Having moved from St. Louis, MO, to Salem, IL, a couple of years ago, we have found Illinois a great state in which to homeschool–no notification, no testing requirements, no keeping a log of hours–we are free to pursue the best education for our children possible without interference from the state. Homeschooling families are considered private schools and thus not subject to the local boards of education. However, many ROE (Regional Office of Education) Superintendents think that they have the right to oversee homeschooling in their districts, so Illinois homeschoolers must ever be on the alert to protect their homeschooling freedoms. The following item from Home School Legal Defense Association gives one example of why this is so important.
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October 25, 2010
Franklin-Williamson Regional Office Backs Off
After sending a letter explaining that her children were withdrawing from public school and would be attending a home-based private school, the Franklin-Williamson Regional Office of Education sent a letter to HSLDA member Angie Robb (name changed to protect her privacy) asking to review her curriculum.
It also asked her to set up an appointment and bring in for inspection all records, test scores, and materials that are being used to provide home instruction.
It ended with a threat:
If we do not hear from you within 10 days [we] will consider your child as being truant, till we have proof of the education that is being provided.
HSLDA prepared a letter on Angies behalf. The letter explained that none of the demands of the Regional Office were lawful. It also pointed out that initiating prosecution against a family when there is no evidence they are violating the law raises significant ethical issues. Finally, the letter noted that it is not a family’s burden to prove their own innocence.
Ten days passed. Weeks passed. No legal action was taken against the family. And the Regional Office never replied.
(P.S. from WSW–Thank you for being there for us, HSLDA!)