You have most likely read the headlines and seen the online articles. Arrests, charges, registration, approved curriculum, permission to homeschool – what’s next?
To put it into perspective, I quote from an email by John Munson on the NYHEN Yahoo Groups list:
I wouldn’t get too worked up over the use of the terms “register” and “approve curriculum” in these articles. I think it’s just a result of the fact that the articles were written by reporters who don’t know what they’re writing about. I think every news story I’ve ever been involved in has gotten stuff wrong.
As for this case, we don’t know what the parents’ reasons were for not submitting paperwork.
New York’s compulsory attendance law does require parents to “furnish proof” that their child is “attending upon required instruction elsewhere” than at a public school. This is in paragraph 3212(2)(d): http://nyhen.org/laws.htm#3212
It doesn’t say we have to “register” or “submit a curriculum” — it just says we have to “furnish proof” without defining what that proof is. That vagueness is the reason that the homeschooling regulation came about in 1988. (http://www.nyhen.org/regs.htm)
So, if the parents in this case didn’t communicate with the district or state at all, then they were violating Education Law 3212(2)(d), and as I said, it remains to be seen exactly why they were doing so. But in any event, here’s hoping that the heavy-handed tactics don’t last long.
Part of the homeschooling gig is to know your laws and the best way to do that is get connected with state and local groups.