the law doesn't require something from me, I don't typically volunteer it. When I buy gasoline, the law doesn't require that I produce a driver's license to prove I can drive, so I wouldn't dream of volunteering to show it. Nor would I show it if the gas station attendant came out and asked for it, because it's not required by the law. I am within legal parameters to buy gas without proving that I can drive.

I have private tutored my children for the last several years without incident.
This year, I am taking two students from different families that I will private tutor in my home. Despite the fact that I have submitted all that the law requires (copy of teaching certificate, background check, etc), their school districts of residence have both asked me for a yearly letter in the spring stating that I will continue private tutoring them.

Today I called the one school district and asked about this "requirement" . She told me that the reason I need to send the letter is so that she can be sure the children are being educated. I asked if they require the same from students who attend private schools. I was told that they do not. I asked, "then how do you know those kids are bieng educated?" Her reply was - "We don't". She asked why it was such a big deal to write a letter when all the other private tutors in her district send in the annual letter. I explained that when school district requries something of everyone that is not the law, and everyone complies, then the school district will start asking for a little more and a little more, and it doesn't stop.

Home School Legal Defense sent a letter to my home district (since this is one of the districts asking for this letter) that states:"...there is no provision that the private tutor submit the required documentation or any related notice to the local public school superintendent on an annual basis."

If you are homeschooling under the Private Tutoring Provision of the Pa School Code, I beg you to please not hand in anything that is not required by the law. It raises the bar on what the schools will ask for.

Even if you are not homeschooling under the Private Tutoring Provision, be sure you know the homeschool law inside and out. As an evaluator, I am aware that most of the school districts in the area "require" you to submit more than what the law requires and it's maddening. If you don't submit what the law doesn't require, there is nothing they can do to you. Period.

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