Over the past number of years, we have seen the language on the Indiana Department of Education website altered. It simply states:
Parents who choose to home educate their children may report their homeschool’s enrollment to the Indiana Department of Education (IC 20-33-2-21).
Formerly, questions from Indiana Code were asked, but children’s names were not requested. The form requested the parent’s and the public school’s information and:
1.) Number of students
It is very clear on the IDOE website that only parents may (not shall) report enrollment.
The simple language has morphed into a more detailed form that asks more questions than what is required by law.
With the many astericks for “required” information, parents are confused into thinking that they MUST report enrollment.
The words “Register” Your Homeschool are unfortunately on the Home School page of the IDOE website. This is confusing since the word “register” is not found in Indiana Code in relation to home education.
We are concerned that some public schools do not understand Indiana Code as it pertains to home education. From phone calls, IAHE is hearing accounts from new homeschoolers who have claimed that they felt intimidated and harassed by their local public school when they removed their student to home school.
Others have told us that the school would not allow them to begin homeschooling until they reported enrollment on the IDOE website. Some of these parents felt scared and intimidated by the school. They were also angry when they learned that reporting homeschool enrollment by the public school was not required by Code.
Others had sent a letter to inform the public school that they were going to homeschool their child. The school insisted that they fill out other forms that included information that was not required by law and had additional misinformation. Sometimes this was sent to the child after they had exited the school.
As we speak to school districts across the state, we have spoken to very nice people in their offices who do not understand the law as it pertains to home education. Their goal is the same as IAHE’s: both want students to receive a great education. Unfortunately, they are unwittingly requiring more than the law requires. IAHE is willing to have the opportunity to work with schools to help them better understand home education.
Have you removed a student from public school to home school? Please help us by filling out IAHE’s survey.