USING THE DISTRICT-CREATED FORM by Sue Duncan
- You do NOT have to use a form of any sort for notification. The manner in which you present the notification information is entirely up to you. Just be sure all required information is provided.
- It is recommended that you use the state-generated form, if you use one at all. It is suggested that you do NOT use district-created forms since they may contain changes which would alter the requirements or the intent of the home education regulations.
- You cannot be denied an excuse from compulsory attendance for not using a form, the district’s or otherwise.
It is suggested that parents, under no circumstances, use the forms provided by their districts since these are likely to contain word changes that alter the regulations in whole or in part. Provide your information on either the “state-generated” form which you may obtain from any homeschooling group, advocate, Ohio homeschooling website, or provide the required information in the form of a letter. Using a district-generated form merely perpetuates the errors, raises the bar of expectation for every other homeschooler and cedes authority to the district to which it is not entitled.
The regulations themselves provide us with instruction in this regard: OAC 3301-34-03(B)
“The information required in paragraph (A) of this rule may be provided on a form prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction.” There is only ONE superintendent of public instruction; neither your district superintendent – nor his designee – is THE superintendent of public instruction. That person works for the Department of Education in Columbus, Ohio.
Examples of information which districts may ask for in their own generated forms which are not required by the regulations are: grade level, titles of textbooks, table of contents of textbooks, school district name, and provision of the notification information to a designee instead of the superintendent as required.
(Please visit the website for detailed information as to why grade level, textbook titles, etc are not required for the home education notification.)
Furthermore, the home education regulations meet state’s mandate of compulsory attendance. School districts may not increase, delete from, or alter the home education regulations. In the Ohio Department of Education Questions and Answers Regarding Home Education, June, 1993 , to all superintendents :
Question 13: Are the requirements in Rule 3301-34-03 just minimum standards that local districts may make more restrictive? Answer: No. These rules of the State Board carry the same effect as law, and school districts may not add to these requirements.
And, in the same document from the Ohio Department of Education to all superintendents:
Question 16. Must the parents provide the notification on a form supplied by the State Department of Education? Answer: No. The standards say that the parent may use a form supplied by the State Department of Education. They may use their own forms, or may simply notify by a narrative document. A copy of the suggested Ohio Home Education form is enclosed.
It is not necessary nor is it recommended that you use a district-provided form; you may not be denied an excuse from compulsory attendance because you decline to use a district form. You may provide the required notification information in any format you chose or you may use the state-created form*; the key is to provide ALL the required information and provide it to the appropriate superintendent.
You can obtain a copy of the state-created form from any Ohio homeschooling website. This website also contains a copy of the state-generated form under the Notification section.
Prepared and Submitted by Susan M. DuncanÓ , May, 2001
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